[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 152 (2006), Part 7]
[Senate]
[Pages 8553-8620]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]




              COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM ACT OF 2006

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 2611, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 2611) to provide for comprehensive immigration 
     reform and for other purposes.

  Pending:

       Inhofe amendment No. 4064, to amend title 4, United States 
     Code, to declare English as the national language of the 
     United States and to promote the patriotic integration of 
     prospective U.S. citizens.


               Recognition of the Acting Majority Leader

  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The acting Republican leader is 
recognized.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we are on the immigration bill. We have a 
lineup of amendments which we are anxious to take up. We have a 
considerable number of amendments pending on both sides of the aisle. 
Our lead amendment is the one to be offered by Senator Kennedy. The 
amendment has now been reviewed, and I think it may be necessary to 
have a little extra time, which ought not to pose a problem since the 
vote will not occur until 10 o'clock. But Senator Cornyn would like 10 
minutes of time, and Senator Kyl may want a little time, so my 
suggestion would be that, if the Senator from Massachusetts wants to 
start the debate, that would be agreeable. It is his amendment, 
obviously. We would then turn to Senator Cornyn for 10 minutes.
  I would like to put other Senators on notice that we want to proceed 
with the other amendments. Senator Inhofe is next in line, then Senator 
Akaka, Senator Ensign, Senator Nelson, Senator Vitter, Senator Durbin, 
Senator Kyl, and Senator Chambliss. It would be appreciated if those 
Senators would come here at least 15 minutes ahead of the anticipated 
time their amendment will come up so that we could move right along and 
not lose floor time.
  I yield to my distinguished colleague from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, we look forward to this. What was, then, 
the time allocation requested? Is it 25, 10, 10, 5? Is that what the 
Senator suggested?
  Mr. SPECTER. Ten for Senator Cornyn, ten for Senator Kyl, and I would 
like five.
  Mr. KENNEDY. So that is 25.
  Mr. SPECTER. Yes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Then I think we would get 15.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we just received word that Senator Dorgan 
wants 10 or 15 minutes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Have we added all that up?
  Mr. SPECTER. Suppose we divide the time equally.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the agreement, it is 20 minutes, 
equally divided.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, it is my understanding the two managers want 
that modified. Rather than 20 minutes on this amendment, it will be 55 
minutes, the time evenly divided between now and 10. I ask unanimous 
consent for that modification.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
  Mr. SPECTER. That is acceptable.
  Mr. REID. No second-degree amendments would be in order?
  Mr. SPECTER. Agreed.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. Time 
is equally divided between now and 10 a.m, and there will be no second-
degree amendments.
  Who yields time?
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, if Senator Cornyn would like to begin the 
debate, I yield 10 minutes to him.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Texas is recognized.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, less than 24 hours after the Senate voted 
to protect American workers and to put them first when it comes to 
competition for jobs in this country, the Senator from Massachusetts 
has now offered an amendment that would literally gut the amendment 
that was adopted yesterday and put American workers in the back seat 
and foreign workers who wanted to come here and participate in a guest 
worker program in the front seat.
  President Bush has spoken time and time again about a guest worker 
program that matches willing workers with willing employers. But 
Senator Kennedy's amendment would do nothing of the kind. It would 
allow people to come to the United States and to self-petition without 
having an employer sponsor their petition, and it would not require 
proof that an American citizen is unavailable to perform that type of 
job.
  Yesterday, the Senate--wisely, in my view--changed the underlying 
bill to

[[Page 8554]]

require that American workers be put first before a guest worker could 
be provided a job and that, under the provisions of this bill, No. 1, 
they had to identify a job so they would not be here unemployed; and 
No. 2, that job first be offered to qualified American workers. Then, 
in that event no American workers were found available to perform that 
job, of course the guest worker provisions of the bill would kick in.
  To make matters worse, the Kennedy amendment would allow an alien who 
has worked a total of less than 40 days in the United States--yes, that 
is about 6 days a year--to obtain a green card. That employment, 1 day 
out of every 60, could be self-employment. For some, that track record 
of employment should be sufficient evidence that the worker is 
invaluable to the American economy. What that means is that up to 
200,000 unskilled workers a year would be eligible for a green card, 
irrespective of economic conditions, irrespective of whether that 
worker has actually been employed for the preceding 4 years and, most 
importantly, irrespective of whether there are unemployed U.S. workers 
available to fill those jobs.
  Senator Kennedy had suggested that, by requiring an employer to 
determine that a qualified worker is not available, that would somehow 
subject foreign workers to exploitation. But let me be clear: Worker 
exploitation and abuse will not be tolerated under our laws and should 
not be tolerated under any circumstances. This amendment has nothing to 
do with protecting foreign workers against exploitation. What it has 
everything to do with is whether we are protecting American workers 
first.
  With that, I will reserve the remainder of my time and yield the 
floor.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Who yields time? The Senator from 
Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  Mr. President, I opposed the amendment from the distinguished Senator 
from Texas yesterday because I believe there ought to be an opportunity 
for the immigrant himself or herself to file the petition. The 
amendment now pending by Senator Kennedy would leave it optional, leave 
the alternative: to be filed by the employer or to be filed by the 
immigrant. The vote yesterday was 50 to 48, and I was tempted to move 
to reconsider--I would have to change my vote to do that--but decided 
in the alternative that we would discuss the subject today with a 
different amendment.
  The issue of not having the immigrant subject to the control of the 
employer is an important one, to see to it that the immigrant is 
treated fairly. When the Senator from Texas seeks to be sure the 
immigrant has a job so that the employer has to make the application 
and the job will not be taken from some other American, I can 
understand his point. But I think there is a higher value in not having 
the immigrant subject to the control of the employer, where there may 
be coercion and pressure as to the amount of compensation or as to 
working conditions, notwithstanding any other provision of law. There 
is ample protection that citizenship will not be granted, or the 
process will not move forward, because the Kennedy amendment simply 
gives the immigrant the right to file a petition. After the petition 
and the efforts are made to get into the citizenship line, it will be 
evaluated by the appropriate authorities. I think the concerns Senator 
Cornyn has in mind will be met.
  I notice Senator Dorgan has come to the floor, and time has been 
reserved for Senator Dorgan--10 minutes. I yield to him at this time.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from North Dakota is 
recognized.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, the discussion this morning is once again 
on a subject called guest workers. I don't happen to think we ought to 
have a guest worker provision in this legislation. The discussion now 
is, if it exists in the legislation, what are the conditions under 
which guest workers can petition for citizenship, and so on and so 
forth. I hope we are not done with the question of whether there should 
be so-called guest workers or, as some call it, future flow, the soft-
sounding words. They could call it tourism for all that matters.
  What this is about is grafting onto this bill to deal with the 
question of illegal immigrants coming into this country--because we 
have quotas, and those who come in illegally are a pretty serious 
problem, the 11 million or 12 million people we think are here 
illegally--this is grafting onto this bill that deals with illegal 
immigration a proposal that people who live outside this country and 
have not come to this country before now are to come into this country 
as so-called guest workers or future flow. What are those people going 
to do? They are going to come into this country and they are going to 
work. It is as if the 11 million or 12 million are not enough, we need 
more.
  The original proposition by the President was an unlimited number. 
The original proposition in the bill brought to the floor of the Senate 
was 400,000 a year, plus a 20-percent escalator. I tried to knock that 
out, and my amendment got clobbered, so I was unsuccessful. My 
colleague from New Mexico took the 400,000 down to 200,000. Actually, 
the substitute bill took it down to 325,000, then down to 200,000. 
However you calculate it, we are talking about millions of people who 
do not live in this country, who live outside of this country, who will 
come into this country for the purpose of taking jobs.
  Here is the strategy. The strategy in the country these days, and it 
is a strategy embraced on the floor of this Chamber, is to export good 
jobs and import cheap labor. I don't hear any discussion on the floor 
of this Senate about American workers--none. You can go to the 
newspapers and see a discussion. You can see the headlines about 
American workers who are losing their jobs because their employers are 
moving the jobs to China or Bangladesh or Indonesia or Sri Lanka; and 
yes, some of those Americans are finding other jobs, and the headlines 
also tell us those jobs pay less than the jobs we used to have. We lost 
3 million to 4 million jobs in just the last 4 or 5 years.
  Alan Blinder, a very respectable mainstream economist, former Vice 
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has just written a piece and 
said this: This issue of exporting American jobs even as there is this 
urge to import cheap labor--he said this about exporting American 
jobs--he said there are 42 to 54 million American jobs subject to 
offshoring.
  He said 41 to 54 million American jobs are subject to being moved out 
of this country in search of cheaper labor--at 33 cents an hour in 
China, perhaps Indonesia, Sri Lanka, wherever they would move to. He 
said that not all of the 40 million to 50 million jobs will leave this 
country by employers, not all will be moved out of this country by 
employers, but even those who stay are subject to the competition of 
lower wages abroad. Therefore, there will be lower wages, less health 
care, less benefits, and less retirement benefits.
  That future for the American worker on one side, and on the other 
side we have this urge to import cheap labor.
  Where does that urge come from? My understanding is the price the 
Chamber of Commerce requires to support this bill is that there be 
additional guest workers attached to it.
  What is the purpose of that? That is the purpose of bringing in the 
back door folks who are willing to assume the bottom-end jobs.
  The President and others say these are jobs the American people will 
not take. I don't think that is the case at all. They may not want to 
take them at current wages, at the bottom of the economic scale. We 
haven't changed the minimum wage for nearly 9 years. This Congress will 
not change the minimum wage. The President doesn't support it. If we 
change the minimum wage and perhaps pay what the jobs are worth at the 
lower economic level, at the bottom of the economic ladder, perhaps 
then we wouldn't need to import cheap labor. This is about importing 
cheap labor on the back side. That is what guest workers is all about. 
I know they call it ``future flow'' and guest workers. It is not about 
making

[[Page 8555]]

11 million to 12 million people legal who are already here illegally. 
But more needs to be done. Allowing people who would normally be 
illegal and stamping them as ``legal'' is kind of a ``let's pretend'' 
approach.
  I understand the Senate has already voted on my amendment, and I lost 
pretty handily, as a matter of fact. But I think there is more to do on 
this. The bill is still open for amendment. For example, we have a so-
called guest worker provision which says let's pretend that illegal 
immigration is legal immigration. Should we have that provision that 
lasts forever and is permanent, or should we sunset it after a few 
years and have a real honest study by people who might evaluate how 
many Americans are losing their jobs as a result of this back door, 
cheap labor coming as replacement workers?
  How many Americans are losing their jobs? I see very little 
discussion on the floor of this Senate in this debate about immigration 
which, after all, is all about jobs, among other things. I see very 
little discussion and Members standing up on the floor of the Senate 
saying: Let us wonder what this means to American workers. What does it 
mean to the steel worker? What does it mean to the punch press 
operator, to the fabricator or how about the farmer? What does it mean 
to manufacturing? Very few people are talking about American workers. 
It is all about immigration and how many additional guest workers we 
can bring into this country under this piece of legislation.
  My understanding is that we will be on this bill for another week. 
That will give us time to revisit this so-called guest worker provision 
and see if we can write a piece of legislation--yes--which deals 
sensitively, without diminishing the dignity and worth of others who 
have been here some long while. Some have been here for 25 years. Some 
immigrants came here many years ago. They have children and 
grandchildren here. I don't want to, in any way, diminish their worth 
or their dignity or their value. We should deal with them in a way that 
is sensitive.
  I don't think this Senate should jump on the notion advanced by 
business interests and the Chamber and others that we don't have enough 
cheap labor in this country, and we need to bring more through the back 
door as we are exporting good jobs abroad.
  You talk about a recipe for economic trouble ahead, probably not for 
the people who wear blue suits in the morning and wear neckties all day 
and have jobs such as Senators and Congressmen. I do not know of 
anybody in this Chamber who has lost a job because their job was 
outsourced. Nobody here has lost their job because their job has been 
outsourced. It is other folks--folks working on the manufacturing line 
someplace, and they are called up one day and are told: You know what, 
our entire company is leaving. We are going to China because you can 
produce an Etch A Sketch in China for much less money. But the jobs 
have gone to China. Etch A Sketch is one example of hundreds of 
examples of jobs that go to China.
  Those are the folks who pay the price. Those are the folks who have 
the burden of this sort of new economy--the ``world is flat'' economy--
move American jobs to China. The other folks who stay here, the folks 
who work at the bottom rung of the economic ladder, struggling to 
advance and pay their bills and take care of their families, they are 
now told: By the way, we also need to not just export jobs, but we need 
to import cheap labor.
  I think is a recipe for disaster for this country. I don't think it 
works.
  Our country became a great country and a world economic power because 
we built a burgeoning middle class, and that middle class had good jobs 
that paid well. There is no social program in this country as important 
as the good job that pays well, which allows people to work and take 
care of their families. There is no social program as important as 
that. These good jobs are shrinking away. You can go through the entire 
list, industry after industry, telling workers: We are going to move 
your job elsewhere, and we are going to shrink the jobs that remain 
here to $8 or $10 an hour. And by the way, what we would like to do is 
bring people through the back door whom we might be able to employ for 
$6 or $7 an hour.
  That is the construct which is occurring throughout the country 
today, and I think it is fundamentally wrong.
  My hope is we continue these discussions about guest workers. We will 
have other opportunities to offer amendments. I will have some, and 
perhaps we can get back to where we should be and that is dealing with 
the central question of our country's border; protect us first against 
terrorism; and, second, to enforce the quotas we have that allow people 
to come into this country legally. We have quotas with which we 
accomplish that. Seal this country's border so we have border 
protection and an orderly flow of people in and out of this country; 
and, second, enforce standards against employers that routinely and 
knowingly hire illegal workers.
  I was here when we passed Simpson-Mazzoli. In fact, I went back and 
reread some of the debate on the floor of the Senate and House.
  What was said was we are fixing immigration. Back then, there really 
was amnesty. Amnesty was given to a good number of millions of illegal 
immigrants. We said to employers: Don't you dare hire illegal workers. 
If people come into this country illegally to take Americans' jobs, 
don't you dare hire them. If you do, you will be subject to fines and 
penalties that are significant.
  Guess what. There has been no enforcement at all. Last year, one 
company was subject to enforcement action in the entire United States 
of America; the year before, three companies in the entire United 
States. The message implies Katy bar the door; hire illegals if you 
like; pay substandard wages because they are illegal; don't worry, 
nobody is going to look; nobody is going to fine you; and nobody is 
going to enforce the law.
  That is why this entire thing has failed. Twenty years later, we have 
the same language. You can change the names and it is the same 
language--going to get tough, going to fix this issue.
  The fact is, if we don't decide, first, to secure our borders and, 
second, to have real sanctions against those who want to hire illegal 
immigrants for substandard wages, this will not work. All we are doing 
is playing let's pretend. We play that often around here. It is not 
going to work.
  What we ought to do is stare truth in the eye on this issue and 
decide that we are going to do what is necessary to evaluate what the 
immigration issue is, how to fix it and go about the business of doing 
it. Instead, there is all this energy to see not only how we deal with 
the immigration issue but how we add a new guest worker program to 
bring people into this country who otherwise would be illegal and how 
do we bring new people into this country to take the jobs that American 
workers need. That doesn't make much sense to me, and it is not a 
proposition that I can support.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Who yields time?
  Mr. DORGAN. 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. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I inquire as to the regular order and the 
time agreement reached on the next few amendments.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The time agreement on the next two 
amendments? The Senator is informed there is no time agreement on the 
next amendments. The time agreement is on the current amendment, but no 
further amendments are subject to a time agreement.
  Mr. INHOFE. And the vote will take place at 10 o'clock?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. This vote will take place at 10 o'clock.

[[Page 8556]]


  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, the next amendment coming up will be the 
amendment we refer to as the English national language amendment. Since 
there is some time right now, unless someone else wants the floor, I 
can discuss what it is all about.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The time is equally divided on the current 
amendment.
  Mr. INHOFE. I inquire, is someone requesting time?
  Mr. KENNEDY. We have until 10 o'clock, and that time is divided.
  Mr. INHOFE. I thank the Senator.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. There is 12 minutes left for the majority 
and 17 minutes remaining for the majority.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If the Senator wants to speak for a few minutes, we can 
arrange that. I will withhold.
  Mr. INHOFE. As I understand it, on our side there is 17 minutes 
remaining, is that correct, and I can use a few minutes?
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That is correct.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, we split the time between 9 and 10 
o'clock, but it was on the pending amendment. The Senator from 
Massachusetts has yet to call up the amendment. The only speakers who 
have been heard have been in opposition to the amendment, but the 
amendment has not yet itself been called up.
  I want to make sure the balance of the time reserved is still 
preserved so we do not lose an opportunity to respond to the debate by 
the Senator from Massachusetts.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The current order is the vote will take 
place at 10 o'clock, but the time between then and now is roughly 16 
minutes for the majority and 12 minutes for the minority.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Can I ask unanimous consent we defer the vote at 10 
clock until 10:05?
  Mr. INHOFE. I thank the Senator for that generous offer. I will not 
make any comments at this time and will wait until our amendment is up. 
We will discuss it then.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Fine.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Massachusetts is 
recognized.


                           Amendment No. 4066

  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, we send an amendment to the desk on 
behalf of myself, Senator McCain, and Senator Graham.
  The PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Massachusetts, [Mr. Kennedy], for himself, 
     and Mr. McCain, and Mr. Graham, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4066.

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

(Purpose: To modify the conditions under which an H-2C nonimmigrant may 
                    apply for adjustment of status)

       On page 295, after line 16 insert the following:

     or
       ``(iv) the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies that 
     there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, 
     willing, qualified, and available to fill the position in 
     which the alien is, or will be, employed; and
       ``(v) the alien submits at least 2 documents to establish 
     current employment, as follows:

       ``(I) Records maintained by the Social Security 
     Administration.
       ``(II) Records maintained by the alien's employer, such as 
     pay stubs, time sheets, or employment work verification.
       ``(III) Records maintained by the Internal Revenue Service.
       ``(IV) Records maintained by any other government agency, 
     such as worker compensation records, disability records, or 
     business licensing records.

  Mr. KENNEDY. How much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority controls 11 minutes 45 seconds, 
and the majority controls 15 minutes 45 seconds.
  Mr. KENNEDY. We have 11 minutes?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Eleven and a half minutes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield myself 4 minutes.
  Mr. President, as we all know, yesterday the Senate voted to 
eliminate the H-2C immigrant's ability to self-petition for green cards 
after 4 years. I believe that vote was a mistake because it will have a 
devastating effect not just for temporary workers but for all workers 
and, basically, for all Americans.
  The amendment we offer today would correct the mistake and take the 
good language from the Cornyn amendment to improve the underlying bill. 
This amendment will require that the Labor Department certify that no 
U.S. worker will be displaced by H-2C workers when they adjust to 
permanent status, as the Cornyn amendment requires. This amendment also 
restores the ability of H-2C workers to obtain a green card without 
being dependent on the generosity of the employers.
  The self-petition feature of our temporary worker program is 
innovative and essential to workers' rights. All Americans lose if it 
is eliminated from the bill.
  The reason temporary worker programs failed in the past, going back 
to the time of the Bracero Program, is because they did not protect 
workers' rights. For this new program to work without harming U.S. 
workers, H-2C workers must have the full set of rights. That is why our 
bill includes extensive labor protections for temporary workers.
  Effectively, then, at the time after the 4 years, the individual will 
be able to make the petition for the green card, and they will also 
have to have a certification by the Department of Labor that there is 
no American able and willing to perform that job. There will have to be 
that kind of a finding. The self-petition gives that worker some rights 
and respect as an employee instead of being subject to the dangers we 
have seen in the past of exploitation by an employer that knows that 
worker can never get a chance to have a petition and can never get on 
the path for a green card without the employer giving the thumbs-up 
signal.
  When that power relationship between the employer and the employee 
exists, we have seen exploitation in terms of wages, working 
conditions, and other unfortunate problems with regard to women.
  This seems to be a solid compromise. It takes the framework of the 
Cornyn amendment, but it will also ensure that these petitioners are 
going to have to demonstrate there is that gap in terms of the labor 
market that they are able to fill and that there is not someone out 
there in the American labor market prepared to take that job. It seems 
to me to be a very important principle, a very concrete proposal, one I 
hope we can have accepted this morning.
  I withhold the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, the amendment Senator Kennedy is proposing 
guts the worker protection amendment agreed to by the Senate yesterday. 
It would do so by allowing workers to self-petition for legal permanent 
residency if they produce some documents which might indicate they are 
currently employed, but they will be necessarily retrospective in 
nature. In other words, you do not have a document necessarily that 
shows you are employed today or will be employed tomorrow. You may have 
a pay stub from the last week or the last month. So there is no way to 
determine whether the individuals who are self-petitioning, under this 
proposal by the Senator from Massachusetts, are actually going to be 
working.
  No. 2, if they are working, there is no protection for American 
workers--first, that the Secretary of Labor certify that there were no 
sufficient U.S. workers willing, able, and qualified to perform those 
jobs.
  If the proponents of this bill are serious when they say that certain 
provisions are needed because immigrants will do work that Americans 
won't do, then they should support the amendment agreed to yesterday 
and vote against the amendment that has been proposed this morning.
  President Bush, again, has said the concept of a temporary worker 
program is to provide additional legal

[[Page 8557]]

workforce for jobs that there are not enough Americans to perform. Yet 
this proposed amendment simply sidesteps that requirement entirely.
  It further represents a shell game insofar as it would only require 
those workers in this country during an initial 4-year period to work 
about 6 days a year in order to obtain a green card.
  This is about truth in advertising. If, in fact, the bill is going to 
represent something even close to what we have been told the purpose of 
it is, as represented, we need to make sure the actual language of the 
bill conforms to that and not pull a fast one on the American people by 
taking away the very protection for American workers that the 
proponents of this bill have said are an important part of their 
legislation.
  I yield the floor and retain the remainder of my time.
  Mr. KENNEDY. How much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 8 minutes remaining.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I will take 3 minutes for the membership, if they have a 
chance to review the amendment.
  On page 1, second paragraph:

       The Secretary of Labor determines and certifies that there 
     are not sufficient United States workers who are able, 
     willing, qualified, and available to fill the position in 
     which the alien is, or will be employed. . . .

  So the Secretary of Labor has to make the certification that they 
will not be replacing an American worker.
  Then, how are they going to be able to give the assurance they have 
had the 4 years that are included in the first paragraph, that ``the 
alien has maintained such nonimmigrant status in the United States for 
a cumulative period of not less than 4 years of employment''?
  These are listed and include: records maintained by Social Security, 
records maintained by the employer, employment work verification, 
records maintained by the Internal Revenue Service, records maintained 
by other government agencies.
  What we are saying, in the four different categories, those 
categories are government-held records or the employer-held records, 
not the employee-held records.
  I don't know how it could be much clearer exactly what this amendment 
does. It is very clear. It is the certification that there is no 
American that is able, willing, and qualified. And to be able to prove 
it, there are government-held records or employer-held records, not the 
petitioner's records, not his stubs, but government-held records.
  We have tried to craft this in a way which is going to be fair. We 
are not interested in people trying to ``jimmy'' the system. We have 
had too much of that in the past.
  I get back to the final theme. This legislation tries to learn from 
past experience. In 1986, we had amnesty but there was supposed to be 
tough employer sanctions if they hired unemployed. We had vast 
industries that produced fake identification cards. The system never 
functioned. It never worked.
  What we have tried to do is avoid that. We have a tamper-proof card. 
We will have vigorous employment. But, also, to learn the lessons of 
the Bracero Program, we are not going to have the exploitation of these 
workers by their employers. That is what we do when we deny the 
opportunity of an employee ever to be able to make a petition. We say 
you have to be in there for 4 years, with solid record of employment, 
solid record of achievement, solid record of commitment to work. Then 
you can make your petition. You have to meet that requirement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 5 minutes remaining.
  Mr. KENNEDY. What time is left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The opposition has 13 minutes remaining, and 
the Senator from Massachusetts has 4 minutes 45 seconds.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield that time to the Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. I rise in support of this amendment. It is an important 
amendment.
  I point out that I appreciate very much the efforts of Senator Cornyn 
and Senator Kyl to have a respectful debate on this issue. We have 
honestly held views, and I am very appreciative of the level of this 
debate and our discussion not only in the Senate but in the cloakroom 
as we have worked out a number of differences we have had in a mutual 
effort to come up with legislation which is appropriate to the future 
of America.
  The language in the amendment is identical to what we passed last 
night, only this amendment adds an additional paragraph giving the 
alien more of an opportunity to prove their current work status. If we 
allow people to gain permanent residency, we want them to be hard-
working, upstanding individuals. The amendment allows illegal 
immigrants to prove, through the use of valid government documents--we 
would be more than happy to define ``valid government documents'' more 
carefully in report language or in additional amendments--they should 
have, we believe, an opportunity with secure, government-issued 
documents that they can prove they are eligible.
  This is an important right they should be given. It releases them 
from the possibility of the bondage of an employer who would like to 
keep them in the status of which they are. That would only apply to a 
few, but this is a necessary addition.
  The original Cornyn-Kyl amendment does not mandate that the employer 
attest they will employ this individual in the future, only that they 
employ them currently. This is an important amendment. I urge my 
colleagues to support this amendment.
  I reserve the remainder of my time for the Senator from 
Massachusetts.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, may I inquire how much time I have 
remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 13 minutes remaining.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I appreciate the clarification that the 
Senator from Massachusetts and the Senator from Arizona have made. This 
language has been somewhat fluid, and now I have it in front of me. I 
think I understand it, and I think I understand what the differences 
are between our two arguments.
  Basically, it does retain a certification requirement by the 
Department of Labor. But the one who decides what the job requirements 
are and whether the foreign worker actually meets those job 
requirements is the worker him or herself and not an employer. This is, 
I believe, insufficient to protect American workers because, 
essentially, the foreign worker is the judge of his own abilities and 
also the judge of the job requirement for which the Department of Labor 
is supposed to certify there are not sufficient Americans available to 
perform. I think it bears, if not the same, I would say similar defects 
to the original underlying bill that was amended yesterday to reinsert 
American worker protections.
  Let me speak a minute or two about the nature of what this position 
is. We are now talking, as Senator Dorgan said, about the so-called 
future flow, people who are not here yet. This has been described as a 
guest worker program. Senator Kyl and I will be offering an alternative 
to this so-called guest worker program which we describe as a temporary 
worker program because I believe this guest worker program is misnamed, 
mischaracterized, and is in no sense a guest worker program. That is 
because when you invite guests into your home, you expect at some point 
they might actually leave.
  Under this guest worker program, as designed, that never happens. It 
invites as many as 200,000 individuals a year, under the Bingaman 
amendment, who can then come into the United States and work for a 
period of 4 years, and then, under the approach by the Senator from 
Massachusetts, self-petition for legal permanent residency and then get 
in line for American citizenship without regard to whether the American 
economy is in a boom or a bust. In times when the economy is very flat 
or when we are in recession, it is much more likely that American 
workers are going to be competing with foreign workers admitted under 
this so-called guest worker program.

[[Page 8558]]

  I do believe calling this a guest worker program, when in fact it is 
a path to a legal permanent residency and citizenship, is a misnomer. 
In addition to damaging the prospects of American workers during times 
when our economy is not doing well and when there are not a lot of jobs 
available, it also hurts countries such as Mexico and Central American 
countries that have seen a massive exodus of their hard-working 
citizens to the United States, never to return.
  What we need to do, for the benefit of America as well as the benefit 
of countries such as Mexico and those in Central America, is to 
reinstate this historical notion of circular migration; in other words, 
create a framework where people can come to the United States, qualify 
to work for a period of time, and then return home with the savings and 
skills they have acquired working in the United States.
  A person who works at even modest pay in the United States under a 
temporary worker program can, in many instances, go back home and live 
like a king in some of these countries, where their money goes a lot 
further and where their investment in a home or a small business will 
thereby create opportunity not just for them but also other citizens in 
those other countries.
  I believe if we are ever going to narrow the gap between 
opportunities available in countries such as Mexico and those in 
Central America and South America and other countries--which is the 
basic reason why people leave to come to the United States, to find 
jobs and work, and we all understand why--we need to find some way of 
reinstating this pattern of circular migration so people do maintain 
their contacts and ties with their country and their culture and their 
family because otherwise we will never be able to satisfactorily 
address this phenomenon of illegal immigration, no matter what kind of 
caps we put on it, no matter how many folks we put on the border, no 
matter whether we build an actual wall or a virtual wall.
  Unless we find some way of reducing the development gap between 
countries that are the net exporters of human labor and a country such 
as America, which is the importer of human labor from all over the 
world, we are never going to get to the bottom of this problem.
  So that is another reason why I believe this amendment should be 
defeated. We will have further discussion later on transforming, I 
hope, the so-called guest worker program to a true temporary worker 
program and reinstating circular migration in a way that both benefits 
America and benefits those countries from which those workers come.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of our time and yield the 
floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I have tried to point out this will be a 
judgment decision that will be made by the Secretary of Labor as to 
whether there is an American fit, willing, and able. And if there is, 
they cannot petition.
  Now, the Senator says: Well, it is all then up to the employee. But 
the idea of the whole guest worker is the employer. Why is it good for 
the employer, who is going to go out and petition and say: Look, I need 
someone to come work for me. They advertise for 45 days. Then they find 
out they have someone from overseas who will do that. So the employer 
is the one who is petitioning there. Didn't have any problem with that.
  Now, when we get into the situation after 4 years, they can make the 
petition on this, if there is a vacancy, according to this proposal, 
but if there is not a green card available, they do not get it. They 
might have to wait a year. They might have to indicate 2 years. This is 
not automatic. There are only a certain number of green cards that are 
available under this category. They may wait 1 year. They may have to 
wait 2 years. So it is much more difficult. This is still weighted far 
against the worker than the employer.
  What we were always trying to do in the development of the 
legislation is to have balance and fairness in terms of the authority 
and responsibility and the legality on this. I think what we have 
offered addresses what I understood to be the Senator's concern; that 
is, that there are going to be American workers out there when this 
person is getting a green card. Therefore, it is going to be adverse to 
the American workers. We say, if there is one, they don't get it. That 
is decided by the Secretary of Labor. And they have to be able to prove 
their work history through documents and records that are either held 
by the Government or by the employer. It seems to me that is about as 
lock safe and secure as you can have in this business. I would hope we 
would accept this amendment.
  Mr. President, I think my time has expired.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator from Massachusetts has 
expired.
  There is 7 minutes remaining in opposition to the amendment.
  Who yields time?
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Arizona 5 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, the amendment that was adopted yesterday is a 
good amendment. I would hate to see us undo what we did yesterday with 
the Kennedy amendment. Therefore, I rise in opposition to it.
  What we are talking about is self-petitioning by an illegal immigrant 
for permanent legal status in the United States--a green card--to be 
here for the rest of their life. The circumstances in the past for that 
had always been that either a family member petitioned you in under the 
law or an employer petitioned you in because he had a job for you.
  The concept of self-petitioning is a new one in the law in this 
context. One of the reasons why that is critical is we are trying to 
assure that while a job may have existed for somebody in the past or 
even exists today, that job may not be available forever. The concept 
of temporary workers is just that, that when there is a job available 
for that worker, then the worker has a temporary visa to fulfill that 
job. When that jobs goes away, and there is no longer work in that 
particular area, then the individual's visa would expire, and it would 
not be reissued until, once again, the work is available. That is the 
whole concept of ``temporary.''
  That concept is eliminated or destroyed with a part of the Kennedy 
amendment. The first part of the Kennedy amendment does provide for the 
Department of Labor to make a determination about employment conditions 
and whether jobs are available in a particular area. But then there is 
the word ``or'' written in at the end of section III(i). The second way 
the alien can petition is by simply submitting documents for current 
employment; in other words, the alien shows that he currently has a 
job. That is fine for a temporary permit. It is not fine for permanent 
legal status.
  What you are allowing the individual to do is to say: I have a job 
today temporarily, and with that I am going to petition for the right--
and the law would then allow the individual to acquire permanent status 
in the United States, which then can lead to citizenship. The whole 
point of temporary permits, as I said, is they reflect the economic 
conditions for the length of the permit or the visa.
  Under the bill Senator Cornyn and I have, we have 2-year visas. What 
the President has proposed is a 3-year visa. The bottom line is, it 
should be no longer than necessary to ensure that if economic 
conditions change and the jobs are no longer available, that the visa 
would expire, the individual would return home and would not get 
another visa to come here for temporary work until the job has opened 
up again.
  So the fact that an individual can prove he has a job today or that 
he had a job yesterday has nothing whatsoever to do with the 
availability of employment in the future. That is the fatal flaw of 
this amendment.
  There needs to be an assurance that when we are talking about 
permanent legal residence, there will be a job available for that 
person in the future, not just that the individual has a job today. So 
that is a fatal flaw in the Kennedy amendment. I do not know

[[Page 8559]]

whether it is deliberately intended. I suspect the point is to undercut 
the effect of the amendment we adopted yesterday, which is a worker 
protection amendment.
  The bottom line that Senator Cornyn is trying to assure is that if an 
American has a job, that job is not undercut by somebody coming here 
today who would be able to stay here forever and, therefore, compete 
with the American for the job.
  So I think we should stick with the worker protection amendment we 
adopted yesterday and not agree to the Kennedy amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, is it correct we have 3 minutes remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, where we have come from since yesterday 
afternoon is, we had a basic bill that provided no protection for 
American workers because it allowed foreign workers to self-petition 
without a job, without any type of certification there were no 
Americans available to fill the job, and we then adopted an amendment 
that would install some worker protections by requiring both of those 
things: that, No. 1, there is a job available; and, No. 2, there are 
not sufficient Americans to fill that type of job.
  Now, under the amendment of the Senator from Massachusetts, we have 
gone from no worker protection to what I would call illusory worker 
protection--illusory worker protection--because this puts the decision 
to define the job requirements in the hands of the foreign worker. It 
also puts in the hands of the foreign worker--the self-interested 
individual, by the way, who is going to be staying or leaving depending 
on whether they meet these requirements--it puts in that foreign 
worker's hands the total and unilateral determination of what the job 
requirements are and, No. 2, whether that same foreign worker meets 
those job requirements; whereas, for everyone else in America, it is 
the employer who determines whether the prospective employee meets the 
job requirements.
  The last thing I would say is, for every other category of visa, 
worker visa in America, under our naturalization and immigration 
system, there has to be some form of employer sponsorship. And this 
deviates from that pattern which I believe is important, and this 
represents an unprecedented break with that in a way that I think 
damages the prospects of American workers.
  So I urge my colleagues to vote against the amendment.
  I yield the floor and yield the remainder of our time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired on the amendment.
  The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, following this vote, the next scheduled 
amendment is by the Senator from Oklahoma, Mr. Inhofe. There are 
negotiations in trying to work it out. They are supposedly very close. 
So we are not sure whether we will have Senator Inhofe's amendment and 
a side-by-side laid down. We will try to determine that while the vote 
is on.
  If they are table to work it out--or immediately following that, we 
will go to the amendment by Senator Akaka. We are going to try to work 
out time agreements so we can move the bill along on all of them.
  Let me remind my colleagues, we are going to enforce the rules 
strictly to 15 minutes and 5 so we can move the bill along.
  Let me also remind my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee that we 
are going to have our executive meeting in the President's Room. We had 
planned to have an executive meeting at 9 o'clock this morning, but 
then when the hearing on General Hayden was moved by the Intelligence 
Committee from 10 to 9:30, we could not have that meeting, so we are 
going to have it in the President's Room immediately following this 
vote.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The yeas and nays are requested.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  All time having expired on debate, the question is on agreeing to the 
amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Murkowski). Are there any other Senators 
in the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 56, nays 43, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 129 Leg.]

                                YEAS--56

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brownback
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Conrad
     Craig
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McCain
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Obama
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--43

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Bunning
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dole
     Domenici
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Kyl
     Lott
     McConnell
     Nelson (NE)
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rockefeller
       
  The amendment (No. 4066) was agreed to.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote, and I 
move to lay that motion on the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia is to be 
recognized.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Madam President, we are trying to move along. I see my 
colleague and friend behind me, the Senator from West Virginia, Mr. 
Byrd, who has been here patiently waiting to address the Senate on this 
issue generally. That might work, as we are just trying to reaffirm the 
language on this Inhofe amendment.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, may I ask the Senator from West 
Virginia how long he would like?
  Mr. BYRD. Probably 20 minutes.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, that is entirely acceptable. I announce 
that following Senator Byrd we will be going to the Inhofe amendment. I 
understand they are very close on an agreement. If that agreement is 
reached, then I would like to move--although I am not asking consent 
for that now--to a 20-minute time agreement, if an agreement is 
reached, equally divided. If it is not reached, we will have side-by-
side amendments. I alert Members as to what the schedule will be.
  Following that, Senator Akaka is next in line, and we are considering 
a time agreement there, also.
  I have been asked when the next vote will occur. I think we can move 
the bill most expeditiously if we continue to take up the amendments 
one at a time, but after the first votes bring all the Senators in to 
stack the votes. We will have a better idea as to when we will stack 
the votes when we have a better idea as to how many votes we will have.
  Meanwhile, the Judiciary Committee is meeting in executive session in 
the President's Room, so I ask Judiciary Committee members to go to 
that meeting.
  I thank the Chair and yield the floor to Senator Byrd.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Madam President, the Inhofe amendment is enormously 
important. It is complicated. Members on both sides, including the 
author of the amendment, are working in good faith to try to work this 
out. To my knowledge, it has not been worked out.

[[Page 8560]]

Hopefully, after 25 minutes we will be able to tell the Senate whether 
it is worked out, whether we will have to have side-by-side amendments. 
But at this time, we will not enter into a short time agreement.
  Hopefully, as we have been making progress in other areas, we will 
have a chance to do that in this area as well.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia has the floor.
  Mr. BYRD. Madam President, today the Senate finds itself considering 
yet another amnesty for illegal aliens. After the defeat of a similar 
amnesty proposal last month, I had hoped that the Senate had seen the 
last of these efforts. I had hoped that the Senate, when given the time 
to consider the overwhelming opposition of the American people to 
amnesty, would pass a clean border security bill like the House did 
without amnesty, without a guest worker program, and without an 
increase in the annual allotment of permanent immigrant visas.
  Sadly, the Senate is embarking on a path that contradicts everything 
we know--everything we know--about the position of the American people 
on this issue. It is an unpopular approach. It is the wrong approach.
  The other night in his address to the Nation, the President endorsed 
the Senate amnesty plan to award U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens, 
and he announced the deployment of up to 6,000 guardsmen to the U.S. 
border with Mexico. The deployment of U.S. troops is intended to 
suggest an urgency about gaining control of the border that has been 
missing for many years, even since the September 11 attacks. 
Nevertheless, I have my doubts and concerns.
  Guardsmen have been sent overseas two times, even three times--no, 
even four times--and have come home fatigued and stressed out. They 
have been forced to sell businesses and to endure financial hardships 
because of their long absences.
  Just a few months ago, the White House proposed to cut the National 
Guard by nearly 18,000 soldiers. The adjutants general of many States 
are reporting that they were not involved in discussions about the 
deployment of the Guard to our borders. So what assurances are there 
that sending troops to the border won't hamper our ability to respond 
to the floods in New England, another Hurricane Katrina, or another 
natural disaster?
  The National Guard might be able to lend support to our border 
security, but that role must not be at the expense of the thousands of 
communities around the country that also depend on our Guard should 
disasters strike those towns or counties.
  Press reports indicate that the Guard men and women will not be 
empowered to arrest aliens who attempt to cross our borders. I cannot 
help but wonder if this move to detail guardsmen to our borders is a 
political stunt to look tough at the expense of the brave citizen-
soldiers who serve in the Guard.
  The President would not have to call out the National Guard to secure 
the borders if he had supported even some--even some--of the nine--
nine, nine--separate amendments that I have offered since September 11 
to hire and train more Border Patrol agents. If these amendments had 
been adopted--I say, if they had been adopted--the law enforcement 
agents would be in place right now helping to secure the borders.
  Instead, the administration has consistently opposed these efforts as 
unnecessary and extraneous spending, saying that those funds would 
expand the size of Government. When I included $400 million in the 
fiscal year 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for border security, 
the President refused to spend it saying:

       I made my opposition clear . . . We'll spend none of it.

  That is what he said. That is what the President said. He said:

       I made my opposition clear . . . We'll spend none of it.

  As recently as last September, on a party-line vote, the majority 
defeated an Obey-Byrd-Sabo motion in conference on the fiscal year 2006 
Homeland Security appropriations bill to add $100 million for border 
security. The administration opposed--yes, you heard me correctly--the 
administration opposed the Byrd-Craig amendment to the fiscal year 2005 
supplemental appropriations bill to add $389 million for, what? For 
border security--border security. Fortunately, the amendment was 
approved and subsequently, despite administration opposition, the 
conferees approved $274 million. And as a result, there are now 500 
more Border Patrol agents, 218 more immigration agents and 
investigators, and 1,950 more detention beds in place helping to secure 
our borders.
  I will support any realistic effort to secure our borders, but I have 
to question the sincerity behind sham attempts that accomplish a token 
presence which only impose further hardship on our National Guard and 
may put communities at risk from natural disasters.
  The sense of urgency that comes with deploying the National Guard is 
belied by the administration's consistent opposition to providing the 
necessary resources that our border security agencies need to do their 
job. Last month, I joined Senator Gregg in offering an amendment to the 
supplemental appropriations bill for Iraq to provide $1.9 billion for 
the Border Patrol to hire the agents and secure the equipment that they 
need to better secure the border. The President has threatened to veto 
the supplemental bill. It is difficult to believe that the President 
would oppose funding our border agencies sufficiently to do the job 
they were created to do, but that is the situation.
  Immigration enforcement in our country remains a decidedly half-
hearted effort. The administration claims to strengthen border security 
in one area, and then completely undermines it in another with amnesty 
proposals. That dangerous inconsistency is at the root of my opposition 
to the misguided amnesty proposal before the Senate.
  I oppose this amnesty bill. I oppose it absolutely. I oppose it 
unequivocally. I oppose this effort to waive the rules for lawbreakers 
and to legalize the unlawful actions of undocumented workers and the 
businesses that illegally employ them.
  Amnesties are the dark underbelly of our immigration process. They 
tarnish the magnanimous promise enshrined on the base of the Statue of 
Liberty. Amnesties undermine that great egalitarian and American 
principle that the law should apply equally and should apply fairly to 
everyone. Amnesties perniciously decree that the law shall apply to 
some but not to all.
  This bill would create a separate set of immigration laws for those 
who choose not to follow the regular process that everybody else had to 
go through. It is a slap in the face to every immigrant who had to wait 
abroad to come to American shores, and to every immigrant who had to 
struggle and work to become a U.S. citizen.
  It is a false promise to the many tens of millions of immigrants who 
would be authorized to settle in the United States under this bill with 
the infrastructure of our Nation--our schools, our health care system, 
our transportation and energy networks--increasingly unable to absorb 
this untenable surge in the population. Many employers are more than 
willing to take advantage of the cheap labor that this bill would 
provide, but the responsibility would fall on the Nation as a whole to 
make the public investments necessary to ensure that these workers do 
not fall into a state of poverty once they have arrived. We have our 
own problems to address without having to assume this additional burden 
to help American businesses find cheaper labor.
  Amnesties beget more illegal immigration--hurtful, destructive 
illegal immigration. They encourage other undocumented aliens to 
circumvent our immigration process in the hope that they, too, can 
achieve temporary worker status. Amnesties sanction the exploitation of 
illegal foreign labor by U.S. businesses and encourage other businesses 
to hire cheap and illegal labor in order to compete.
  President Reagan signed his amnesty proposal into law in 1986. At the 
time, I supported amnesty based on the same

[[Page 8561]]

promises that we hear today; namely, that legalizing undocumented 
workers and increasing enforcement would stem the flow of illegal 
immigration. It didn't work then; it won't work today. The 1986 amnesty 
failed miserably. After 1986, the illegal immigrant population more 
than quadrupled from 2.7 million aliens to 4 million aliens in 1996, to 
8 million aliens in 2000, to an estimated 12 million illegal aliens 
today.
  In that time, the Congress continued to enact amnesty after amnesty, 
waiving the Immigration Act for lawbreakers. The result is always the 
same: For every group of illegal aliens granted amnesty, a bigger group 
enters the country hoping to be similarly rewarded. This bill 
encourages individuals on both sides of the border to flout the law. It 
is a congressional pardon for lawbreakers--both for illegal aliens and 
the unscrupulous employers who hire them.
  What is backward about the pending bill is that it would actually 
expand benefits to illegal aliens rather than curtail them. It 
authorizes illegal aliens to work in the country. It grants illegal 
aliens a path to citizenship. It pardons employers who illegally employ 
unauthorized workers. It even repeals provisions in current law 
designed to deny cheaper, in-State tuition rates to illegal aliens.
  The pending bill is an invitation to immigrants and employers alike 
to violate our immigration laws and to get away with it. Amnesties are 
dangerous proposals. Amnesties open routes to legal status for aliens 
hoping to circumvent the regular security checks. By allowing illegal 
aliens to adjust their status in the country, we allow them to bypass 
State Department checks normally done overseas through the visa and 
consular process. One need only look to the 1993 World Trade Center 
bombing, where one of the terrorist leaders had legalized his status 
through an amnesty, to know the dangers of these kinds of proposals.
  Our immigration system is already plagued with funding and staffing 
problems. It is overwhelmed on the borders, in the interior, and in its 
processing of immigration applications. It only took 19 temporary visa 
holders to slip through the system to unleash the horror of the 
September 11 attacks, and the pending proposal would shove many tens of 
millions of legal and illegal aliens--many of whom have never gone 
through a background check--through our border security system over the 
next decade, in effect, flooding a bureaucracy that is already 
drowning.
  It is a recipe for disaster, and 6,000 National Guardsmen without the 
power to enforce our immigration laws and arrest illegal aliens are not 
going to make the difference between success and failure. Our Nation's 
experience shows that amnesties do not--do not--work. They encourage 
illegal immigration. They open our borders to terrorists. Our 
experience shows that we cannot play games with our border security or 
American lives could be lost.
  I will oppose this amnesty bill, and I urge my colleagues to do 
likewise.
  Madam President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a 
quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. I ask for the regular order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's amendment is pending.


                    Amendment No. 4064, as Modified

  Mr. INHOFE. I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be modified 
with the changes that are at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment (No. 4064), as modified, is as follows:

       On page 295, line 22, strike ``the alien--'' and all that 
     follows through page 296, line 5, and insert ``the alien 
     meets the requirements of section 312.''.
       On page 352, line 3, strike ``either--'' and all that 
     follows through line 15, and insert ``meets the requirements 
     of section 312(a) (relating to English proficiency and 
     understanding of United States history and Government).''.
       On page 614, after line 5, insert the following:

     SEC. 766. ENGLISH AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE

       (a) In General.--Title 4, United States Code, is amended by 
     adding at the end the following:

                ``CHAPTER 6--LANGUAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT

``Sec.
``161. Declaration of national language
``162. Preserving and enhancing the role of the national language

     ``Sec. 161. Declaration of official language

       ``English is the national language of the United States.

     ``Sec. 162. PRESERVING AND ENHANCING THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL 
                   LANGUAGE

       ``The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the national language of the 
     United States of America. Unless otherwise authorized or 
     provided by law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim 
     to have the Government of the United States or any of its 
     officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or 
     provide services, or provide materials in any language other 
     than English. If exceptions are made, that does not create a 
     legal entitlement to additional services in that language or 
     any language other than English. If any forms are issued by 
     the Federal Government in a language other than English (or 
     such forms are completed in a language other than English), 
     the English language version of the form is the sole 
     authority for all legal purposes.''.
       ``(b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for 
     title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end 
     the following:
``6. Language of the Government..................................161''.

     SEC. 767. REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION.

       (a) Findings.--The Senate makes the following findings:
       a. Under United States law (8 U.S.C. 1423(a)), lawful 
     permanent residents of the United States who have immigrated 
     from foreign countries must, among other requirements, 
     demonstrate an understanding of the English language, United 
     States history and Government, to become citizens of the 
     United States.
       b. The Department of Homeland Security is currently 
     conducting a review of the testing process used to ensure 
     prospective United States citizens demonstrate said knowledge 
     of the English language and United States history and 
     government for the purpose of redesigning said test.
       (b) Definitions.--For purposes of this section only, the 
     following words are defined:
       (1) Key documents.--The term ``key documents'' means the 
     documents that established or explained the foundational 
     principles of democracy in the United States, including the 
     United States Constitution and the amendments to the 
     Constitution (particularly the Bill of Rights), the 
     Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the 
     Emancipation Proclamation.
       (2) Key events.--The term ``key events'' means the critical 
     turning points in the history of the United States (including 
     the American Revolution, the Civil War, the world wars of the 
     twentieth century, the civil rights movement, and the major 
     court decisions and legislation) that contributed to 
     extending the promise of democracy in American life.
       (3) Key ideas.--The term ``key ideas'' means the ideas that 
     shaped the democratic institutions and heritage of the United 
     States, including the notion of equal justice under the law, 
     freedom, individualism, human rights, and a belief in 
     progress.
       (4) Key persons.--The term ``key persons'' means the men 
     and women who led the United States as founding fathers, 
     elected officials, scientists, inventors, pioneers, advocates 
     of equal rights, entrepreneurs, and artists.
       (c) Goals for Citizenship Test Redesign.--The Department of 
     Homeland Security shall establish as goals of the testing 
     process designed to comply with provisions of [8 U.S.C. 
     1423(a)] that prospective citizens:
       a. demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the English 
     language for usage in everyday life;
       b. demonstrate an understanding of American common values 
     and traditions, including the principles of the Constitution 
     of the United States, the Pledge of Allegiance, respect for 
     the flag of the United States, the National Anthem, and 
     voting in public elections;
       c. demonstrate an understanding of the history of the 
     United States, including the key events, key persons, key 
     ideas, and key documents that shaped the institutions and 
     democratic heritage of the United States;
       d. demonstrate an attachment to the principles of the 
     Constitution of the United States and the well being and 
     happiness of the people of the United States; and
       e. demonstrate an understanding of the rights and 
     responsibilities of citizenship in the United States.
       (d) Implementation.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
     shall implement changes to the testing process designed to 
     ensure compliance with [8 U.S.C. 1423(a)] not later than 
     January 1, 2008.

  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to add as 
cosponsors several Senators, including the

[[Page 8562]]

distinguished senior Senator from West Virginia, Senator Byrd, and 
Senators Alexander and Kyl.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, this is, I believe, a very significant 
amendment. We have had an opportunity to talk to people who had 
problems. In addition to making English the national language, we also 
unify some of the applications in terms of legalized immigrants.
  I have had the honor of speaking at naturalization ceremonies. It is 
a very warm thing to know that these people come in and do it the legal 
way, the right way; wherein they have to, and they do, learn the 
language. We have some language in here that Senator Alexander had 
suggested that I think makes this a better bill, and I think Senator 
Kyl and Senator Sessions also have this language. So it goes beyond 
that.
  Basically, what it does is it recognizes the practical reality of the 
role of English as our national language. It states explicitly that 
English is our national language, providing English a status in law 
that it has not had before. It clarifies that there is no entitlement 
to receive Federal documents and services in languages other than 
English. It declares that any rights of a person and services or 
materials in languages other than English must be authorized or 
provided by law. It recognizes the decades of unbroken court opinions 
that civil rights laws protecting against national origin and 
discrimination do not create rights to Government services and 
materials in languages other than English, and establishes enhanced 
goals of the DHS as redesigned. This is what I talked about in trying 
to make those more uniform.
  I think Senator Alexander wants to make a few comments. I would only 
say that this is something that is more significant probably to the 
American people than it is inside this Chamber. I know there is 
opposition to this. There are some people who don't believe that 
English should be our national language. If you look at some of the 
recent polling data, such as the Zogby poll in 2006, it found 84 
percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Hispanics, believed that 
English should be the national language of Government operations. A 
poll of 91 percent of foreign-born Latino immigrants agreed that 
learning English is essential to succeeding in accordance with the 
United States, according to the 2002 Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
  Also, we heard the other day, when President Bush made his very 
eloquent statement, he said:

       An ability to speak and write the English language, English 
     allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening grocery 
     stores, from cleaning offices to running offices, from a life 
     of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of 
     their own.

  So I believe this is something very significant that we are doing 
today that people have talked about now for four decades that I know 
of, and I believe it should be popular.
  I yield to the Senator from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. KYL. Madam President, I wish to compliment the Senator from 
Oklahoma for his work, for bringing it to the Senate floor, and for 
doing something I think is very important and that I think unifies us.
  What are some of the things that do unify us? Well, our language 
unifies us. Senator Alexander, who will speak in a moment, was 
responsible also for working with Senator Inhofe to include provisions 
in this amendment that help us to recognize the importance of English 
in our country and the importance--not just for our new immigrants but 
for all Americans--of speaking this language that is our national 
language. So an amendment that recognizes that it is our national 
language is very positive for both immigrants and nonimmigrants alike.
  I would also like to make a point about what this amendment is not. 
This is not an English-only amendment. That is an important point. We 
do speak a lot of different languages in this country, but English is 
our national language, and I think we can all agree on those great 
principles.
  So this expression by the Senate is an important one, and I 
compliment all of those who helped to work on it, and for bringing it 
to the Senate floor I thank Senator Inhofe.
  Mr. INHOFE. I appreciate the comments of the Senator from Arizona, 
who was very instrumental in coming up with some good language that 
made this a better piece of legislation.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator Frist be added 
as a cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his good work 
because we are now a Nation of people of different faiths, different 
skill sets, different backgrounds, different colors of skin, and 
different nationalities. Where we once were apart, now we have become 
Americans. The thing that makes this country effective is being able to 
communicate with one another in a common language. I think that is an 
ideal of America that is important. I think any Nation, historically, 
that has divisions based on language, begins to have a lot of 
complications and problems. So I am pleased that Senator Alexander and 
Senator Inhofe have worked hard on this, that they have come up with 
language that also includes more extensive training and learning on 
behalf of new citizens about what it means to be an American. No one 
has been more articulate over the years on this than Senator Alexander.
  I offered an amendment on it and worked with Senator Inhofe and 
Senator Alexander and others, and we have reached a common accord with 
an amendment I think everyone can support that will help unify us as a 
Nation and make sure we are one people, all Americans, adhering to the 
highest ideals of this great country.
  Senator Inhofe, thank you for your work and, Senator Alexander, I 
appreciate your leadership also.
  Mr. INHOFE. I thank Senator Sessions for the contributions he has 
made. You and Senator Alexander have both made contributions, and I 
think it would be appropriate for me to yield some time to Senator 
Alexander because he can articulate some of the other areas that we are 
addressing here, other than English as the national language.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I see the manager of the bill. I 
wonder if it would be appropriate for me to go ahead for about 10 
minutes on the Inhofe amendment.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, the distinguished Senator from 
Tennessee has been a leader in this field going back to his days as the 
Secretary of Education and Governor. Ten minutes would be fine. I think 
that is acceptable to Senator Alexander.
  I would like to remind Senators we are trying to move the bill along. 
The next Senator in line is Senator Akaka, and I think we are likely to 
be ready for Senator Akaka very briefly. If he could come to the floor, 
we could move ahead with his amendment. I thank the Chair, and I yield 
to Senator Alexander.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, could I be notified when I have 60 
seconds left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will be notified.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I think Senator Inhofe, the Senator from Oklahoma, has 
been looking at the original motto of the United States which is above 
the Presiding Officer's chair: e pluribus unum, ``one out of many,'' in 
our antecedent language of Latin because he has done a very good job, I 
think, of helping to say what the body as a whole would like to say, 
and I hope this is something all Senators can agree on.
  Here is what the Inhofe amendment, of which I am proud to be a 
cosponsor, does. No. 1, it states the obvious: that English is the 
national language of the United States. But in so stating, it does not 
prevent those who are today receiving Government services in other 
languages from continuing to do so. We can have those discussions at 
another time.
  The second thing it does is it adopts an idea that has been suggested 
by

[[Page 8563]]

Senator Grassley, the Senator from Iowa, on another occasion during the 
debate on this bill; that for those immigrants who are currently in the 
country illegally but who may be able to adjust to a legal status under 
the way this bill is finally written, it establishes a clear English 
language requirement for them to become lawful permanent residents.
  The third thing it does is it establishes clear goals for the tests 
that immigrants take to become new American citizens, so that they know 
English, our common language, and so that they know American history. 
That test is currently being redesigned by the Department of Homeland 
Security. In doing so, this part of the Inhofe amendment picks up 
language that had been offered before by Senator Reid and by me, and by 
Senator Kennedy and Senator Dodd, as we worked to create summer 
academies for outstanding students and teachers of American history.
  It should surprise no one that the Senate would pass a resolution 
stating that our national language is English. I can remember being at 
an education meeting in Rochester in the late 1990s, when someone 
asked: What is the rationale for common schools? And Albert Shanker, 
the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the 
public schools, the common schools of America were created to help 
largely immigrant children learn reading and writing and English and 
mathematics with the hope they would go home and teach their parents.
  So for a long time, we have tried to help new citizens learn our 
common language so we can speak to one another, and that has been 
English. Since 1906, our naturalization laws have required new citizens 
to know English and be able to pass tests in English.
  The Senate, at the beginning of the immigration debate, put a value 
on the English language by approving an amendment that said that the 
federal government would offer $500 grants paid for out of visa fees by 
those who are legally here, who are seeking to become prospective 
citizens. In other words, we want to help people learn English.
  That same amendment said that if you become fluent in English, we 
will cut a year off the time you have to wait to become a lawful, new 
citizen from 5 years to 4 years.
  I remember when I was Education Secretary for this country 15 years 
ago, when I went to the southwest United States and someone told me: 
Well, you will probably find a lot of people who object to learning 
English. But I found just the reverse. I found a lot of men and women 
in the Southwest United States who were upset with me because they 
didn't have enough help to learn English. They wanted to learn the 
national language, the common language of the United States.
  The Inhofe amendment is in that spirit. I have always believed that 
the luckiest children in our country are those who speak more than one 
language, whether it is Spanish or Chinese--which, after Spanish, is 
the next most widely spoken language in our country--but that one of 
those languages must be English, and children should learn it as 
quickly as is practical.
  The second part of the Inhofe amendment should not surprise anyone 
because it incorporates language Senator Sessions had offered to try to 
make certain that the U.S. history test that new immigrants take if 
they wish to become citizens is a good test and includes the key 
documents and key events and key ideas of our founding documents. As I 
mentioned, that has broad support on both sides of the aisle here, with 
the Democratic leader, as well as the Republican leader, Senator 
Sessions, Senator Kyl, and others, having been involved in that.
  Finally, it should be no surprise that the Senate, in the middle of a 
debate on a very important subject, finds talking about our common 
language, our national language, English, an important matter, and 
talking about U.S. history an important matter. In many ways, there is 
nothing more important to discuss if we are talking about immigration 
because the greatest accomplishment of our country is not our 
diversity, even though that is a magnificent part of our country. It is 
that we have taken all that diversity and molded it into one nation on 
something other than race and ancestry.
  We have this enormous advantage in the world today, an advantage 
France and Germany don't have. People have a hard time thinking of how 
to become German, how to become French, how to become Italian, how to 
become Chinese, how to become Japanese. But if you come to this country 
and you want to become a citizen, you must become an American and you 
must learn our common language. That is a part of it, and it has been 
for 200 years.
  The greatest, most practical limit on the number of new immigrants 
who can come to our country is our ability to assimilate them into our 
culture to help them become Americans.
  The Inhofe amendment is a very carefully constructed amendment to try 
to make sure that we are heard properly in this country. We value every 
language. We value every ancestry. We value every background that is 
here. It is what makes our country so special. I, for one, hope our 
children grow up speaking more than one language. But we need to be 
able to speak with one another, and we need to understand those 
principles which we debate here in the Senate. Just look at this debate 
on immigration. We are debating four great principles with which we all 
agree, but we apply them in different ways. They are the rule of law; 
they are laissez faire, about our free market system; they are equal 
opportunity, giving everybody a fair chance at the starting line; and e 
pluribus unum, the idea that we are one nation from many.
  This amendment is as important as any amendment which is being 
offered because it helps take our magnificent diversity and make it 
something even more magnificent. It recognizes that only a few things 
unite us: our principles, found in our founding documents, and our 
common language. We are proud of where we have come from, where our 
ancestors have come from, but to make this land of immigrants truly one 
country, we must have and honor our national language, our common 
language, and that language is English.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Martinez). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. First of all, I do appreciate as always the very eloquent 
Senator from Tennessee giving the historic perspective. I think it is 
important to understand that virtually every President throughout the 
history of America has made statements to that effect. Teddy Roosevelt 
said in a speech:

       We must also learn one language and that language is 
     English.

  President Clinton said in his speech in 1999, in talking about 
immigrants:

       New immigrants have a responsibility to enter the 
     mainstream of American life. That means learning English and 
     learning about our democratic system of government.

  We heard just the other day in a speech given by our President that 
it is necessary in order to unify us and to leave all the obstacles 
that are out there.
  I thank not just the obvious ones who have been speaking already, but 
Senator McCain and Senator Graham have been a very important part in 
making changes, along with Senator Alexander and the occupant of the 
chair, the junior Senator from Florida.
  At this time, I would like to hear from Senator Graham. I yield to 
him whatever time he desires.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, just to put this debate in perspective for 
myself and myself alone, I wish I could speak an additional language. 
It would make me a better person. I think I would enjoy that 
experience. I know enough German just to be dangerous. I lived 4\1/2\ 
years in Germany, and I picked up a little of the language, but I was 
always somewhat embarrassed that all my German friends probably spoke 
better English than I, and several other languages. It would be great 
for our country if our young people could learn additional languages 
because we live in a global economy and a global world, and it would 
make America a better place.

[[Page 8564]]

  However, what makes America a special place and what is the key to 
success in America, from an economic and social perspective, is to 
master or be competent in the English language. While I personally 
would like to be able to speak another language--I think it would make 
me a better person, it would change my life for the better--when it 
comes to our Nation, it is important that we focus as a nation on those 
things which unify us, and our common language is English. We need to 
understand that and promote that because if you are coming to America 
or you are here now, your life will be tremendously enhanced if you are 
fluent in the English language. Opportunities will exist for you that 
will not exist otherwise.
  I know there are many people in this body from different places in 
the world, and some have parents or grandparents who came here not 
speaking a word of English. Some may have died not speaking a word of 
English, and their lives were just as valuable as anybody else's life, 
but we are trying, as a Government to make a policy statement here--it 
is a policy statement--but not change the law at the same time.
  The goal of this amendment is to say English is the national language 
of the United States. That is true. I would encourage every American to 
learn another language, get your kids enrolled in taking Spanish or 
some other language because they will be more successful in a global 
economy. From an individual level, we would be better off if every 
American could master additional languages other than English. But from 
a national perspective, to make sure we maintain our national unity and 
our common sense of being one nation, it is important that we emphasize 
the need to assimilate into America by mastering the English language. 
Senator Inhofe is making a statement that needs to be made. I 
congratulate him.
  What does this amendment do, and what is it intended to do? This 
amendment says:

       The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the national language of the 
     United States of America.

  That is a good policy statement. From an individual perspective, we 
should learn as many languages as possible, but from a national 
perspective, we need to promote assimilation in our society. The best 
way to assimilate into our society is not to abandon your native tongue 
but to also learn English.
  Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. GRAHAM. I certainly will.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I would like to first commend the Senator 
from South Carolina. He and I have spoken in the well here on the floor 
about this issue. I am trying, as he is, to understand this issue from 
another's point of view because I am a lucky person. My mother was an 
immigrant to this country. When her parents came to this country from 
Lithuania, they did not speak English. My mother spoke both Lithuanian 
and English, and as a young girl was an interpreter in court so 
immigrant families could have justice even if they didn't understand 
English very well. My mother spoke both languages, but I speak only 
English.
  The Spanish language has become an important symbol for so many 
people in this country. It reflects on their heritage. It is a source 
of pride. They are proud to be Americans, but they are equally proud to 
have a heritage they can point to.
  I look at the amendment offered by the Senator from Oklahoma. I can't 
quarrel with his beginning sentence where he says:

       The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the national language of the 
     United States of America.

  That strikes me as a statement of fact. English is our language. 
Success in America depends on a command of English. If you speak only 
Spanish, your horizons are very limited.
  But what troubles me, and I am still wrestling with it, and I think 
the Senator from South Carolina is as well, is the rest of the 
amendment. What happens in the situation where a person is here legally 
in the United States but has limited English language skills--what 
happens when that person, legally here, goes into a courtroom, goes in 
to vote, goes before law enforcement agencies? What kind of guarantee 
can we give that the person will be treated fairly? Because just as 
English is at the root of who we are as Americans, so is the concept of 
fairness.
  I am trying to find the balance. I think the Senator from South 
Carolina is looking for that same balance. I would like to ask the 
Senator to reflect on whether we are being careful in the language of 
this amendment. Are we going too far? Are we going to find people who 
are poor, people with limited language skills, who will not receive the 
kind of treatment and fairness we really take pride in as Americans?
  Mr. GRAHAM. I will be glad to answer. That is a great question. Here 
is the way I view what we are trying to do. Please, others, speak up.
  Even though we are trying, in this amendment, to promote the idea 
that English is the national language and the Government of the United 
States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the national 
language of the United States of America, there is something else we 
are trying to avoid doing. The truth is that a variety of Government 
services are authorized and provided by law in languages other than 
English. That decision has been made in the Voting Rights Act. There 
are a bunch of incidences in our law through court decisions, statutory 
schemes, maybe regulatory schemes, that would authorize a service to be 
provided by the U.S. Government in a language other than English. My 
goal is to make sure, in trying to bring us together, focusing on 
English as an essential part of who we are, not to disturb that legal 
setting.
  So if in the example of the Senator of someone who is needing 
translation in court because they are not competent in the language, 
the English language, and they can't understand the proceedings--if a 
judge determines that or there is a statute which requires that person 
be provided translation, interpreting services, nothing in this 
amendment would override that.
  Mr. DURBIN. May I ask the Senator to yield for a question?
  Mr. GRAHAM. Yes.
  Mr. DURBIN. Can the Senator point to me in a current situation where 
a Government service is being offered and explained in a language in 
addition to English--and that is usually the case.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Right.
  Mr. DURBIN. There will be English and then another language. And in 
my home State of Illinois, that language might be Polish, incidentally, 
or the Filipino dialect of Tagalog, for example, that might be the 
case.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Right.
  Mr. DURBIN. Can the Senator point to a single circumstance where he 
thinks there is an injustice in providing that alternative language 
instruction, an injustice that requires us to change the law of the 
United States of America?
  Mr. INHOFE. Will the Senator yield so I can answer this question?
  Mr. GRAHAM. Go ahead.
  Mr. INHOFE. First of all, if you look at the second page of the bill, 
it provides:

       Unless otherwise authorized or provided by law. . . .

  So we have that set up for exceptions that are already in law.
  Now, the Court Interpreters Act was passed in 1978. They did not, 
prior to that time--there was a problem that corrected. That act, the 
Court Interpreters Act, protects already existing constitutional rights 
such as the 6th amendment, the right to confront witnesses speaking 
against you, and the 5th amendment and 14th amendment and due process. 
The United States--I think it was in Negron v. New York. That is a 
Federal case which is often cited to support the right to an 
interpreter in Federal and State proceedings. So it is Federal and 
State proceedings. I believe that exception takes care of the problem 
you have.
  Mr. DURBIN. I don't know whether to direct my question to the Senator 
from South Carolina, who I believe has

[[Page 8565]]

the floor at this time, or to the Senator from Oklahoma. What is 
happening on the floor of the Senate is getting dangerously close to a 
debate, which hardly ever happens. And I ask those on C-SPAN to turn up 
the volume. This may turn out to be a debate.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Let's go back to the original question and incorporate it 
into the answer. The Senator asked me if I know of a case where the 
American Government provides a service in some language other than 
English that I find unjustified? The answer is overwhelmingly no. We do 
provide, at the Federal level, bilingual ballots and other services 
outside of English for a reason, and I think those reasons are good.
  The Senator from Oklahoma gave an example. I believe it is a Federal 
statute that makes sure that due process rights of people not 
sufficiently trained in understanding English are preserved. At some 
point in time--in 1978 or whenever it was--Congress came along and 
said: There will be services provided in a language other than English 
in a court setting. Not only do I think that is just, but I want to 
preserve it.
  Here is the ultimate answer to the Senator's question. If there is an 
example of an injustice in the Senator's mind as an individual Senator, 
where the Government of our country is providing a service not in 
English, this will not remedy that injustice.
  That is what I am trying to say. Passing this amendment, voting for 
this amendment will not remedy that injustice. If you find one, you 
would have to come to the floor of the Senate and introduce a bill--a 
regulation--because this does not do that.
  What Senator Inhofe said is absolutely right. The reason I am going 
to vote for this is because I think it tries to unite us without taking 
off the table exceptions to English or services provided other than 
English. It doesn't disturb the legal situation in this country by a 
statute, regulation, court decree or an Executive order conferring 
rights of people to receive services other than English. If I thought 
it did, I wouldn't vote for it.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, if I may ask the Senator to yield for a 
question, I wish there were a way to engage the Senator from Oklahoma 
because it is his amendment, and I would like to hear his response. I 
hold in my hand a publication from the Department of Justice which you 
can find on the Web site. I invite my colleagues to go to the Web site. 
They can read this official publication from the Department of Justice, 
and this is what they will learn. It is entitled, ``Know Your Rights.''

       Do you have trouble with English? Are you unable to speak, 
     read, write, or understand English well? If so, you are 
     limited in English proficiency. Federal agencies and 
     organizations which get money from the Federal Government 
     have to take reasonable steps to help people who have trouble 
     with English. Sometimes when a government agency or 
     organization does not help you because you are limited in 
     English proficiency, they violate the law. This is called 
     ``national origin discrimination.''

  They go on to say:

       There is a Federal law that protects your civil rights. The 
     law is called ``Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.''

  It goes on with examples of possible discrimination. If you come to a 
hospital and you have limited English proficiency, they are supposed to 
be able to try to help you understand what your rights are and treat 
you.
  Are we changing that? Will the Inhofe amendment change that? If it 
doesn't, why are we enacting this? If this is law which we are 
comfortable with and will live with--and it is currently law in the 
United States--why are we trying to change it? If we are eliminating 
this protection which is currently in the law, recognized by the 
Department of Justice, why are we eliminating it?
  That is my question.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I will give the Senator my answer and then 
yield to anyone. I know we need to wrap this up.
  In my opinion, the phrase, ``unless otherwise authorized or provided 
by law,'' we would preserve that service. Simply stated, that language 
to me is intended to make sure that whatever service is provided in a 
language other than English, our Federal Government is not disturbed. 
If you want to disturb it, you would have to come back and do something 
else.
  Mr. DURBIN. If that is not the case, what does this add? What does it 
change? What does it bring to the law that isn't currently in the law?
  Mr. GRAHAM. May I suggest why I think we need to do this and why I 
support Senator Inhofe. We have gone through a great debate in this 
country, which is long overdue. What does it mean to be an American? 
And what role unites us and what divides us? I think it is time for 
this body to say two things: We will continue to provide services other 
than English out of a sense of justice and fairness, and we are not 
going to disturb that because I think there is a goal for that in our 
society.
  But as we debate how to assimilate 11 million people, we need to make 
it clear that it is the policy of our Government not to change the law 
but is the goal of our Government to enhance our common language, 
English. To me, that is a good thing to say because when the 
demonstrations are in the streets with Mexican flags, they have the 
right to fly any flag, but some of us have to respond to that. I am 
supporting the bill, but I am not going to sit on the sidelines and 
watch demonstrations that destroy national unity. I am trying to bring 
us all together, and I want the individuals who are here and 
undocumented to be documented by taking civics classes and taking an 
English proficiency exam.
  Why do we ask them to do that? Why is that part of the pathway to 
citizenship? We all know if they don't become proficient in English, 
they will never achieve their own individual value and will be hurting 
our country. And we are trying to reinforce that without doing it in a 
way that would deny services already provided in languages other than 
English. That is why it is important to me. That is why I will vote for 
it.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
  Mr. GRAHAM. I yield the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, on scheduling, we have not been able to 
work out an agreement on the Inhofe amendment.
  The Ensign amendment is about to go. We are trying to juggle 
schedules with one Senator going to a graduation and another Senator 
going to Florida. And if we can structure our schedules to have 12:30 
votes, we can have two votes at 12:30, if the Senator from Nevada would 
be agreeable to a time limit between now and 12:30 equally divided. We 
will then be in position to vote on the Kennedy amendment. We will be 
in a position to vote on the Ensign amendment at 12:30. If we have the 
consent of Senator Inhofe--I have already discussed it with him 
informally--to set aside his amendment, the plan is to have a vote on 
the Inhofe amendment this afternoon. That will give time for others to 
have a side-by-side. That is how I would like to proceed.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to cooperate and have cooperated 
with the Senator. I think it is premature to establish a time on the 
Ensign amendment. I don't think it will be an undue period of time. But 
it would be difficult now to agree to a specific time. I hope we would 
be able to agree after a while. I welcome the chance to continue this. 
I think this discussion has been enormously valuable and helpful. We 
can proceed in whatever way the leader wants to proceed. Right now, we 
would not be in a position to agree to a 1-hour time limitation on the 
Ensign amendment, half an hour on each side. But we will well work to 
try to get a reasonable time, if that is the decision.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I suggest we proceed with the Ensign 
amendment. I agree. The discussion with Senator Graham, Senator Inhofe, 
and Senator Durbin was very productive. Perhaps we could continue the 
discussion on an informal basis as we try to come to an agreement on 
language but meanwhile proceed to the Ensign amendment with the 
prospect of a vote around 12:30.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Isakson). The Senator from Nevada.

[[Page 8566]]


  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the pending 
amendment be set aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 3985

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Ensign], for himself, Mr. 
     Santorum, and Mr. Inhofe, proposes an amendment numbered 
     3985.

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

    (Purpose: To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and 
preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that 
  persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not 
   able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful 
                               activity)

       Insert in the appropriate place:

     SEC. __. PRECLUSION OF SOCIAL SECURITY CREDITS PRIOR TO 
                   ENUMERATION.

       (a) Insured Status.--Section 214 of the Social Security Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 414) is amended by adding at the end, the 
     following new subsection:
       ``(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no quarter of 
     coverage shall be credited for purposes of this section if, 
     with respect to any individual who is assigned a social 
     security account number on or after the date of enactment of 
     the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, such 
     quarter of coverage is earned prior to the year in which such 
     social security account number is assigned.
       (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to any 
     quarter of coverage earned by an individual who, at such time 
     such quarter of coverage is earned, satisfies the criterion 
     specified in subsection (c)(2).''.
       (b) Benefit Computation.--Section 215(e) of such Act (42 
     U.S.C. 415(e)) is amended--
       (1) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1);
       (2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (2) and 
     inserting ``; and''; and
       (3) by adding at the end a new paragraph as follows:
       ``(3) in computing the average indexed monthly earnings of 
     an individual who is assigned a social security account 
     number on or after the date of enactment of the Comprehensive 
     Immigration Reform Act of 2006, there shall not be counted 
     any wages or self-employment income for which no quarter of 
     coverage may be credited to such individual as a result of 
     the application of section 214(d).''.

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, this bill we are debating today, the 
immigration bill, will place a significant cost on the American 
taxpayers. I am particularly concerned that the provisions of this bill 
will impose a heavy strain on our social security system. That concern 
is why I am offering amendment number 3985.
  The American public needs to understands what this bill would do. If 
enacted, it would allow the immigrants who receive amnesty to qualify 
for social security based on work performed prior to their amnesty. It 
allows people to qualify for social security based on work they did 
while they were illegally present in the United States and illegally 
working in the United States. Let me repeat that.
  People who broke the law to come here and broke the law to work here 
can benefit from their conduct to collect social security. This bill is 
the pathway that allows that.
  In some cases, illegal immigrants may have stolen an American 
citizen's identity. They may have stolen an American's social security 
number to fraudulently work. But it is that illegal conduct and 
fraudulent work that they will be allowed to use to qualify for social 
security.
  Does this bill punish the people who stole an American citizen's 
identity? No, it does not. It rewards them. Does this bill consider the 
impact that the crime of identify theft had on the victim whose social 
security number was stolen? No, it does not. This bill gives them the 
full benefit of citizenship, with respect to social security benefits 
and rewards criminal conduct without any consideration for the victim.
  There have been many media reports recently about illegal immigrants 
stealing Americans' social security numbers. To understand the 
potential scope of this problem, you have to un1erstand that every year 
employers are advised that nearly 800,000 employees do not have valid, 
I matching social security numbers. In too many cases, the number used 
belongs to someone else. And so, for a moment, I want the Senate to 
stop. I want my colleagues to think. And to consider the impact this 
theft and fraud has on the victims.
  Rarely, does the Senate ever really consider the impact that crime 
has on the victim. Today should be different. And so I am going to take 
a few moments to share with my colleagues a few of the stories of the 
victims of identity theft. In order to protect their privacy, I will 
only use the victim's first name.
  Identify theft by illegal aliens has created many problems for 
Americans. Sometimes those problems involve the Internal Revenue 
Service. For example, Audra has been a stay-at-home mom since 2000. 
Over the last 3 years, the IRS has accused her of owing $1 million in 
back taxes. This is a picture of the first letter she received from the 
IRS saying she owed back taxes. Since that first letter, she has 
received many more.
  Her story is clear. She has not worked in 6 years. Yet the IRS says 
she owes taxes for working the last three years. What she first thought 
was a mistake, later became clear. It was a case of identity theft. Her 
social security number was being used by at least 218 illegal 
immigrants, mostly in Texas, to obtain jobs.
  Audra has obtained copies of the 218 W-2s that were used in 2004 by 
illegal immigrants using her Social Security number. This is a picture 
of the stack of those W-2s. In Audra's own words, she said, ``It was so 
overwhelming I couldn't be frustrated--I was just completely beyond 
that.'' She filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Her 
file at the Federal Trade Commission is very thick. Here is a picture 
of many of the documents in her file on this chart.
  Identity theft by illegal immigrants has made it hard for some 
Americans to find a job of their own. When my staff spoke to Audra, she 
explained to them that she was not able to find a job of her own 
because of the theft of her Social Security number. This is a photo of 
the letter Audra received denying her employment because she is 
actually already employed by that same employer. Obviously, she is not, 
but someone else with her Social Security number is employed at that 
place of employment.
  Audra is not the only American affected in this way. A few years ago, 
a woman named Linda applied for a job at a chain retailer, but her job 
application was turned down. Why? Because her potential employer told 
her that she was already working for that very same retailer. She, of 
course, knew better. She could not get a job because someone else had 
stolen her identity. Without knowing it, the thief also stole the job 
she could have been hired to do.
  That is not what America should be about. People who want to work 
should be able to work. Identity theft by illegal immigrants has 
damaged many Americans' credit, making it hard for them to buy the 
basic necessities. In some cases, the victims of identity theft are 
denied social service benefits such as unemployment because records 
show they already have a job even though they are not working. In some 
cases, government records show they have many jobs all across the 
country.
  I want to tell my colleagues about Caleb, who works in northern 
Nevada. He lives there with his wife and two children. Caleb is 
actually one of my constituents. This is a picture of Caleb and his 
daughter at the kitchen table. Caleb works hard as a construction 
worker to take care of his family. In December of 2003, Caleb was 
unable to find work because of the seasonal difficulties northern 
Nevada's construction industry faces. So Caleb applied for unemployment 
benefits. He was denied unemployment benefits. Why? Because he was told 
he was already working as a landscaper in Las Vegas. Many of my 
colleagues are probably not aware of the geography of Nevada. I am 
pretty confident that Caleb was not living in Reno and working in Las 
Vegas because that would mean he would have over a 1,000-mile commute

[[Page 8567]]

every single day. Caleb and his wife contacted the employer of the 
identity thief. They learned that the person who used his Social 
Security number had previously given the employer at least 10 different 
Social Security numbers, and that person's resident alien card had 
expired.
  In this picture, Caleb has many of the documents, including a copy of 
the expired resident alien card used by the person who stole his 
identity.
  Not only does identity theft by illegal immigrants create problems 
for adults, it is also creates problems for young children, children 
who will likely have to deal with the consequences of someone stealing 
their Social Security number well into adulthood.
  For example, Kelly's daughter is quite ambitious. Based on where she 
lives, and on where she works, she drives 80 miles each day to work at 
a steakhouse. I am sure her parents were surprised to learn about her 
commute since she does not even have a driver's license yet. In fact, 
Kelly's daughter has gotten off to quite an early start in life in the 
work world--considering she is only 5 years of age. Her Social Security 
number was being used by an illegal immigrant to work.
  Stories like this are all too common. Many southwest States such as 
Utah and Arizona, and even my home State of Nevada, have experienced a 
crime spree involving illegal immigrants using stolen identities of 
children. In one case in Utah, a child apparently owns a cleaning 
company and works as a prep cook at two restaurants in Salt Lake City. 
That is a lot of responsibility, especially for an 8-year-old boy. 
Another boy from Salt Lake City supposedly works for an express air 
freight company, quite an important job for an 11-year-old.
  These stories are shocking. It is clear that illegal immigrants are 
purchasing false papers and using stolen Social Security numbers to 
obtain jobs. They are victimizing hard-working Americans, Americans who 
want to work. They are also victimizing these young children. The 
current Social Security policy and this bill will only make matters 
worse by granting benefits to those who are working here illegally.
  I am offering an amendment to correct this problem. My amendment will 
help reduce this kind of document fraud. My amendment will also 
preserve the integrity of the Social Security system by ensuring that 
people are not able to receive Social Security benefits based on their 
prior unlawful activity.
  I will explain my amendment to the American people and to the Senate. 
Under current law, individuals who work in the United States illegally 
and later obtain legal employment status can use their illegal work 
history to qualify for benefits. For example, if an illegal immigrant 
works in the United States for 9 years, and then receives legal status 
under this bill, the immigrant would qualify for full Social Security 
benefits after just 1 year of legal work. Essentially, the illegal 
immigrants can go back to the Social Security Administration and ask 
them for credit for his or her illegal work.
  What is important to understand is that in order to go back to the 
Social Security system, the illegal immigrant must get legal status in 
some way. This bill is an avenue that gives them that legal status. 
This bill opens the door for illegal immigrants to get Social Security 
based on their illegal work history. My amendment closes that door.
  I know some of my colleagues may argue that the illegal immigrants 
paid into the system, and as a result they should be able to collect 
benefits based on paying into the system. To those colleagues who feel 
that way, I say this: First, the crime of identity theft and Social 
Security fraud are not victimless crimes. The victims of these crimes 
are American citizens and legal immigrants. My staff has spoken to some 
of these victims. Some victims' Social Security records are such a mess 
that the Social Security Administration has wiped out all of the work 
history from the victim's account. That is the only way they believed 
they could get a handle on the fraud associated with these folks' 
accounts. By wiping out all work history, the victim's own legal work 
history is also deleted. Basically, the victims is forced to start over 
to qualify for future Social Security benefits.
  The Social Security Administration advised the victim that the 
victim's records are so bad that their only option was to erase the 
victim's work history. The victims can rebuild their accounts if they 
can produce their old W-2s. How many people in America can produce 
them? Some, maybe. If you are like me, and keep records forever, you 
will not have a problem. But for most Americans, who do not keep their 
past W-2s and old records, it will be impossible to prove their work 
history. As a result, some victims end up losing their ability to 
collect their Social Security based on their own legal work history.
  At the same time, this bill would open the door to give Social 
Security benefits based on illegal work history. If Members oppose this 
amendment, Members are saying they want to reward illegal conduct with 
Social Security benefits while American citizens cannot collect their 
rightly earned benefits. This is simply unfair. That is not what 
America is about.
  Second, Social Security is a system based on expectancy. For the 
illegal immigrants who paid into the system using a stolen Social 
Security card, they never did so thinking they would earn a retirement 
benefit. They did so, and I don't blame them, simply to get a job. They 
could not have possibly ever envisioned we would pass this bill in the 
Senate. They could not ever have thought that the Senate would let them 
go back and petition for Social Security benefits. They never had a 
reasonable expectation we would do this and, as a result, that they 
would be able to receive those benefits in the first place.
  Third, for the vast majority of perpetrators who engaged in this kind 
of identity theft, the only way they would ever be able to petition the 
Social Security Administration is if we pass this bill. It is 
reasonable to oppose, as a condition to amnesty, a requirement that the 
people receiving amnesty give up or surrender their rights to petition 
for Social Security benefits for their previous illegal work.
  I ask my colleagues to consider the message the Senate is sending to 
the victims if we do not agree to my amendment. The victim has already 
paid a heavy price. If the Senate does not agree to my amendment, the 
government will be saying: We reward the criminal and want to continue 
to punish the victim.
  We will also be inviting future fraud. How, you might ask? If my 
amendment is not agreed to, there will be no way, none, for the Social 
Security Administration to determine who actually did the work 
associated with a particular Social Security number. If my amendment is 
not agreed to, this bill will create an incentive for people to engage 
in a second kind of fraud, one that is based on fraudulent use of W-2s 
to petition for illegal work credit. There would be no way for the 
Social Security Administration to give proper credit for that work if 
more than one person petitions for that credit.
  I ask my colleagues to consider the burden this will place on the 
Social Security Administration itself. As of 2003, there were 255 
million records in the Earnings Suspense File. That file is where 
Social Security places records when the name and social security number 
that is used do not match. How can the Social Security Administration 
process tens of millions of petitions to receive credit for illegally 
performed work? Without my amendment, the Social Security 
Administration will be inundated with petitions with no way to know how 
to handle them.
  The promise of Social Security is for citizens and legal residents of 
the United States. Social Security was not intended for individuals who 
enter our country illegally, purchase fraudulent green cards and 
documentation on the black market, and use them to get jobs. It is 
wrong to allow people who have broken our laws to receive such a 
reward, especially when such activity places such a heavy toll on 
victims.
  We should not now reward individuals who have knowingly engaged in 
illegal activity. We should not adopt a

[[Page 8568]]

policy that will reward this illegal behavior while at the same time 
continuing to subject the innocent to further victimization. Rewarding 
illegal behavior is insulting to those immigrants who have played by 
the rules to qualify for benefits. It is also insulting to hard-working 
Americans who are paying into the Social Security system.
  My amendment allows immigrants to begin accumulating credit to 
qualify for Social Security only after they have been assigned a valid 
Social Security number. It does not allow illegal immigrants to receive 
credit for their past illegal work. This approach is responsible and it 
is common sense. Especially when it comes to how the Social Security 
Administration will function.
  I hope one of the principles we can reach consensus on is that 
illegal behavior should not be rewarded at the expense of victimizing 
American citizens. I cannot go home to Nevada and tell the people we 
allowed Social Security benefits to go to people who have worked in the 
United States illegally, especially when Nevadans are too often the 
victims of this kind of crime.
  Mr. President, I will close now by making one additional observation. 
Under current law, it is a felony to steal and use somebody's Social 
Security number. Under this bill, we are waiving that felony. That, in 
and of itself, is amnesty for the crime of identity theft. I do not 
think that the Senate should go beyond granting amnesty for criminal 
identity theft. It is one thing to say that the perpetrator of the 
crime cannot be prosecuted for that felony, but it is quite another to 
allow the perpetrator to collect Social Security benefits. It is 
fundamentally unfair to do both when there are victims, like the ones I 
have talked about today.
  So I hope people will see the common sense of this amendment and 
will, in a bipartisan fashion, overwhelmingly adopt this amendment. I 
urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, identity fraud is a major problem, a 
major issue in this country, and it ought to be dealt with. We ought to 
do whatever is necessary to make sure we are going to deal with this 
issue. I think most of us have seen the various national publications 
and magazines talking about identity fraud. It is there with the use of 
credit cards. We have it on telephone calling. We have it for 
purchasing over the Internet, obtaining access of financial records, 
and with individuals making illegal withdrawals.
  All of that is bad and wrong and violates the law, and we ought to 
deal with that. But we are talking about individuals who are not 
involved in identity fraud and have paid into the Social Security fund. 
Should they have that payment they have made into the fund denied to 
them? So I am with the Senator from Nevada in trying to deal with 
identity fraud, but I separate myself from him when he says all illegal 
immigrants are involved in the identity fraud and, therefore, they 
should not get credit for what they have paid in in terms of Social 
Security.
  Now, who are we talking about? Basically, we are talking about 
individuals who have the opportunity to try to earn their position, the 
opportunity to be an American citizen, who have to pay a fine, have to 
go to the end of the line for those who are coming into the United 
States currently, who have to demonstrate they have paid all of their 
taxes, who have to demonstrate they have been free from violating the 
law. There are all of those conditions that are set up. But once they 
have achieved all of those conditions, then they have the possibility 
of citizenship 11 years from now.
  So the issue is, should they be denied the credits they have paid 
into Social Security? The Senator from Nevada thinks they should.
  Well, first of all, who are these people? First of all, his proposal 
would deprive, for example, widows and surviving children of needed 
Social Security benefits, even if the widows and children are U.S. 
born. We will have circumstances where the children are American 
citizens. The widows might be American citizens.
  Now, let's say this individual regularizes their position and has 
paid into Social Security. If that person dies, their survivors would 
be eligible for survivor benefits, but not under the Ensign amendment. 
It is interesting, some 85 percent of immigrant-headed households 
include at least one U.S. citizen. Under the Ensign proposal, citizen 
children may not be eligible for survivor benefits if their parents had 
gained legal status or even citizenship but die before they gained the 
40 hours of coverage.
  The Ensign amendment effectively would deprive the immigrants who 
have become legal residents of the right to receive Social Security 
credits for the payroll tax payments they made on the work they 
performed when they were undocumented. Some do now.
  The 1986 act permitted 3 million people--they received the amnesty. 
That was amnesty. We did not move ahead in terms of the enforcement 
against the undocumented afterwards. But that was amnesty. Now they are 
able to receive the benefits today. We are going to say to them, we are 
evidently going to cut you off from being able to get any credit 
because I don't see in the Ensign amendment where they are going to 
respect their position.
  It is important to focus on who would be hurt by this highly punitive 
proposal. Only immigrants who have attained legal status are eligible 
to receive Social Security. So everyone this amendment would affect 
will be legal residents under the terms of the bill. Many of them will 
even be citizens by the time they apply for Social Security. Those are 
the hard-working men and women this amendment seeks to penalize.
  Those are the individuals who really want to be Americans, be part of 
the American family. They are going to have to pay the penalty, pay 
their back taxes, abide by all of the laws, continue to believe in 
their faith. And then they will have the opportunity to go to the end 
of the line. And then, in 11 years, they will be able to achieve 
citizenship. They will be working during this period of time.
  They are paying into Social Security. And, finally, when they become 
citizens--11 years from now--the Ensign amendment is going to say: 
Well, all right, you paid. You have waited your turn. You paid the 
penalties all the way along. But you are not going to be able to 
benefit from paying into Social Security because of identity fraud. 
Well, I have difficulty assuming that all of those who have paid into 
Social Security have been a part of identity fraud.
  Before this bill passed, these workers were undocumented. But once in 
the country, they complied with the rules of the workplace and paid 
Social Security taxes on their earnings. Their payroll tax payments and 
the matching contributions of their employers were paid to the Social 
Security Administration on a timely basis. Those dollars are sitting in 
an account at the Social Security Administration today. Social Security 
has a record of receiving these payments. There is no dispute about 
that.
  The issue raised by this amendment is whether these workers should be 
given credit in Social Security for the hard-earned dollars they paid 
into the system. Shouldn't the payroll tax payments they made count 
toward determining the level of retirement benefits and disability 
benefits they have earned when they reach retirement age or become 
disabled?
  Now, the amount of benefits a worker receives depends on how many 
years the individual worked and how much payroll tax he or she paid in. 
I believe it would be terribly wrong to arbitrarily deny these hard-
working men and women credit for all the payroll tax dollars they paid 
into Social Security on the wages they earned. But that is exactly what 
the Ensign amendment would do.
  Most undocumented workers do pay Social Security taxes. Stephen Goss, 
Social Security's chief actuary, estimates that ``about three-quarters 
of other-than-legal immigrants pay payroll taxes''--three-quarters of 
them.

[[Page 8569]]

  The amounts paid in by them are substantial. Payments into the Social 
Security system by undocumented workers total $7 billion a year. 
Unfortunately, most of these workers do not have genuine Social 
Security numbers, so the money goes into what they call the Social 
Security Administration's earnings suspense file. This money is 
identified by the employer who submitted it but not by the individual 
worker it belongs to.
  Each year, Social Security identifies approximately 130,000 employers 
who submitted W-2s that cannot be matched to a worker. So the 
undocumented immigrants account for the vast majority of the funds in 
the suspense file. The unidentified W-2s closely track their geographic 
distribution and types of employment to that which undocumented workers 
typically hold. According to an analysis by the GAO, three of the 
categories of business with the largest numbers of inaccurate W-2s were 
restaurants, construction companies, and farm operations.
  In order to get credit for the payroll taxes he paid in when he was 
undocumented, a worker would have to prove how much he paid in while 
working for a particular employer and when it was paid. The burden of 
proof would be on the worker, and the worker would only receive credit 
for payments that the Social Security Administration could verify.
  Whatever rules and regulations Social Security established, we are 
for. They ought to be accurate. They ought to be tough. They ought to 
be fair. But we are not prepared to say that every individual who paid 
in, who is now in the process, over this 11 years--here, they are 
paying in. I want to be a citizen. I am paying my fine. I paid my back 
taxes. My sons have joined the military serving in Afghanistan. We are 
going to church every single week. And I am paying into Social 
Security. I wait 11 years, and I finally become a citizen. Under the 
Ensign amendment, no, no, you are not going to receive any of that. You 
are not going to receive a cent of that.
  So we are all for Social Security establishing whatever requirements 
are necessary to ensure the integrity of the fund and the accuracy of 
the work effort by individuals. But I think the only reason for the 
Ensign amendment is to deny the legal residents the Social Security 
benefits they have earned and paid for. Their money sits in the Social 
Security Administration waiting to be matched with an eligible 
beneficiary. Once those workers establish eligibility, how, in all 
fairness, can we deny them credit for their past contributions?
  This legislation before the Senate sets out a difficult process for 
undocumented workers seeking to become legal residents. Most of them 
have very little money. Yet the legislation will require them to pay 
thousands in fines and fees. It would be wrong to deny them credit for 
the Social Security tax dollars they have paid from their often meager 
wages.
  Once these workers are legal residents, if they become disabled, 
shouldn't they be entitled to receive disability benefits based on the 
payroll taxes they contributed to Social Security? And if they die 
prematurely, leaving minor children, shouldn't those children--who in 
many instances are American children--shouldn't those American children 
be eligible to receive survivor benefits based on the payroll taxes 
they contributed to Social Security? And when, after a lifetime of hard 
work, they reach retirement age, shouldn't they be able to receive a 
retirement benefit based on all the years of payroll tax payments they 
contributed to Social Security?
  This is not a handout. This is not welfare. Social Security is an 
earned benefit. If these immigrant workers earned it, they should 
receive it like everyone else. The Ensign amendment would take their 
hard-earned money and give them nothing in return. That is not the way 
America operates.
  Allowing these workers to receive the Social Security benefits they 
have earned not only helps them, it serves the interests of the larger 
American community. They are living amongst us. As I say, many of the 
children were born here. If they cannot rely on the Social Security 
benefits they have earned when they become elderly or disabled, on what 
source of support will they rely? Certainly, the people of this great 
Nation would not leave them destitute. We all benefit when the earned 
benefits of Social Security are there for those in need.
  So I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, may I inquire as to whether we might be 
set now to enter into a time agreement on this amendment?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I have been here on the floor since the 
Senator started, and in response, I would be glad to inquire of those 
who are interested. I think there are some members of the Finance 
Committee who are interested in this amendment and want to be heard 
since it deals with the Finance Committee jurisdiction. So I will 
inquire and report back to the floor manager.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Graham). The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, Senator Lugar has come to the floor and 
would, jointly with me, request a few minutes as in morning business to 
introduce legislation.
  Would the Senator from Nevada be willing to yield for--how long do 
you require, I ask Senator Lugar?
  Mr. LUGAR. About 5 minutes.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I say to the Senator, could I spend 5 
minutes responding to a couple things, and then I would be willing to 
yield to the Senator for 5 minutes in morning business.
  Mr. SPECTER. By all means. I will yield to Senator Ensign. And I ask 
unanimous consent that then Senator Lugar and I be recognized for 5 
minutes each to introduce a bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Nevada is recognized.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Just to respond to a couple of things the Senator from 
Massachusetts talked about, that section 614 and a provision in section 
601 in this legislation on page 395 would ensure that aliens who 
received legal status, amnesty, whatever you want to call it, cannot be 
prosecuted for document fraud. He said they weren't receiving amnesty. 
If there was a felony they were committing, and now they can't be 
prosecuted, that sounds like amnesty to me.
  A couple other points he brought up: Legal aliens who were here and 
who overstayed their visas have a legal Social Security number. They 
are paying into the system with a legal Social Security number. Even 
though they are here illegally, they would still be able to collect 
benefits.
  Another point I want to address that the Senator from Massachusetts 
brought up concerned the Social Security Administration. These illegal 
workers would come to them and petition for the benefits, and they 
would have to prove that they actually worked where they worked, they 
paid in the taxes, and things like that. Let's try to think about the 
burden that this would place on the Social Security Administration 
itself.
  Currently, there are 255 million earning suspense files. Those are 
the ones where the Social Security number and the work don't match, 255 
million. Try to imagine how many of these are going to come forward 
with the Social Security Administration where people are trying to 
prove something to gain benefits. They are going to be overwhelmed. 
What is that going to do to the normal processing for people who have 
problems with their Social Security benefits? All of us have case 
workers back in our States who deal with seniors who have legitimate 
Social Security problems. Sometimes there are mistakes made. We have 
had people who have actually received a letter where the Social 
Security Administration told them that they had died. It was kind of a 
surprise to them. But they called us, and we were able to bring them 
back to life. We jokingly refer to these cases as Lazarus cases. It

[[Page 8570]]

is a situation where they need speedy help. If the Social Security 
Administration is burdened with all of these millions of potential 
cases, it just boggles the mind how people could be against this 
amendment.
  The next point I want to make is that the Senator from Massachusetts 
said that this illegal immigrant who is now legalized or regularized, 
whatever term you want to put on it, cannot go to the Social Security 
Administration, and they have to prove with documents. We have seen the 
kind of fraudulent documents used in the country today. These documents 
are not that difficult to produce, to defraud. There is a great 
incentive for them to do that. Once again, it will be an extra burden 
on the Social Security Administration trying to prove or disprove 
whether these documents are real.
  The last point I want to make, the Senator said the people they are 
regularizing in this bill have to pay a fine. They have to pay back 
taxes. We have heard that over and over again: They have to pay back 
income taxes. They don't have to pay back Social Security taxes, the 
FICA taxes they didn't pay, only the income taxes. So let's be 
completely open and honest about what this bill does and about what my 
amendment seeks to correct.
  When we are considering this amendment, we absolutely must consider 
what it is going to do to the Social Security Administration, what it 
is going to do to the trust fund and, mostly, what it is going to do to 
the victims. Rewarding illegal behavior while we are not taking care of 
the victims in the United States fundamentally is unfair.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. I ask unanimous consent that 5 minutes be allotted to 
Senator Dodd after Senator Lugar and I speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Indiana is recognized.
  (The remarks of Mr. Lugar, Mr. Specter, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Shumer and Mr. 
Sessions pertaining to the introduction of S. 2831 are located in 
today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint 
Resolutions.'')
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we have tried to move along this position 
of the Ensign amendment, looking for a time agreement. Senator Sessions 
has asked for 5 minutes. If other Senators want to debate this 
amendment, I ask them to come to the floor. If there is no time 
agreement and there are no people to debate, I will move to table the 
amendment so we can get the bill moving.
  I now yield to Senator Sessions.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, regarding the Ensign amendment, I will 
say a few things. No. 1, Social Security is a benefit this country 
provides to American citizens and people lawfully in this country. That 
is what it is about, the benefit. For the most part, people get more 
out of it than they put into it. That is one reason it is going 
bankrupt.
  The people covered by Senator Ensign's amendment have done a number 
of things that are illegal. They have come into the country illegally 
or they would not be here, or they would be legal and would be not 
covered by his amendment. They have worked in the country without 
authorization, and you are not allowed to work in this country if you 
are not here legally. So they have committed a second illegal act. In 
the course of working in this country, they may have submitted forged, 
false, stolen, or bogus Social Security numbers--a separate crime, if 
you examine the U.S. Code. Maybe they have even broken other laws.
  As Senator Ensign pointed out, so many of these numbers are other 
people's numbers, seizing their identity and causing all kinds of 
confusion and disruption in their lives.
  Under the language of the bill, not only do they get protection from 
prosecution for violation of these laws, they would be given the 
benefits of Social Security. Although he clearly makes--properly so--an 
exemption for those who came into the country legally under a visa, got 
a legal Social Security number but overstayed, at least they had a 
legitimate Social Security number.
  Mr. President, I had an opportunity, for strange reasons, in my 
career as a prosecutor and as a private lawyer to deal with contracts 
based on illegality. I had a situation in which a client--a young man--
was sued by a home builder on the note that he signed to the home 
builder. The reason he signed that note was the home builder loaned him 
the downpayment to buy a house. The mortgage and the Federal act 
required that the deposit or downpayment be your own money or you could 
not fund it by a mortgage. The builder was in on the deal. He was there 
at the closing of the loan. He got the big check, so when it came to 
suing on that note, I defended the client and said the court had no 
jurisdiction over the case. There is a principle of law--in our English 
American tradition--founded on fraud, stating that a contract founded 
on illegality cannot be enforced in court.
  So that person who comes into our country illegally and submits a 
false Social Security number has no legal right to expect to ever 
collect on that amount. Also, in addition to legally not having a right 
to that, they have no moral right to that. To have a moral right to 
come to court, you ought to have clean hands. You should be a person 
that is legitimately here and then you can make a legitimate claim. I 
see no reason these persons who come here in order to work and, as a 
cost of doing business, accept and sign up for Social Security without 
any expectation whatsoever that they would ever draw those Social 
Security benefits, should now be awarded by this legislation that would 
allow them to get it. They would say they paid into it, so they are 
entitled to it. Not so, in my opinion.
  I see how you can make this remark, but I think we are too far down 
the road of an entitlement mentality. This whole bill contemplates 
people having an entitlement to come to America, to bring in their 
parents and children, and they are entitled to have them ultimately be 
on Medicare and go to hospitals and be treated, even though they are 
not properly here.
  We need to clarify our thinking. We are a great nation, a nation of 
laws. Let's think this through. That is all I am saying. I submit to my 
colleagues that the process by which an immigrant who comes here 
illegally, works illegally, and illegally submits a false, bogus, 
fraudulent Social Security number as a price to get the job and be 
paid, that is no entitlement to claim that money--not legally because 
it is founded on a false claim and a false premise, and not morally 
because they knew they weren't entitled to it when they came. They knew 
they were here illegally and they never expected to receive it.
  I think the Senator from Nevada has proposed an amendment that is 
important. It asks us to think, for a change, in this body about what 
it is going to do, and what it will do to our Nation's bottom line and 
with regard to the message we send regarding whether we are serious 
that people should follow the law.
  We need to quit rewarding unlawful conduct. Unlawful conduct should 
have penalties and should result in detriments, not benefits. That is 
what we are saying. If we don't get that straight in this debate, 
whatever new laws we pass about immigration, whatever new policies we 
set, how much of a joke will they be? Will they be the same joke, the 
same mockery of law that we have had for 20 years since the last 
amnesty we issued? That is what the American people are asking us to 
do. Let's create a system that actually works.
  Sometimes you have to make decisions. Somebody who came here 
illegally and worked illegally and submitted an illegal Social Security 
number is not entitled to draw on the Treasury of the United States. I 
thank the chairman and I yield the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, Senator McCain is asking for some time. 
It is my hope that we can move ahead with either a time agreement or a 
vote on the Ensign amendment, but now I yield to Senator McCain.

[[Page 8571]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to the Ensign 
amendment. Under current law, undocumented immigrants are ineligible 
for Social Security benefits which I think is entirely appropriate. But 
we all know that millions of undocumented immigrants pay Social 
Security and Medicare taxes for years and sometimes decades while they 
work to contribute to our economy.
  According to Stephen Goss, the Social Security Administration's chief 
actuary, three-quarters of illegal immigrants pay payroll taxes. These 
payments generate approximately $8.5 billion in Social Security and 
Medicare taxes each year. In fact, according to a 2005 New York Times 
article, the Social Security Administration records these payments in a 
so-called earnings suspense file, which grew by $189 billion in the 
1990s and continues to grow by over $50 billion each year, generating 
up to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about $1.5 billion 
in Medicare taxes. According to the article, most of these payments 
come from illegal immigrants.
  The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by 
preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social 
Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work 
in our country. If this amendment is enacted, the nest egg that these 
immigrants have worked hard for would be taken from them and their 
families.
  It pains me to disagree with my good friend from Nevada on this 
matter, but I believe the amendment is wrong. It is fundamentally 
unfair to collect taxes from these workers and then disqualify the 
taxes paid once the workers achieve legal taxes. I believe instead of 
supporting the amendment, we should stand for the principle that people 
who worked and paid into the Social Security system for years should be 
able to depend on their retirement income to which they contributed.
  The amendment compounds the unfairness by ignoring the underlying 
legislation that already calls for payment of all back taxes and a 
$2,000 fine. So what we are asking the immigrants to do is pay all back 
taxes and, at the same time, forgo the taxes they already paid into the 
Social Security trust fund. It is fundamentally unfair.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
  Mr. McCAIN. As soon as I finish my statement, I will be glad to yield 
to my friend from Nevada.
  I point out to my colleagues a recent Los Angeles Times article that 
indicates tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants are already 
lining up to pay current and back taxes. They want to do that because 
they want to play by the rules. So we are going to tell them there is 
one set of rules for them to pay their back taxes, but the taxes they 
have already paid they will receive no benefits for.
  What about the fiscal consequences of the amendment? I submit that if 
Social Security is not available in the future for immigrants, that 
when they retire or become disabled, then State and local governments 
and potentially the Federal Government will be forced to absorb 
significant costs as the Federal Government has refused to provide 
services and supports paid for by tax dollars of millions of legal 
immigrants. This amendment would simply continue this trend.
  The Senator from Nevada has argued that his amendment is about 
combating identity theft and that the bill before us says identity 
theft is OK. That is inaccurate. I don't know one Member of the Senate 
who would say: I support identity theft. Not one. In fact, the Senate 
Commerce Committee has been working to approve legislation, which I 
have cosponsored, to combat this egregious crime.
  Identity theft is a serious issue. In fact, the highest rate of 
identity theft occurs in the State of Arizona. It happened to me and my 
wife. But this immigration bill isn't drafted to comprehensively 
address identity theft, and the amendment before us isn't going to do a 
thing to fix this problem. Maybe we should add the Commerce Committee 
legislation to the bill. I assume other Members may not be agreeable to 
doing that, but I stand ready to work with the Senator from Nevada, and 
I suspect the Senator from Massachusetts would be willing to join us in 
pushing legislation to combat identity theft in a meaningful, 
comprehensive way.
  Now I will be glad to respond to any question the Senator from Nevada 
might have. I understand the patience of our manager is somewhat 
limited. Please go ahead.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we will hear from Senator Ensign in a 
moment on his amendment. If there are no other speakers desiring 
recognition to speak on this amendment, at the conclusion of Senator 
Ensign's comments, I intend to move to table.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask my colleague for a couple minutes, if 
I may.
  Mr. SPECTER. To speak on the amendment?
  Mr. DODD. In relation to matters before us on this bill.
  Mr. SPECTER. How much time does the Senator desire?
  Mr. DODD. Four minutes.
  Mr. SPECTER. I agree. I yield to Senator Ensign for some comments and 
then to Senator Dodd, and if no other speakers appear, I am going to 
move to table.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I wish to ask my friend from Arizona a 
couple of questions about the bill and about my amendment in 
particular. The bill does not require that the people whose status is 
adjusted pay all back taxes. The bill only requires that people pay any 
back income taxes. There is no mention of FICA taxes in the bill. Is 
the Senator aware of that distinction?
  Mr. McCAIN. The Senator is aware of that. When their employer pays 
them, the taxes are withheld.
  Mr. ENSIGN. First, if the alien is self-employed, that is not 
correct. Remember, the employer pays half and sends in those funds.
  Mr. McCAIN. As is true of anyone else who works in the United States.
  Mr. ENSIGN. That is correct. But the bottom line is if they owe back 
FICA taxes under this bill, they do not have to pay those back taxes.
  Mr. McCAIN. The intent of the amendment is that they must pay and the 
legislation--I will be glad to state--must pay all backs taxes, a-l-l.
  Mr. ENSIGN. I have another question for my friend from Arizona. Is he 
aware that it is a felony to use someone's Social Security number?
  Mr. McCAIN. I am aware of that.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Under this legislation, we forgive that felony. We grant 
amnesty for that felony.
  Mr. McCAIN. Under this legislation, we allow the illegal immigrants a 
path to citizenship which, if they are convicted of felonies or 
misdemeanors, according to an amendment, then they would be ineligible 
to embark on that path to earn citizenship.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Right. But, Mr. President, in Sections 601 and 614 of the 
legislation, it actually ensures that aliens who receive legal status 
cannot be prosecuted for document fraud, including the false use of 
Social Security numbers. Is the Senator aware of that?
  Mr. McCAIN. The Senator is aware that when people come here 
illegally, obviously, they do not have citizenship, so, therefore, any 
Social Security number they use, whether it belongs to someone else or 
is entirely invented, is not valid. But I also know, if I can complete 
my answer to my friend, their taxes, part of their earnings are going 
into the Social Security fund, and that is a fact that it is theirs and 
their employers.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I agree with the Senator from Arizona that 
many people are paying into the system. They paid into the system with 
no expectation of getting social security's benefit because they didn't 
know we would be enacting a bill like this. They paid into the system 
simply because that was the price to pay to get a job in the United 
States. The immigrant knew they were using an illegal Social Security 
number but without regards of the impact of the victim. I have reviewed 
case after case related to identity theft and Social Security fraud. 
These cases are occurring all over the

[[Page 8572]]

United States. In every case, in every State, where someone's Social 
Security number was stolen by an illegal immigrant to use to find work, 
the victim's credit history is destroyed. Sometimes their work history 
is too. Earlier I talked about Caleb, a gentleman in Nevada. The 
illegal immigrant who used Caleb's Social Security number was not 
trying to harm that person but he did. Caleb applied for unemployment 
but couldn't get it because the agency said he was working when, in 
fact, he wasn't. He lives in Reno. They said he was working in Las 
Vegas. It was an illegal immigrant using his Social Security number in 
Las Vegas.
  I never said this amendment is going to prevent identity theft. What 
I have said is that it is not right for somebody to steal somebody 
else's identity--granted for the noble purpose of getting a job--and 
reward the theft by giving work credit that counts towards Social 
Security. We should consider the victims who are forced to deal with 
the terrible consequences of the crime.
  I will make two other points. The chairman of the Finance Committee 
supports this amendment. One of the reasons the chairman of the Finance 
Committee supports this amendment is because the Social Security 
Administration will not be able to make determinations with respect to 
the earnings suspense files that the Senator from Arizona referenced. 
As of 2003, there were 255 million instances where the social security 
number did not match the name given the employer. This bill will 
legalize those who are in the workforce today--the 7 million or so in 
the workforce out of the 12 million who are in the country. The effect 
of this amnesty over the next 10 years, will require the Social 
Security Administration to hire nearly an additional 2,000 employees to 
handle the cases of people who worked illegally, received amnesty under 
this bill, and are now applying for this benefit. A benefit they earned 
illegally.
  Point No. 2 is, it is going to cost $1.7 billion in administrative 
costs--$1.7 billion in administrative costs. It does not include any 
future costs in benefits that the United States will have to pay. Some 
may say that the immigrants will have earned the benefit. But the 
Senate does not even know what amnesty will cost. The cost estimates 
for these policies are not known. My amendment is absolutely the right 
thing to do. Illegal immigrants did not expect to ever receive this 
benefit. They were using somebody's Social Security number or a made up 
one. They did so to get a job. I can appreciate that. I appreciate 
somebody trying to come to this country to better themselves. I don't 
believe we should reward the conduct of identity theft by giving people 
the right to claim the work history for purposes of Social Security.
  Our Social Security trust fund is already in trouble. We all know 
that. This will further put the Social Security trust fund in trouble. 
The costs could be potentially huge. We don't even know that in this 
bill. That is why I think we should adopt this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, very briefly, of course, they didn't 
expect to receive benefits they had to pay into the system because they 
were here illegally. The whole thrust of this legislation is to give 
them not only Social Security benefits but, as importantly, the 
protections under the law, as they now live in the shadows and are 
exploited and mistreated in many cases. Of course, they didn't expect 
to. That is why we are going through this process of letting them earn 
citizenship.
  The amendment of the Senator from Nevada will let you earn 
citizenship, but what you have paid into a system, you will not only 
not receive the benefits but on top of that is a $2,000 fine.
  This is not about administrative costs. The fact is that each year 
the Social Security trust fund continues to grow by $50 billion, 
generating up to $7 billion in Social Security tax revenue and about 
$1.5 billion in Medicare taxes. So as to the Senator's argument that 
this could cost money administratively--yes. But the fact is that when 
these people came here, of course, they accepted--because they came 
here illegally and broke our laws--of course, they accepted the fact 
that they probably wouldn't get Social Security or Medicare or 
protection of our laws against exploitation and mistreatment and all of 
the protections that citizens have. We are trying to give them a path 
to earn that. Yet under the Senator's amendment, they would be 
ineligible for the same benefit of citizenship which we, under this 
legislation, are trying to make them earn.
  I apologize to the Senator from Pennsylvania for taking additional 
time, and I understand the pressing time issue.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, Senator Dodd is next in line to speak for 
4 minutes, as agreed.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank the chairman very much. I just want 
to make some brief comments, if I may, not about the matter of this 
amendment right before us, but about a vote that occurred yesterday 
regarding the construction of the fence along the southern border. I 
was 1 of 16 people who voted against that amendment, and I wanted to 
take a minute or so to explain my concerns.
  Primarily, my concern is because the decision to place this fence 
down here without any other additional consultation with local 
communities in the United States or with our neighbors to the south is 
something that worries me. There are implications of that. I firmly 
believe that any discussion about immigration policy must begin with 
border security. If there is a failure to do that, I don't think you 
have much of an audience.
  My concern is if we unilaterally do this without seeking the 
cooperation of the communities involved and the Nation next to us that 
we are dealing with primarily on this issue, we may have absolutely the 
opposite effect. In fact, there are implications of this decision. So 
at some point, in consultation with the managers of this bill, I may 
offer an amendment that would require some consultation with the U.S. 
communities involved, as well as with the Mexican Government, so that 
we are not unilaterally placing a fence here.
  Believe me when I tell you this. I have spent a lot of time in this 
region, as my colleagues know. There will be political implications. 
There is a national election in Mexico in about 6 weeks, and I will 
guarantee this issue will be a major issue in that debate. And who wins 
those elections will have a huge implication in terms of how much 
cooperation we get on dealing with immigration policy. My colleague 
from Texas, Senator Cornyn, and I spent a weekend with our colleagues 
from Mexico about 4 months ago. To their credit, the Mexican Congress, 
along with all five Presidential candidates, adopted unanimously in 
their legislation provisions regarding immigration policies. At the 
very top of those lists were border security issues.
  That had never happened before, Mr. President. It was a major change 
in how Mexico is looking at immigration policy.
  My hope is, as we talk about matters we think are important for 
securing our borders, we will do so in consultation with our neighbors. 
I am not suggesting we give them veto power, but if you are going to 
put up a fence of some 3 to 1,000 miles long, first of all, there is a 
question of whether that will work, but I guarantee you it will not 
work if we don't have the cooperation of the very government we are 
seeking cooperation from, if we impose this fence without dealing with 
them, talking with them, asking their advice, working with them. That 
is true among neighbors in communities as well as nations that are 
neighbors.
  So my hope is we can draft some language that would be endorsed and 
supported unanimously. It would certainly then cause me to have a very 
different attitude about the vote yesterday. But I caution my 
colleagues. I know the frustration levels. I understand the frustration 
of the communities along these border areas, but we are not going to 
succeed with this policy if we don't have a neighbor to the south that 
is going to work with us.
  So while it is frustrating, and certainly Mexico has not been as 
cooperative as they should have been over the

[[Page 8573]]

years, I think that has changed and we ought to encourage that change 
rather than take a step backwards. So again, at an appropriate time, we 
could try to craft some language that would at least encourage the kind 
of cooperation we are going to have to have if we are going to succeed 
with the kind of border security issues that are included in the bill.
  I thank the chairman of the committee for giving me a few minutes to 
explain my concerns.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I believe there are no other speakers on 
the other side. I heard there would be no objection to a motion to 
table, not that I need permission to move to table. We have the Inhofe 
amendment pending. I very much want to get a vote on the Inhofe 
amendment this afternoon. So we can either come to a time agreement to 
finish debate or if there are side-by-sides that have been prepared so 
that we could move ahead there.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, would the Senator withhold?
  Mr. SPECTER. I would.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the President said: Every human being has 
dignity and value, no matter what their citizenship papers say. I 
believe this amendment is antithetical to that sentiment.
  Senator Ensign has proposed an amendment antithetical to the 
sentiments that the President expressed, and which most Americans 
share. Americans understand that for years there are undocumented 
workers who have tried to follow our laws and be good neighbors and 
good citizens, and have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. Many 
do not yet have Social Security numbers but they and their American 
employers have paid in their contributions. Once that person 
regularizes his or her status, and as they proceed down the path to 
earned citizenship, they should have the benefit after having followed 
the law and made those contributions. Americans understand fairness. 
That is fairness. We should not steal their funds or empty their Social 
Security accounts. That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work 
or their financial contributions. It violates the trust that underlies 
the Social Security Trust Fund.
  Senator Ensign proposes to change existing law to prohibit an 
individual from gaining the benefit of any contributions made while the 
individual was in an undocumented status. I oppose this amendment and 
believe it is wrong.
  Under current law, immigrants who have paid Social Security while in 
an undocumented status may gain the benefit of all of their 
contributions once they gain legal status and become eligible to 
collect Social Security benefits. They paid in and they should be 
entitled to the benefits they have earned. The whole purpose of the 
path to citizenship program in the bill is to encourage people to 
become lawful, productive citizens. Penalizing these people is unfair, 
especially since under the law they are not only working hard and 
contributing to the Social Security Trust Fund, but also working hard 
to achieve legal status and earned citizenship. Hard work is rewarded 
in the country, not penalized. Following the law and advancing on the 
path toward earned citizenship should be encouraged, not punished.
  For example, the children of an undocumented worker who has worked 
for 20 years and who has paid into the system would be denied all 
Social Security benefits if their parent dies before becoming a legal 
resident or citizen. Even though the children are citizens, they would 
be denied the benefit their parent worked many years and contributed to 
earn. Not only is this unfair, but it risks encouraging others in 
similar situations to stay in the shadows and not to pay into the 
Social Security Trust Fund. This will also have the effect of shifting 
burdens to the States and local communities and away from the Social 
Security safety net. I am confident that Vermonters and all Americans 
understand fairness. They understand respecting other people and 
respecting their contributions in terms of work and Social Security 
payments. They will not want to steal those contributions and benefits 
and deny fairness to lawful immigrants and their families.
  They also understand that if the Republican-controlled Senate is 
prepared to take these Social Security funds today, the risk increases 
that their Social Security funds could be targeted tomorrow. After all, 
the Social Security Trust Fund is already being used to mask the 
deficit. As it becomes harder and harder to pay for tax breaks for 
millionaires and rising gas prices and lucrative Government contracts, 
some will be tempted to use money diverted from the Social Security 
Trust Fund. The President has already proposed draining the Crime 
Victims Trust Fund. We should maintain these trust funds for the 
purposes for which Congress created them and keep them safe. We should 
respect the contributions that people make to these trust funds and not 
look for excuses to start denying legal residents and citizens the 
benefits they have been promised.
  Let us not take a giant misstep that we will surely regret. If we are 
going to encourage and support a path to citizenship for many people 
under this bill, we must do so in a way that ensures independence and 
security once that journey is completed.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I move to table the Ensign amendment, and 
I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to 
be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 50, nays 49, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 130 Leg.]

                                YEAS--50

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brownback
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McCain
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Obama
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Voinovich
     Wyden

                                NAYS--49

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Bunning
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     Dayton
     DeMint
     Dole
     Domenici
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Kyl
     Lott
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter
     Warner

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rockefeller
       
  The motion was agreed to.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. DURBIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. 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. SPECTER. 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. SPECTER. Mr. President, we have come to an agreement on sequence.
  I ask unanimous consent we proceed next to Senator Akaka; thereafter, 
we proceed to Senator Vitter under a time agreement for 45 minutes; and 
the time from 2:40 to 4 o'clock be set aside

[[Page 8574]]

for the Inhofe amendment, where the expectation is there will be side-
by-side amendments, side-by-side for the Inhofe amendment, until 4 
o'clock.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, if the Senator will yield, if there is 
offered side-by-side, that would be voted on after the Inhofe amendment 
at 4 o'clock. So there is an hour and a half allocated time for debate 
on the Inhofe amendment, and as I understand, there would be 
approximately 45 minutes evenly divided.
  I thought Senator Akaka's amendment was agreeable or acceptable.
  Mr. SPECTER. That is correct.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Senator Akaka would like 25 minutes.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we will take half an hour for Senator 
Akaka's amendment. We will give him 25 minutes of that time. Senator 
Kennedy and I will take the remaining 5 minutes to accept it.
  Mr. INHOFE. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair notes that under all the time 
allocated, as outlined, the time goes beyond 2:40 before proceeding to 
the Inhofe amendment. The time would go to approximately 2:45.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If I could suggest, why don't we vote at 4:15. That 
gives 45 minutes to Vitter.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The chair will clarify or summarize the 
unanimous consent: The proposed unanimous consent agreement would move 
the Senate to the Akaka amendment first, with half an hour total, 25 
minutes to Senator Akaka, and 5 minutes to split between the floor 
managers of the debate. Next is the Vitter amendment, with a total of 
45 minutes equally divided. Then we proceed from 2:45 to 4:15 to the 
Inhofe amendment, with a possibility of a Democratic side-by-side 
amendment.
  Is that the summary of the unanimous consent proposal?
  Mr. SPECTER. I ask consent for that.
  Mr. INHOFE. I object.
  Mr. SPECTER. Without any second degrees to Vitter and Akaka.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The proposal would exclude second-degree 
amendments.
  Mr. INHOFE. And for clarification, there would be a vote on the 
Inhofe amendment at 4:15; is that correct?
  Mr. SPECTER. That is correct.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I further ask consent that following the 
sequencing already discussed, we take up an amendment from the Senator 
from New York, Mrs. Clinton.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Under the unanimous consent agreement, the Senator from Hawaii is 
recognized for 25 minutes.


                           Amendment No. 4029

  Mr. Akaka. Mr. President, I call up amendment 4029 to S. 2611 and ask 
for its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Hawaii [Mr. Akaka], for himself and Mr. 
     Inouye, proposes an amendment numbered 4029.

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

   (Purpose: To grant the children of Filipino World War II veterans 
     special immigrant status for purposes of family reunification)

       On page 345, between lines 5 and 6, insert the following:

     SEC. 509. CHILDREN OF FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERANS.

       Section 201(b)(1) (8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(1)), as amended by 
     sections 505 and 508, is further amended by adding at the end 
     the following:
       ``(J) Aliens who are eligible for a visa under paragraph 
     (1) or (3) of section 203(a) and are the children of a 
     citizen of the United States who was naturalized pursuant to 
     section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (8 U.S.C. 1440 
     note).''.

  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I ask that Senators Murray and Cantwell be 
added as cosponsors to my amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, it has long been evident that our 
immigration system needs reform. The debate on immigration has been a 
long time in coming, and I am pleased that this body is moving forward 
on this important topic in such a comprehensive fashion. For our work 
on immigration to be truly comprehensive, however, we must address 
those issues that have received less attention in the debate as well as 
the front page issues.
  My amendment is regarding one of those issues that has not received 
widespread attention but is of great importance. As a World War II 
veteran, this amendment is important to me personally, to Filipino-
Americans, and to veterans. My amendment would grant the children of 
Filipino World War II veterans special immigrant status for the purpose 
of family reunification. Making this small change to our nation's 
immigration policy would go a long way toward making our immigration 
laws more just, and I am hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of 
the aisle will join me in supporting this amendment.
  Before I begin a discussion on the specifics of my amendment, I would 
first like to thank my dear friend and colleague, the senior Senator 
from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye, for cosponsoring this amendment. In the 
101st Congress, Senator Inouye authored section 405 of the Immigration 
Act of 1990, which provided for the naturalization of Filipino World 
War II veterans. Senator Inouye has a long history of being involved in 
this important effort and it is an honor to have his support on my 
amendment today. In addition, Representative Ed Case has introduced a 
similar bill, H.R. 901, in the House of Representatives.
  To understand the significance of this amendment, it is important to 
first provide some background about the historical circumstances that 
got us where we are today.
  On the basis of 1934 legislation enacted prior to Philippine 
independence, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a 1941 
executive order. Through this order, President Roosevelt invoked his 
authority to ``call and order into the service of the Armed Forces of 
the United States, . . . all of the organized military forces of the 
Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.'' This order drafted 
over 200,000 Filipino citizens into the United States military. Under 
the command of GEN Douglas MacArthur, Filipino soldiers fought 
alongside American soldiers in the defense of our country.
  Throughout the course of World War II, these Filipino soldiers proved 
themselves to be courageous and honorable as they helped the United 
States fulfill its mission. There was no question when they were 
fighting that they would be treated the same as American troops. For 
example, Filipino soldiers fought side-by-side with American soldiers 
in the Battle of Bataan and the Battle of Corregidor. When Bataan fell 
and the Bataan Death March began, Filipino soldiers were forced to 
march more than a hundred kilometers from Bataan to Tarlac along with 
their American comrades. Filipino soldiers faced hardships in 
concentration camps, and they endured 4 years of occupation by the 
Japanese. In every sense, Filipino soldiers proved their allegiance to 
our country through thick and thin.
  These Filipino soldiers are war heroes, and they deserve to be 
honored as such. They served active duty service on behalf of the U.S. 
military, which should qualify them for the same benefits as other 
veterans of active duty. Congress betrayed these veterans by enacting 
the First Supplemental Surplus Appropriation Rescission Act in 1946, 
which included a rider that conditioned an appropriation of $200 
million, for the benefit of the postwar Philippine Army, on the basis 
that service in the Commonwealth Army should not be deemed to have been 
service in the Armed Forces of the United States.
  Commonwealth Army members were those called into the service of the 
U.S. Armed Forces for the Far East. These members served between July 
26, 1941, and June 30, 1946. Similarly, Congress enacted the Second 
Supplemental Surplus Appropriation Rescission Act, which provided that 
service in the New Philippine Scouts was not deemed service in the U.S. 
military.

[[Page 8575]]

  New Philippine Scouts were Filipino citizens who served with the U.S. 
Armed Forces with the consent of the Philippine Government. They served 
between October 6, 1945, and June 30, 1947.
  This generation of veterans is predominantly in their eighties. Of 
the 200,000 Filipino veterans that served in WWII, there are close to 
49,000 left. Some of these veterans receive U.S. benefits, some do not. 
By 2010, it is estimated that the population will have dwindled to 
20,000.
  With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990, the courage of the 
many Filipino soldiers who fought alongside our troops during World War 
II was finally recognized by our Government, and Filipino veterans were 
offered the opportunity to obtain U.S. citizenship. According to the 
former Immigration and Naturalization Service, about 15,000 Filipino 
veterans live in the U.S. and became citizens between 1991 and 1995 
under the authority of the Immigration Act of 1990. Between that time, 
about 11,000 veterans who live in the Philippines were successfully 
naturalized. These thousands of Filipino veterans clearly wished to 
spend their golden years in the United States, and I am pleased that 
the 1990 Immigration reform efforts offered them the opportunity to do 
so.
  Unfortunately, the offer did not extend to the adult sons and 
daughters of these veterans. As a result, the brave Filipino veterans 
who fought on behalf of America, and who now live in America and 
continue to contribute to America, must do so alone. Due to a backlog 
in the issuing of visas, many of the children of these veterans have 
waited more than 20 years before they were able to obtain an immigrant 
visa. Unfortunately, many more are still waiting.
  It is no secret that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the 
Department of Homeland Security is facing significant backlogs. 
However, it is not as widely known that prospective family-sponsored 
immigrants from the Philippines have the most substantial waiting times 
in the world before a visa is scheduled to become available to them. 
What this means, is that these honorable Filipino veterans who faced 
numerous dangers to defend this Nation now face the prospect of 
spending the last years of their lives without the comfort and care of 
their families.
  It is a shameful disgrace that the sons and daughters of these brave 
soldiers are now last in line to become citizens of our country. This 
is no way to honor Filipino soldiers who bravely fought on the front 
lines with American soldiers during World War II.
  As a World War II veteran myself, I am proud to have answered my 
nation's call to active duty. During my time of active service, I was 
driven by a love for my country, and I was comforted by the love of my 
family. The support that a soldier's family offers during military 
service is an invaluable buoy to a soldier's spirit.
  A family's role in caring and supporting for a soldier becomes even 
more important after active military service is completed. I was lucky 
to be surrounded by my family after my service. My heart goes out to 
those who were separated from their family for years and years due to 
bureaucratic backlogs.
  As the ranking member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs, I have seen firsthand the difficulties that veterans can face 
when readjusting to civilian life after serving in a war. For many 
veterans, the difficulty of returning to a home that has changed while 
at war is eased by being surrounded by the familiar faces of loved 
ones. While that window of opportunity has unfortunately passed for our 
World War II Filipino veterans, there are still many important ways 
that families enrich the lives of veterans after the initial 
readjustment phase. Being surrounded by the love and care of family, 
especially for World War II veterans facing their twilight years, 
offers a special source of support.
  Action on this issue is long overdue, and it would be very meaningful 
for the Senate to pass my amendment during debate on the immigration 
bill. As you may know, Filipino Americans are celebrating their 
centennial this year. Late last year, the Senate accepted by UC S. Res. 
333, a resolution to recognize the centennial of sustained immigration 
from the Philippines to the United States, and acknowledge the 
contributions of the Filipino-American community to our country over 
the last century.
  The Filipino-American community has grown and thrived over the last 
hundred years. Today, Filipino-Americans are the third largest ethnic 
group in the State of Hawaii and represent one of the fastest growing 
immigration groups in the country. Filipinos have made contributions to 
every segment of our community, ranging from politics and sports, to 
medicine, the military and business. One of the foremost issues for 
Filipino Americans is our Nation's commitment to Filipino veterans, and 
passing my amendment would be a significant way to honor Filipino 
veterans during a historic year for the Filipino American community.
  Over the years, I have listened to the stories of countless Filipino 
World War II veterans who have been separated from their families and 
who are patiently waiting in line. Every veteran has a unique story to 
tell, but those Filipino World War II veterans who have not yet been 
reunited with their family members share a universal bond of heartache.
  Another important commonality among Filipino World War II veterans is 
hope. Those Filipino World War II veterans still separated from their 
families are hopeful that we will use this opportunity to rectify the 
unjust oversight in current law. The poignant truth behind this matter 
is that if we don't act now, we may not have another opportunity.
  This weekend I am participating in the first annual ``A Time of 
Remembrance'' event, which honors the families of the American fallen. 
Family members from all 50 States will come to the National Mall at 
noon this Sunday, May 21, 2006, to recognize the important 
contributions our fallen heroes have made on behalf of America. I am 
proud to take part in this event, which points out the very real ways 
that families are impacted when soldiers courageously leave their 
family and fight to defend freedom. For those World War II veterans who 
are still with us, this event points to the importance of honoring them 
now, before it is too late.
  Let us prove those wrong who say that we are waiting until enough 
veterans die before we right this injustice. These veterans have been 
waiting for 60 years to have their benefits reinstated. Unfortunately, 
our efforts to provide them with the benefits they were promised, the 
benefits they fought for, have been unsuccessful because opponents have 
cited the payment of such benefits as too costly.
  The Filipino Veterans from World War II have already made extreme 
sacrifices. They should not be forced to endure the further sacrifice 
of life without their loved ones. It is time that the United States 
fulfill its responsibility to these veterans. The least we could do is 
help to unite these aging veterans with their families. We are a nation 
that keeps its word . . . not a nation that uses people for our own 
purposes and then casts them aside.
  Ensuring that our World War II Filipino Veterans can enjoy and be 
supported by their family members in their twilight years is a simple 
yet profound way of honoring these war heroes.
  My amendment has received strong support from Filipino veterans, the 
Filipino-American community, and the Asian-American community. The 
Japanese American Citizens League, the Organization of Chinese 
Americans, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center have all 
endorsed my amendment. In addition, the American Coalition for Filipino 
Veterans, which represents over 4,000 Filipino Veterans across the 
country, has wholeheartedly endorsed my amendment with a letter of 
support that states:

       S. Amdt. 2049 will be a timely benefit to address the 
     veterans' loneliness and will provide them with a partial 
     measure of U.S. veterans recognition that they were unjustly 
     denied in 1946.


[[Page 8576]]


  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the full text of the 
letter of support be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                            American Coalition for


                                      Filipino Veterans, Inc.,

                                      Arlington, VA, May 18, 2006.
       Dear Senator Akaka: On behalf of 4,000 members of our 
     national advocacy organization, we highly commend your 
     leadership in introducing S. Amdt 4029 to grant special 
     immigrant status to children of Filipino WWII veterans for 
     the purpose of family reunification.
       It is high time for our elderly Filipino American heroes to 
     have their children join them in their twilight years in the 
     U.S.A. These Filipino veterans served the U.S. Army. They as 
     U.S. citizens now deserve to be treated as full Americans.
       Sadly, their children with Approved immigration petitions 
     have been patiently waiting for more than dozen years.
       S. Amdt 4029 will be a timely benefit to address the 
     veterans' loneliness and will provide them with a partial 
     measure of U.S. veterans recognition that they were unjustly 
     denied in 1946.
       Please count on our leaders and members. They will gladly 
     assist you and your colleagues to win priority issuance of 
     immigrant visas to sons and daughters of Filipino American 
     WWII veterans.
       We hope and pray your legislation will be passed into law.
           Very sincerely yours,
                                                     Eric Lachica,
                                               Executive Director,
  Mr. AKAKA. My amendment has received a letter of support from the 
Asian American Justice Center. I ask unanimous consent that the full 
text of the letter from the Asian American Justice Center to be printed 
in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                Asian American Justice Center,

                                     Washington, DC, May 18, 2006.
       Dear Senator: The Asian American Justice Center writes in 
     strong support of S. Amdt. 4029 to S. 2611, the Comprehensive 
     Immigration Reform Act of 2006. This important amendment, 
     introduced by Senators Akaka and Inouye, would allow the sons 
     and daughters of the naturalized Filipino veterans who fought 
     for the United States during World War II to finally reunite 
     with their aging parents in the United States.
       Approximately 200,000 Filipino soldiers fought for the U.S. 
     during World War II. They were promised U.S. citizenship as a 
     condition of their service to our country, but that promise 
     was retroactively withdrawn in 1946. To address this 
     injustice, Congress belated granted U.S. citizenship to these 
     veterans as a part of the Immigration Act of 1990.
       However, it did not grant citizenship to the children of 
     these veterans, thereby causing many of these families to be 
     separated. A long immigration backlog developed hence these 
     veterans petitioned for their sons and daughters to immigrate 
     to the U.S. This has not only negatively impacted the 
     veterans and their families, but also other Filipinos who are 
     caught in the same backlog. The Philippines have the worst 
     immigration backlogs in the world. A U.S. citizen parent who 
     is petitioning for his or her unmarried son or daughter must 
     wait approximately 14 years before they can immigrate to the 
     U.S. If the son or daughter is married, they must wait 
     roughly 18 years. The Akaka-Inouye amendment would address 
     this problem by allowing the sons and daughters of the U.S. 
     citizen veterans to immigrate to the U.S. without being 
     subject to numerical limitations.
       Of the 200,000 Filipino soldiers who fought for the U.S., 
     only approximately 49,000 remain alive, and they are 
     predominantly in their 80's. They have served our country 
     well. They deserve to be reunited with their sons and 
     daughters after years, sometimes even decades, of waiting. 
     Please support the Akaka-Inouye amendment.
           Sincerely,
                                                Karen K. Narasaki,
                                 President and Executive Director.

  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to honor their valiant 
contributions to our Nation by supporting my amendment.
  Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I rise to join Senator Akaka in support of 
his amendment that grants immigrant visas for alien children of 
Filipino veterans of World War II, who were naturalized pursuant to 
section 405 of the Immigration Act of 1990, a measure which I authored 
in the 101st Congress.
  In recognition of Filipino veterans' contributions during World War 
II, the Congress, in March of 1942, amended the Nationality Act of 
1940, and granted Filipino veterans the privilege of becoming United 
States citizens. The law expired on December 31, 1946. However, many 
Filipino veterans were denied the opportunity to apply for 
naturalization under this act because of an executive decision to 
remove the naturalization examiner from the Philippines for a 9-month 
period. The 9-month absence of a naturalization examiner was the basis 
of numerous lawsuits filed by Filipino World War II veterans. On July 
17, 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Filipino World War II 
veterans had no statutory rights to citizenship under the expired 
provisions of the Nationality Act of 1940. Section 405 of the 
Immigration Act of 1990 was enacted to make naturalization available to 
those Filipino World War II veterans whose military service during the 
liberation of the Philippines rendered them deserving of United States 
citizenship. Approximately 25,000 veterans took advantage of the 
naturalization provision which expired in February 1995.
  Unfortunately, the 1990 Act did not confer naturalization to the 
children of Filipino World War II veterans. Accordingly, they are 
enduring decades of family separation due to the long waiting periods 
under the numerical limit on immigrant visas for alien children of 
citizens of the United States. Many of these veterans are in their 
twilight years, and declining in health. They long to see their sons 
and daughters.
  Heroes should never be forgotten or ignored, let us not turn our back 
on those who sacrificed so much. Let us show our appreciation to these 
gallant Filipino men and women who stood in harm's way with our 
American soldiers, and who fought the common enemy during World War II 
by granting their children a special immigrant status to immigrate and 
reunify with their aging parents who have made sacrifices for this 
country.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, will the Senator withhold for a moment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. At the moment, there is not a sufficient 
second.
  Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I would like to ask for a voice vote.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Fine.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair would note that under the unanimous 
consent agreement, there is 5 minutes to be split between the Senator 
from Massachusetts and the Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Does the Senator wish to yield that time?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I will take 2 minutes. Then I will yield 
back the time. And then I think we will be prepared to vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, first of all, I commend the Senator for 
raising this issue. He has been a constant advocate for the families he 
has spoken about today. And he has communicated with us in the 
Immigration Committee on so many different occasions about the fairness 
and the importance of the family unifications and the uniqueness of 
service that so many of these parents were involved in at a very 
difficult and challenging time during World War II.
  So the Senator from Hawaii deserves great credit for bringing this to 
the attention of us in the Senate. I speak for the Senator from 
Pennsylvania, who urges the acceptance of this amendment. This will 
help provide some very important family reunification. It is entirely 
warranted and entirely justified.
  We thank the Senator for bringing this issue again to our attention 
and for his continued advocacy on this issue. We will do everything we 
possibly can to make sure this is carried at the conference as well.
  Mr. President, I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 4029) was agreed to.
  Mr. KENNEDY. 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.

[[Page 8577]]


  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator.
  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. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Alexander). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, under our unanimous consent agreement, it 
is now time for the amendment by the distinguished Senator from 
Louisiana under a time agreement of 45 minutes equally divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.


                           Amendment No. 3964

  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 3964.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.

       The Senator from Louisiana [Mr. Vitter], for himself and 
     Mr. Grassley, proposes an amendment numbered 3964.

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

 (Purpose: To modify the burden of proof requirements for purposes of 
                         adjustment of status)

       Beginning on page 350, strike line 1 and all that follows 
     through ``inference.'' on page 351, line 1, and insert the 
     following:

       ``(II) Other documents.--An alien who is unable to submit a 
     document described in subclause (I) may satisfy the 
     requirement in clause (i) by submitting to the Secretary at 
     least 2 other types of reliable documents that provide 
     evidence of employment for each required period of 
     employment, including--

       ``(aa) bank records;
       ``(bb) business records;
       ``(cc) sworn affidavits from non-relatives who have direct 
     knowledge of the alien's work, including the name, address, 
     and phone number of the affiant, the nature and duration of 
     the relationship between the affiant and the alien, and other 
     verification information; or
       ``(dd) remittance records.
       ``(v) Burden of proof.--An alien applying for adjustment of 
     status under this subsection has the burden of proving by a 
     preponderance of the evidence that the alien has satisfied 
     the employment requirements in clause (i).
       On page 374, line 22, insert after ``work'' the following: 
     ``, including the name, address, and phone number of the 
     affiant, the nature and duration of the relationship between 
     the affiant and the alien, and other verification 
     information''

  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, yesterday on the Senate floor I briefly 
began to explain the purpose of this amendment. As was clear from 
yesterday's debate, I have grave and serious hesitations with many 
parts of this bill. One of those hesitations is about the huge 
loopholes and encouragements for fraud that exist in the bill in many 
different sections.
  We are very good on the Senate floor in debating, tossing around 
ideas, general concepts, broad principles, but I fear we are often very 
bad at really looking at the details of a proposal and walking through 
how it is going to work in the real world and in practice or, perhaps 
it is more appropriate to say, how it is not going to work. Again, this 
bill is a glaring example of that.
  Amendment No. 3964 does not correct all of those deficiencies. It 
does not close all of the loopholes to which I generally refer. It does 
not end all of that invitation to fraud. But it does do it in two 
significant respects which may be among the most significant examples 
of that in the bill. Let me explain what those are.
  Both of the issues my amendment addresses come under section 601. The 
first has to do with how an illegal immigrant proves that he has been 
in the country for over 5 years. Why is this important? The underlying 
bill deals with illegal immigrants in the country now by putting them 
in one of three categories: if you have been in the country over 5 
years, if you have been in the country between 2 and 5 years, and if 
you have been in the country less than 2 years. The consequence of 
being put in one of these categories versus the others is significant; 
you are treated differently. Over 5 years is the best category to be in 
from the viewpoint of the illegal immigrant by far because that is the 
most guaranteed and automatic and clear path to citizenship. Between 2 
and 5 years is the next best scenario. That also has a path to 
citizenship. Less than 2 years is by far the least attractive category. 
That is all fine and good, to make these distinctions and to have 
different consequences for people who fall into these different 
categories. Maybe that makes sense. But it is important to understand 
what proof an illegal immigrant needs to offer to be put in one 
category versus another.
  One might assume--and certainly the American public watching the 
debate might assume--with the significance of these three categories, 
how they color the entire picture of the pathway for that illegal 
immigrant--clear, objective documentary evidence is going to be 
required to go into the best category versus the second best versus the 
worst. That would be a pretty good assumption because these categories 
are important and lead to different consequences.
  Unfortunately, that is not the case. In the underlying bill, the 
illegal immigrant can present all sorts of things to be put in the best 
category. And one of the things he can present, if he says he doesn't 
have any of the others, is a simple statement that he himself signs.
  So at the end of the day, we are making all of these very important 
distinctions between has the person been in the country over 5 years or 
between 2 and 5 years or under 2 years, but when it comes down to the 
actual workings of how this will operate in the real world, all that 
person has to do is write out a fairly simple statement--``I have been 
here for over 5 years''--sign his name to it, and under the details of 
the bill that is good enough. To me, that makes a mockery of the entire 
system that is being proposed. That makes an open invitation for fraud. 
Why would a person who is in an admittedly difficult and strenuous, 
stressful, even desperate situation, why would a person put himself in 
category B or category C when all he has to do is sign a piece of paper 
to get in the best category, the clearest route to citizenship, 
category A? It makes no sense. Of course, a lot of folks in that 
desperate situation will do exactly that. This is a loophole, an 
invitation to fraud which we need to close.
  Under a similar provision of the bill, also in section 601, there is 
a similar glaring loophole and open invitation to fraud in terms of the 
type of evidence that a person may present to get in the second 
category, being in the country between 2 and 5 years. I don't know why 
this is so much an issue because if I were the person, I would 
immediately rush to the best category, sign a simple piece of paper, 
and have the clearest route to citizenship. But still, in the evidence 
accepted in category B, between 2 and 5 years, a person can supply a 
simple statement, a piece of paper signed by a nonrelative third party. 
Again, the requirements for that are so loose, it is a glaring loophole 
and an open invitation to fraud.
  If this system is to have any meaning, if these distinctions in terms 
of how long a person has been in the country are to have any 
significance, if this plan is to have any hope of working in practice, 
rather than just being something pretty to talk about on the floor of 
the Senate, we need to close these loopholes. We need to end these 
outright invitations for fraud. That is what my amendment would do in 
important respects.
  To summarize, my amendment would do five specific things that would 
close these loopholes, shut down these very wide open invitations to 
fraud.
  No. 1, it would strike the language allowing an alien to prove 
employment history by providing a self-signed, sworn declaration; in 
other words, nothing more than a piece of paper that he himself signs.
  No. 2, it would require that sworn affidavits from nonrelatives who 
have direct knowledge of the alien's work--and that is a phrase in the 
underlying bill--can be corroborated by the Secretary of Department of 
Homeland Security and should include contact information of the 
affiant, the name, the address, the phone number, the nature

[[Page 8578]]

and duration of the relationship, so that the Department has some hope, 
some ability of looking into this declaration, cross-examining the 
affiant to determine if this is trustworthy and if this declaration is 
truthful.
  No. 3, the amendment would make the types of ``other documents'' 
provided to prove work history the same for those illegal aliens who 
have been living in the United States over 5 years and for between 2 
and 5 years. So there would be uniformity, and we would be talking 
about objective documentary evidence.
  No. 4, the amendment would strike the provision stating that Congress 
believes the Department of Homeland Security should ``recognize and 
take into account the difficulties encountered by aliens in obtaining 
evidence of employment'' because of their illegal status. That quote is 
in the underlying bill, that the Department must ``recognize and take 
into account the difficulties encountered by aliens in obtaining 
evidence of employment.'' In other words, the bill itself is telling 
the Department: Let it slide. Anything that is stated, you virtually 
have to accept. That is ridiculous, and we would remove that directive 
from the bill.
  And No. 5, the amendment would clarify that the alien has the burden 
of proving his or her employment history by ``a preponderance of the 
evidence.'' It is very reasonable, and, in fact, there is no other 
workable way to do it, to put the burden of proof on the illegal alien 
to prove the amount of time he has been in the country. Any lesser 
burden of proof, any other way of going about it will be a glaring 
loophole and an open invitation for fraud.
  Let me underscore the general thrust of my amendment. It goes to some 
of my broad concerns about the bill. We are very good, all of us, both 
parties in the Senate, in making arguments, talking about broad values, 
outlining generalities, and talking about how a new system of laws 
should work. In my opinion, we are very bad, almost always, at actually 
designing a concrete system and paying attention in excruciating detail 
to the words we pass into law to make sure that system can actually 
work in the real world and not simply be unworkable beyond being able 
to be administered full of glaring loopholes, full of invitations to 
fraud. I believe this bill, unfortunately, is an example of that. I 
believe in many aspects, including many that are not covered by our 
amendment, this is going to prove very unworkable in the real world and 
be wide open with loopholes you can drive a truck through, with open 
invitations for fraud. My amendment simply highlights perhaps the two 
most obvious or egregious examples of that and tries to close those 
loopholes, close down those open invitations for fraud.
  With that, I am happy to hear from Members who would like to debate 
the amendment pro or con.
  I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, as I understand the amendment, on page 
350, you strike lines 8 through the rest of the page; am I correct?
  Mr. VITTER. I don't have that in front of me. If you could read me 
the lines.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Well, this is on the intent of Congress, the basic kind 
of understanding, the intent of Congress be interpreted in a manner 
that recognizes the difficulties encountered by the alien in obtaining 
evidence. As I understand, you strike that. And then you strike the 
burden of proof provisions through the top of 351, once the burden is 
met, the burden shall shift to the Secretary of Homeland Security. So 
those provisions are dropped. The essence of your amendment is to 
tighten up verification in terms of the applicant.
  Mr. VITTER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. KENNEDY. And that is effectively the purpose of the amendment. In 
your description and in the language, you talk about bank records, 
business records, sworn affidavits from nonrelatives who have direct 
knowledge of the alien's work, including name, address, phone number of 
the affiant, the nature and duration of relationship. You also talk 
about remittance records and that the burden is on the alien applying 
for the adjustment, the burden of proving by a preponderance of 
evidence that he has satisfied the employment requirements.
  Mr. VITTER. The Senator is correct on all of that.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I am going to urge that we accept that amendment. We 
want to make sure, those of us who support this proposal, that we are 
going to reach those people who are defined in the legislation. And we 
want to make sure that it is accurate.
  We are not interested in people gaming the system or in the identity 
theft problems and other kinds of challenges and false documents. We 
have made a very strong effort because if we have that and we lack the 
verification of information and lack the verification in terms of the 
individual and we are going to have continued forgery of documents, 
this is going to be a disaster. But we have given strong emphasis in 
terms of legality and veracity, and we are going to have the biometric 
identification cards. We are going to try to do this correctly and by 
the book, so to speak.
  The Senator has redrafted provisions we had in the legislation to 
ensure the applicant is going to provide the best information and that 
the best information has to be reliable and dependable in order to be 
able to participate in the system. I think it is useful and valuable. 
At the appropriate time, I will urge our colleagues to accept the 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania is recognized.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, there is no doubt that we have to have 
appropriate evidence in order to establish the criteria for moving 
ahead on the path to citizenship. I believe the Senator from Louisiana 
has structured a realistic amendment and made improvements to the bill. 
We are prepared to accept it on this side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana is recognized.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Pennsylvania and 
the Senator from Massachusetts for their encouraging and supportive 
words. Obviously, I welcome that. Obviously, I welcome this amendment 
being adopted.
  Without taking away anything from that statement, I simply add that, 
unfortunately, while these are very important cases we have identified 
in the bill that highlight these problems, these are not the only 
cases. Unfortunately, I think they are an example of the general nature 
in which many aspects of the bill were drafted.
  In a spirit of working toward the end all of us have said we fully 
support, I encourage all of the Members intimately involved in 
continuing to draft the bill, including if a bill should go to 
conference--and I will certainly include the Senators from Pennsylvania 
and Massachusetts--to continue to identify those problem areas in the 
bill language. I hope this amendment will be adopted and we will have 
addressed two of them. I will continue identifying more. I am 
encouraged by the comments that they will join us in that endeavor as 
this work product moves on.
  With that, I am prepared to yield back my time if we can proceed to 
voice vote.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I think we are ready for a voice vote on 
the Vitter amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is all time yielded back?
  Mr. SPECTER. It is.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (no. 3964) was agreed to.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we have concluded the Vitter amendment a 
little earlier than expected. It would be appropriate now to proceed 
with the debate on the Inhofe amendment, with the prospect of later 
having a side-by-side. I urge my colleagues who wish to be heard on 
that subject to come to the floor so we can proceed.
  Mr. President, while we are awaiting speakers to arrive on the Inhofe 
amendment and since we have concluded the Vitter amendment early, I

[[Page 8579]]

suggest the absence of a quorum and ask unanimous consent that the time 
be charged equally.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. 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. INHOFE. Mr. President, we are now going to the Inhofe amendment 
No. 4064. It is my understanding that we have between now and 4:15, 
with the time equally divided on my amendment and an alternative 
amendment that is proposed by Senator Salazar, and I would ask if that 
is correct.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. An amendment has not yet been proposed by the 
Senator from Colorado. However, the time between now and 4:15 is 
allocated to the Inhofe amendment and any Democratic amendment which 
might be proposed as an alternative.
  Mr. INHOFE. I thank the Chair for that clarification. It could very 
well be, and it is my understanding that some others do have an 
alternative that they want to have considered.
  Mr. President, this is an issue that has been with us for a long 
time. Due to the great history that is very often presented to this 
Chamber by the occupier of the chair, we went back into history and saw 
that for hundreds of years we have been trying, many of us, as our 
forefathers tried, to make English the national language. The last time 
we had a vote was 1983. In 1983, there was a--I don't remember who the 
author was at the time, but it was before I even came to the House. But 
that was 23 years ago. So 23 years it has taken now to get a vote on 
this issue.
  Ours is a very simple amendment. It is very straightforward. We have 
perfected it by adding things that the Senator from Tennessee and the 
Senator from Arizona and the Senator from Alabama have asked for, and 
we think as a result of that, we have a bill that is actually better 
than ours was when it first started.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, would the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. INHOFE. I yield.
  Mr. DURBIN. First, I thank the Senator for his cooperation. I think 
we have had a very valuable dialogue, and the Senator from Oklahoma has 
made some important concessions. But I would like to make sure that, 
for the Record, I understand the intent and language of the amendment 
which he currently offers.
  Has the Senator changed the version which referenced section 161: 
``Declaration of official language,'' which shows on page 2 of the 
amendment?
  Mr. INHOFE. Yes, that was changed. It was actually written up--they 
wrote the word ``national'' in the wrong place. It is, ``Declaration of 
national language.''
  Mr. DURBIN. Thank you. May I ask the Senator if he would tell me 
whether it is his intention to in any way diminish any rights that 
currently exist under the laws of the United States of America which 
would provide individuals with materials or services in a language 
other than English?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I think it is very appropriate the Senator 
asks that question. We have had a chance to discuss that at some length 
with a large number of people, and I have stood pretty fast to my 
belief. Now, keep in mind I am one of the few people around here who is 
not a lawyer, and therefore sometimes that puts me in a better position 
to understand the law than some of my lawyer friends. But I would say 
that when we write down, ``unless otherwise authorized or provided by 
law, no person has a right, entitlement, claim,'' et cetera, in the 
bill, which is the form of the bill that you have seen and that we have 
all been working on, so my feeling is that language takes care of any 
problem within the existing law that is on the books.
  Mr. DURBIN. If the Senator would yield, then----
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me ask if it would be all right, if 
you have a number of questions--I don't mind yielding, but I would just 
as soon yield on your time.
  Mr. DURBIN. Fine. Mr. President, I would like to have the time for 
the questions and answers count against me.
  So would the Senator say for the Record, is it your intention by this 
amendment to diminish any existing rights under the law of the United 
States relative to services or materials provided by the Government of 
the United States in any language other than English?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I would respond by saying I think the 
statement stands by itself, speaks for itself. It says, ``unless 
otherwise authorized or provided by law.'' We are a country of laws, 
and if there is anything that is inconsistent, that is an exception 
under section 162.
  Mr. DURBIN. Reclaiming my time, Mr. President, that is the problem. 
This is what it comes down to. This is an easy question to answer: Yes, 
it is not my intention to diminish any rights under the law given to 
any person for services or materials provided by the Government of the 
United States in any language other than English. If the Senator said 
yes to that question, it would put a lot of people at ease.
  But let me tell you what I am afraid is at stake. In the language 
which the legal staff has prepared, I am afraid there is more to it. It 
is apparent that at least some believe you are going further than what 
you have indicated; that you are trying to diminish existing rights of 
the law. That is troubling because the rights under law that we are 
talking about are rights that are over 40 years old, dating back to the 
1964 Civil Rights Act. And if the Senator from Oklahoma wants to make a 
statement of policy that English is the language of the United States 
and it is a common and unifying language, then he will have 100 votes 
in the Senate. It will be an important statement. But when he goes on 
and adds this other language, this amendment raises questions.
  I just gave the Senator a chance to clarify the rest of his language, 
and he didn't want to do it. I am afraid that is where we are going to 
have a parting of the ways.
  I think it is valuable for us to establish that the English language 
is common and unifying in America and that success depends on it, and I 
believe that. As I have said many times on the Senate floor, I am the 
son of an immigrant. My mother came to this country; her parents 
struggled to learn English. She spoke both English and Lithuanian. I 
speak only English today. My life experience is not much different than 
most.
  We had a recent survey that found an interesting statistic. The Pew 
Hispanic Center documents that about 80 percent of third generation 
Latinos in the United States speak English as their dominant language. 
Exactly zero percent speak Spanish as their dominant language. It 
suggests that what happened in my family is happening with most 
immigrant families.
  So they know the obvious: Success in this country depends on 
mastering and speaking English. So if the Senator wanted to make that 
statement, that English is our common and unifying language in this 
country, we would join him.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me respond.
  Mr. DURBIN. I still have my time, and I would like to say this: When 
I asked him straightforwardly a question as to whether he wanted to 
diminish the rights of anyone in this country currently under law, 
which would include Presidential Executive Orders, I might say to the 
Senator and his legal staff, if he wants to diminish those, he would 
not give me an affirmative answer which I think would satisfy many on 
this side of the aisle.
  I reserve the remainder of my time, and I yield back to the Senator 
from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me first of all say no, it is not my 
intent, nor is it the intent of this amendment, to do that. This 
amendment is pretty straightforward. It does say ``unless

[[Page 8580]]

otherwise authorized or provided by law.'' What that says to me is if 
there are some of these privileges out there that you believe are not 
in the law, then I would not be addressing those. I think what you are 
talking about is a matter of law, but I don't know that. I would rather 
say if it is a matter of law, we are providing an exception. And I 
guess I would ask you the question, since I now have the floor, do you 
believe that some of these rights are entitlements?
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I don't know whose time this counts 
against.
  Mr. INHOFE. It is mine.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma has the floor.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, as I said earlier, this is dangerously 
close to debate in the Senate, and I am glad we are doing it. My 
feeling is this: When you say: What are you entitled to? Well, we are 
entitled to be protected from discrimination. That is an entitlement to 
every American. We are entitled to be protected from discrimination. 
And the 1964 Civil Rights Act says one of the things you cannot be 
discriminated against is your national origin, where you were born. We 
say in America, no, you cannot be discriminated against based on 
national origin. And based on that provision in the Civil Rights Act, 
we will provide, when it comes to essential services, appropriate 
language assistance to help those who are availing themselves of the 
services.
  As I said earlier, in Chicago, that may be Polish or a Filipino 
dialect. But basically what we have said is, yes, you are entitled not 
to be discriminated against.
  Now, if the Senator wants to wipe away that entitlement, he should 
make it clear. But I am not sure that he wants to. If he does, I hope 
he will say so.
  Mr. INHOFE. No, no. Mr. President, reclaiming my time, it is 
certainly not our intention. And I think what the Senator is saying is 
that language and national origin are the same when, in fact, I am not 
saying that language and national origin are the same.
  Let me go ahead and try to respond, even though I am speaking to 
lawyers and I am not one, with some court cases that I think might 
clarify things for all of us.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, would my friend from Oklahoma yield for a 
question?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me hold off yielding until I get 
through with what I am about to say. I was going to mention these this 
morning, but I would like to go ahead and say where I believe we are 
today in responding to the question that has already been asked. I 
think it speaks for itself, but let me see after reading these cases 
whether you agree with that or not.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, again, if I may ask a question of my 
friend from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. All right. I would rather wait until I am through, but go 
ahead.
  Mr. SALAZAR. This is not on the substance----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado is recognized to ask 
a question.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, what I would like to do as we move 
forward in this discussion is also lay down the amendment that I have 
which I believe accomplishes the objectives which have been articulated 
by the Senator from Oklahoma and, hopefully, after the Inhofe 
statement, I can lay down my proposed amendment which I think addresses 
some of the questions we are talking about on the floor.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, it is my understanding--we talked about 
this before the Senator came in--that we will have two amendments that 
we will be talking about: the Salazar amendment and the Inhofe 
amendment. They will be side by side. There will be a vote at 4:15. 
That vote will take place on my amendment first and then on the Salazar 
amendment, is my understanding.
  Mr. SALAZAR. I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, first of all, I would like to get into 
some of the legal background. For the legal analysis, let me start by 
mentioning Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld who was the author of the seminal 
Fundamental Legal Conceptions, a powerful and enduring analysis of the 
nature of rights and the implications of liberty. Hohfeld noted that 
rights correlate to duties. A has a duty to B if B has a right against 
A. If A has no duty, that means B has no right and A has liberty, are 
the terms that he used. Such Hohfeldian analysis applies here.
  My amendment makes clear that nobody has a right or entitlement to 
sue the Federal workers or the Federal Government for services or 
materials in languages other than English. In Hohfeldian terms, the 
Federal Government has no duty to provide services or materials in 
languages other than English, but the Federal Government is free to do 
so. In other words, they are not compelled to do it, but they may do 
it, they have the authority to do that.
  The question has been asked: How does this amendment affect the X 
program? Will the Federal Government be free to offer X service or 
material in Y language? The answer is, yes, the Federal Government is 
at liberty to offer, can offer, X services or whatever the program is, 
in whatever language seems to be appropriate, but the Federal 
Government only has the duty to offer X services and Y language if a 
statute creates that right.
  In other words, we are talking about English as the national 
language. We are talking about certain exceptions that are written into 
law, and we have said on page 2 that I have read several times, 
``unless otherwise authorized or provided by law.''
  That means there are many cases where that would be the case. Again, 
such examples exist, such as the Voting Rights Act, which provides for 
bilingual ballots, and the Court Interpreters Act of 1978, which 
provides for translation services in the Federal courts.
  Prior to 1978, there was no such act, and that was not the case. This 
does not change the decision in the change in law that took place in 
1978.
  For over 30 years, the courts have ruled uniformly and consistently 
on these matters, of providing services and materials in languages 
other than English. Federal courts have rejected attempts to equate a 
person's language with their national origin in dozens of court cases. 
This is what I referred to. It seems to me perhaps the other side is 
trying to say they are one and the same.
  But the Federal courts have rejected the attempts to equate a 
person's language with their national origin in dozens of court cases 
and court decisions going back more than 30 years. Therefore, any 
expansion of the concept of national origin to encompass a theory 
repeatedly rejected by the Federal courts must come explicitly from 
Congress. It must be a law. It must be something that Congress proposes 
and passes and not be imposed by a flawed or arbitrary interpretation 
of the law. Today the Senate is stating that there is no right, 
entitlement or claim to services and materials in any language other 
than English. That is assuming we pass our amendment.
  I will mention just three of the long, unbroken line of court cases 
spanning over 30 years.
  In 1983 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals determined in Soberal-
Perez v. Heckler, which the Supreme Court let stand, that there is no 
right to government forms in languages other than English.
  In 1994 the Second Circuit Court of Appeals determined in Toure v. 
U.S. that there is no right to government deportation notices in 
languages other than English.
  The most recent United States Supreme Court case in this area is 
Sandoval v. Alexander, the Alabama driver's license case. Justice 
Scalia wrote the decision in Sandoval in 2001.
  The Supreme Court in Sandoval rejected the equation of language and 
national origin.
  Indeed, the Federal courts have repeatedly considered and rejected 
just this equation of the failure to provide foreign language services 
and materials with a violation of the prohibition against national 
origin discrimination.

[[Page 8581]]

  There is no support in the legislative history or judicial 
interpretations of title VI for the right or entitlement to Federal 
Government services or materials in languages other than English. 
Executive Order 13166 purported to interpret title VI, but it was 
written before the United States Supreme Court's decision in Sandoval.
  This amendment now clarifies in Federal statute the line of cases 
culminating in the United States Supreme Court decision in the Sandoval 
case. Here we are making clear that there is no legal basis for 
Executive Order 13166 that purported to direct services and materials 
in languages other than English. I state it again clearly: There shall 
be no right or entitlement to services or materials in languages other 
than English.
  I ask unanimous consent additional material be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


                          Legislative History

       The legislative history does not support a language-based 
     definition of national origin. The Supreme Court has noted 
     that the legislative history concerning the meaning of 
     national origin, even under statutory law, is ``quite 
     meager.'' Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co., 414 U.S. 86, 88 (1973). 
     Nevertheless, ``[t]he terms `national origin' and `ancestry' 
     were considered synonymous.'' 414 U.S. at 89. During debate 
     on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Representative Roosevelt 
     stated: ``May I just make very clear that `national origin' 
     means national. It means the country from which you or your 
     forebears came from. You may come from Poland, 
     Czechoslovakia, England, France, or any other country.'' 110 
     Cong. Rec. 2,549 (1964).
       The Supreme Court supports that assessment: ``[t]he term 
     `national origin' on its face refers to the country where a 
     person was born, or, more broadly, the country from which his 
     or her ancestors came.'' Esoinoza, 414 U.S. at 88; see also, 
     Pejic v. Hughes Helicopters, 840 F.2d 667, 672-73 (9th Cir. 
     1988) (persons of Serbian national origin are members of a 
     protected class under Title VII).


                              Case History

       Federal courts have rejected attempts to equate a person's 
     language with their national origin in dozens of court 
     decisions going back thirty years. Therefore any expansion of 
     the concept of national origin to encompass a theory 
     repeatedly rejected by federal courts must come explicitly 
     from Congress, and not be imposed by a flawed and arbitrary 
     interpretation of the law.
       The Supreme Court has never held that the language a person 
     chooses to speak can be equated to the person's national 
     origin. Though this issue was briefed and discussed in 
     Hernandez v. New York, 500 U.S. 352 (1991), the Court did not 
     make a holding on this question. ``Petitioner argues that 
     Spanish-language ability bears a close relation to ethnicity, 
     and that, as a result, it violates the Equal Protection 
     Clause. . . . We need not address that argument here.'' 500 
     U.S. at 360. The Circuits, on the other hand, have rejected 
     such an equation. See, e.g., Soberal-Perez v. Heckler, 717 
     F.2d at 41: ``A classification is implicitly made, but it is 
     on the basis of language, i.e., English-speaking versus non-
     English speaking individuals, and not on the basis of race, 
     religion or national origin. Language, by itself, does not 
     identify members of a suspect class.''
       See, also, Toure v. United States, 24 F.3d at 446 
     (affirming Soberal-Perez and rejecting request for 
     multilingual forfeiture notices). ``A policy involving an 
     English requirement, without more, does not establish 
     discrimination based on race or national origin.'' ``An v. 
     General Am. Life Ins. Co., 872 F.2d 426 (9th Cir. 1989) 
     (table).
       The oldest administrative interpretation linking language 
     and national origin is the EEOC's arbitrary presumption 
     against English language workplace rules. 29 C.F.R. 
     Sec. 1606.7. The Supreme Court has never reviewed those 
     purely administrative interpretations. But many other courts 
     have reviewed the EEOC guidelines and have rejected them and 
     their underlying equation of language and national origin. 
     See, e.g., Garcia v. Spun-Steak, 998 F.2d 1480, 1489-90 (9th 
     Cir. 1993), cert. den. 512 U.S. 1228 (1994) (EEOC Guidelines 
     equating language and national origin were ultra vires); 
     Vasquez v. McAllen Bag & Supply Co., 660 F.2d 686 (5th Cir. 
     1981)(upholding English-on-the-job rule for non-English-
     speaking truck drivers); Garcia v. Rush-Presbyterian St. 
     Luke's Medical Center, 660 F.2d 1217, 1222 (7th Cir. 
     1981)(upholding hiring practices requiring English 
     proficiency); Long v. First Union Corp., 894 F. Supp. 933, 
     941 (E.D. Virginia, 1995)(``there is nothing in Title VII 
     which protects or provides that an employee has a right to 
     speak his or her native tongue while on the job.''), 
     affirmed, 86 F.3d 1151 (4th Cir. 1996).
       A few cases indicate that if the language policy is a 
     pretext for intentional discrimination, a language-related 
     rule might violate national origin rules. In addition, two 
     recent lower court decisions have adopted the EEOC's 
     interpretation equating language and national origin. See, 
     e.g., EEOC v. Synchro-Start Products, 29 F.Supp.2d 911, 915 
     n. 10 (N.D. Illinois, 1999)(on advice of law clerk, Judge 
     Shadur was ``staking out a legal position that has not been 
     espoused by any appellate court.''); EEOC v. Premier Operator 
     Services, 113 F.Supp.2d 1066 (N.D. Texas, 2000) (Magistrate 
     Judge Stickney, rejecting appellate cases against EEOC 
     Guidelines and relying on Synchro-Start Products and Judge 
     Reinhardt's dissent from denial of rehearing en bane in Spun 
     Steak, found disparate treatment of Hispanic employees in the 
     promulgation of an English-workplace rule; the defendant 
     company was bankrupt and did not present a defense).
       But almost all cases, including all Circuit decisions, have 
     rejected the equation of language and national origin. See, 
     e.g., Gloor, 618 F.2d at 270 (``The EEO Act does not support 
     an interpretation that equates the language an employee 
     prefers to use with his national origin.''); Nazarova v. INS, 
     171 F.3d 478, 483 (7th Cir. 1999)(permitting deportation 
     notices in English); Carmona v. Sheffield, 475 F.2d 738 (9th 
     Cir. 1973)(permitting English benefit termination notices); 
     Frontera v. Sindell, 522 F.2d 1215 (6th Cir. 1975) (civil 
     service exam for carpenters can be in English); Garcia v. 
     Spun Steak, 998 F.2d 4 1480, 1489-90 (9th Cir. 1993), cert. 
     den., 512 U.S. 1228 (1994) (rejecting EEOC guidelines); 
     Gonzalez v. Salvation Army, 985 F.2d 578 (11th Cir.)(table), 
     cert. den., 508 U.S. 910 (1993)(rejecting employment 
     discrimination claim); Jurado v. Eleven-Fifty Corp, 813 F.2d 
     1406 (9th Cir. 1987) (permitting radio station to choose 
     language an announcer would use); Vasquez v. McAllen Bag & 
     Supply Co., 660 F.2d 686 (5th Cir. 1981) (upholding English-
     on-the-job rule for non-English-speaking truck drivers); 
     Garcia v. Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, 660 
     F.2d 1217 (7th Cir. 1981) (upholding hiring practices 
     requiring English proficiency); Long v. First Union Corp., 
     894 F.Supp. 933, 941 (E.D. Virginia, 1995) (``there is 
     nothing in Title VII which protects or provides that an 
     employee has a right to speak his or her native tongue while 
     on the job''), affirmed, 86 F.3d 1151 (4th Cir. 1996); 
     Gotfryd v. Book Covers, Inc., 1999 WL 20925, *8 (N.D. Ill. 
     1999) (rejecting attempt to use EEOC guidelines to establish 
     hostile workplace); Magana v. Tarrant/Dallas Printing, Inc., 
     1998 WL 548686, *5 (N.D. Texas, 1998) (``English-only 
     policies are not of themselves indicative of national origin 
     discrimination in violation of Title VII''); Tran v. Standard 
     Motor Products, Inc., 10 F.Supp.2d 1199, 1210 (D. Kansas, 
     1998) (``the purported English-only policy does not 
     constitute a hostile work environment''); Mejia v. New York 
     Sheraton Hotel, 459 F.Supp. 375, 377 (S.D.N.Y. 1978) 
     (chambermaid properly denied a promotion because of her 
     ``inability to articulate clearly or coherently and to make 
     herself adequately understood in . . . English''); Prado v. 
     L. Luria & Son, Inc., 975 F.Supp. 1349 (S.D. Fla 1997) 
     (rejecting challenge to English workplace policy); Kania v. 
     Archdiocese of Philadelphia, 14 F.Supp. 2d 730, 733 (E.D. 
     Penn. 1998) (surveying cases: ``all of these courts have 
     agreed that--particularly as applied to multi-lingual 
     employees--an English-only rule does not have a disparate 
     impact on the basis of national origin, and does not violate 
     Title VII'').
       There is, therefore, no basis in the terms, history or 
     interpretation of ``national origin'' which supports a per se 
     rule equating a person's language and that person's national 
     origin.
       The Executive Order 13166 is based on the equation of a 
     person's language and that person's national origin. Again, 
     here we are making clear that there is no legal basis for 
     Executive Order 13166. Neither is there any legal basis for 
     federal regulations based on Executive Order 13166, 
     including, but not limited to those federal regulations in 
     the following list:

         Index of Federal Regulations on Executive Order 13166


                       Cabinet-Level Departments

     Commerce
       Department of Commerce: ``Guidance to Federal Financial 
     Assistance Recipients on the Title VI Prohibition Against 
     National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English 
     Proficient Persons'' (March, 2003). (reaffirmed on July 29, 
     2003).
     Energy
       Department of Energy: Ensuring Access to Federally 
     Conducted Programs and Activities by Individuals with Limited 
     English Proficiency (LEP) Plan DRAFT.
     EPA
       EPA Factsheet.
     HHS
       REVISED Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients 
     Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin 
     Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons 
     (August 8, 2003).
       Strategic Plan to Improve Access to HHS Programs and 
     Activities by Limited English Proficient (LEP) Persons 
     (December 14, 2000).
       ``Policy Guidance: Title VI Prohibition Against National 
     Origin Discrimination As It Affects Persons With Limited 
     English Proficiency,'' U.S. Department of Health and Human 
     Services, Office for Civil Rights (September 1, 2000).

[[Page 8582]]

       Guidance Memorandum, Title VI Prohibition Against National 
     Origin Discrimination--Persons with Limited-English 
     Proficiency, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
     Office of Civil Rights (January 29, 1998).
       Proposed HHS Regulations as published in the Federal 
     Register (August 30, 2000).
       Fact sheet ``Language Assistance to Persons with Limited 
     English Proficiency (LEP)'' U.S. Department of Health and 
     Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (September 26, 2000).
       Appendix A: ``Questions and Answers'' (August 29, 2000).
       Appendix B: ``Selected Federal and State Laws and 
     Regulations Reauiring Language Assistance,'' U.S. Department 
     of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (August 
     29, 2000).
     Justice
       Bush Justice Department issues reaffirmation of E.O. 13166 
     and a new set of Questions and Answers (October 26, 2001).
       Justice Department Policy Guidance Document: ``Enforcement 
     of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964--National Origin 
     Discrimination Against Persons With Limited English 
     Proficiency'' (LEP Guidance) (August 16, 2000).
       Commonly Asked Questions And Answers Regarding Executive 
     Order 13166, Department of Justice (November 13, 2000).
       Civil Rights Forum (Summer-Fall, 2000).
       EO 13166 Implementation Plan (January, 2001).
     Labor
       REVISED Department of Labor Policy Guidance (May 29, 2003).
       Department of Labor Policy Guidance.
     Transportation
       DOT Guidance to Recipients on Special Language Services to 
     Limited English Proficient (LEP) Beneficiaries (document 
     undated--appeared in January, 2001).
     Treasury
       Treasury Department issues EO 13166 regulations (March 7, 
     2001).
     Department of Veterans Affairs
       Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients: 
     Providing Meaningful Access to Individuals Who Have Limited 
     English Proficiency in Compliance With Title VI of the Civil 
     Rights Act of 1964
     Subcabinet agencies
       Corporation for National and Community Service Plan.
       Consumer Product Safety Commission's Plan for Agency 
     Compliance With Executive Order 13166.
       REVISED General Services Administration (2003).
       General Services Administration.
       FINAL Institue of Museum and Library Services (August 7, 
     2003).
       REVISED Institute of Museum and Library Services (April, 
     2003).
       Institute of Museum and Library Services.
       Legal Services Corporation (January, 2003).
       National Aeronautics and Space Administration Language 
     Assistance Plan for Accommodating Persons with Limited 
     English Proficiency in NASA-Conducted Programs and 
     Activities.
       National Council on Disability Implementation Plan for 
     Executive Order 13166 Improving Access to Services for 
     Persons with Limited English Proficiency (Dec 12, 2000).
       National Credit Union Federation (undated).
       National Science Foundation plan.
       Office of Special Counsel's Plan for Agency Compliance With 
     Executive Order 13166.
       Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's Plan for Agency 
     Compliance With Executive Order 13166.

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I know we can get bogged down. I suspect 
the reason this particular amendment that has been proposed numerous 
times in the past but not in the last 23 years, and that it is going to 
get bogged down on a lot of technical questions, is that perhaps some 
people do not want this amendment, so they come up with all kinds of 
technical reasons to oppose it. But what we are doing is declaring--we 
are making a declaration--that English is the national language for the 
United States of America.
  We are taking the exceptions, for example, the Court Interpreters 
Act. Before the Court Interpreters Act passed in 1978, defendants did 
not have a right to an interpreter. It was up to the Court's 
discretion. The Court Interpreters Act protects already existing 
constitutional rights such as in the sixth amendment, the fifth 
amendment, the 14th amendment, amendments on due process. It is very 
important to know that is one of the many exceptions that is written 
into law. It is a very important exception.
  You also have some exceptions found in the Voting Rights Act. 
Somebody mentioned this morning some disaster could take place in 
California, a tsunami or something such as that, and when the eviction 
notices come, obviously, if you are addressing Chinatown, it would be 
in Chinese. We know that. That protection is there.
  I believe we have covered the legitimate concerns that are out there. 
I know there are some people who do not want this to happen who are 
going to vote against this. I understand that. That is what this is all 
about. It has been 23 years since we had an opportunity to vote for it 
or against it. Those of you who want to vote against it, you are going 
to have your opportunity at 4:15 today. In the meantime I agree with 
the Presidents--almost every President of the United States going back 
long before Teddy Roosevelt. One of the things he said is, ``We must 
also learn one language and that language is English.'' As we remember, 
President Bill Clinton in his State of the Union Message in 1999 got a 
standing ovation when he said that our new immigrants have a 
responsibility to enter the mainstream of American life. That means 
learning English and learning about our democratic system of 
government.
  I agree with that. I didn't agree with everything that President 
Clinton said, but I certainly was one who stood and applauded during 
that State of the Union Message in 1999.
  I think other Presidents have done the same thing as recently as a 
few days ago, when our President said that an ability to speak and 
write the English language, English allows newcomers to go from picking 
crops to opening a grocery, from cleaning offices to renting offices, 
from a life of low-paying jobs to a diplomat career and a home of their 
own.
  This is an opportunity. We look at people who come to this country 
and, oddly enough, those individuals that I have spent many hours 
with--I say to my good friend from Colorado that when I was mayor of 
Tulsa, we had never had any kind of recognition of our Latin 
population. Yet I knew it was a very large population. I would say to 
you, at that time I used to be a commercial pilot in Mexico and I 
actually spoke the language fairly well at that time. It has been many 
years, 25, 30 years, I guess. But when I became a mayor I said: I know 
around here we are very rich in history and have a talented bunch of 
people who have come here and are good citizens of our city of Tulsa. 
So I formed the Hispanic Commission of the city of Tulsa. This may or 
may not surprise you. Some of them were kind of in hiding, not even 
recognizing that they were Hispanics, and they came out. We had the 
Cinco de Mayo and all the celebrations there. It is probably the most 
popular thing that has ever been done in the city of Tulsa.
  I went back and talked to these people. I said: Do you agree with the 
polling data that shows very clearly that Hispanics want to have 
English as the national language? And they said yes. This is a group I 
have been dealing with since 1978.
  I think it may be someone's impression that certain extremist 
groups--and I am sure there are some extremist groups that have a large 
number of Latinos in them. They may be offended. They may not want to 
have this. That is fine. Let them exercise their influence on every 
voter, each of the 100 Members of this body. That is the way the system 
works.
  But I will say this. Jumping from the ones I know and the ones I have 
had experience with back in my city of Tulsa, the Hispanic population 
is very proud of the fact that they are going to learn English, and it 
should be our national language. As recently as 2 months ago, a Zogby 
poll, in March of 2006, found that 84 percent of Americans, including 
77 percent of the Hispanics, believe English should be the official 
language of Government operations. In 2002, the Kaiser Family 
Foundation poll--which I don't think anyone is going to question--found 
91 percent of the foreign-born Latino immigrants agreed that learning 
English is essential to succeeding in the United States. In 2002, there 
is also a Carnegie/Public Agenda poll that found by a more than 2-to-1 
margin, immigrants themselves say that the United States should expect 
new immigrants to learn English.

[[Page 8583]]

  My favorite poll is this one. In 2004, the National Council of LaRaza 
found that 97 percent--strongly 86.4 percent or somewhat 10.9 percent--
agreed that the ability to speak English is important to succeed in 
this country. That is a no-brainer. We all know that. There is not a 
country you go to where that is not true.
  I would say this. There are 50 other countries around the world today 
that have English as their national language. In these countries, they 
expect you, when you come to their country, to learn English. But if 
you go to another country, if it is Italy or France or any other 
country, you are expected to be able to communicate in their language.
  In 1988, G. Lawrence Research showed 87 percent favored English as an 
official language with only 8 percent opposed and 5 percent not sure. 
That was 1988. Very consistent; about the same numbers. A 1996, 
national survey by Luntz Research asked, ``Do you think English should 
be made the official language of the United States?'' and 86 percent of 
Americans supported making English the official language and only 12 
percent opposed and only 2 unsure. That was 1996.
  In 2000, Public Opinion Strategies, showed 84 percent favored English 
as the official language, with only 12 percent opposed and 4 percent 
not sure.
  In 2004 another Zogby poll, that was a different one than the one I 
quoted, but 92 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats, and 76 
percent of Independents favored making English the national language. 
Again, that was a March poll of Zogby. It is consistent throughout.
  You have some things working here. You have everybody wanting it, 
including the Latin community. You have more than half the States, 27 
of the 50 States--27 States have accepted English as an official 
language, including Colorado, I might add, I say to my good friend from 
Colorado. Let's see where Illinois is. Yes, Illinois. You don't have a 
problem in Illinois. You already have it as a State concept that has 
been accepted.
  So if you have 27 States, you have 51 other nations accepting English 
as the national language, you have all the polling data showing this is 
what people want, you have an exception made so no one is going to lose 
anything by doing it this way, then I can only come to the conclusion 
that you don't want it as the national language.
  That is fine. That is good. If that is the case, we are going to have 
a vote at 4:15 and make that determination.
  Before I yield, let me ask how our time is coming along.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma has 30 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. INHOFE. I yield the floor at this point.
  Mr. DURBIN. I'll take it on my time. The Senator made it clear. He 
has two parts of this amendment. The first part is, frankly, an easy 
part. Is English the common, unifying language of our Nation? The 
answer is yes. His conclusion is that you can't succeed in America 
without being English proficient. If that's his amendment, that vote 
would be 100 to nothing.
  It is the second part, the part you called the technical arguments, 
that we find troublesome. You said, in the course of explaining the 
amendment, that you didn't want to take away any existing rights of 
people in law, in courtrooms, for example, or going to vote, and I'm 
glad to hear that. But I want to ask you directly: Do you want to 
diminish any of the rights currently available to those living in our 
country under title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits 
discrimination based on national origin?
  Mr. INHOFE. Do I personally want that? No, I don't. This amendment 
doesn't do that because it makes those exceptions because what you are 
referring to is the law.
  Mr. DURBIN. Let me ask you expressly and specifically, because you 
did refer to this. This was Executive Order 13166, issued by President 
Clinton, which implemented the same title of the Civil Rights Act that 
I referred to. The Executive Order said that agencies of our Government 
had to make efforts to provide their services and materials to people 
with limited English proficiency.
  Is it your intention with your amendment to, in any way, diminish the 
responsibilities and rights created by Executive Order 13166?
  Mr. INHOFE. It is my understanding, I say to the Senator from 
Illinois, that the courts already have had some interpretations of that 
which perhaps are not the same as you are stating right now. What the 
courts have interpreted I stand behind because that means it is law. 
That is according to my amendment.
  Mr. DURBIN. So will the Senator accept an amendment to his amendment 
which says that:

       Nothing herein shall diminish or expand any existing rights 
     under the law of the United States relative to services or 
     materials provided by the Government of the United States in 
     any language other than English?

  Mr. INHOFE. You will have an opportunity to have that in your side-
by-side amendment that will be voted on after mine. My answer is no 
because we have already massaged this language. A lot of people are 
supporting this. If I start changing things now, as you well know, they 
are going to start peeling off, and I won't have the support I have 
right now. We will have an opportunity to vote on my amendment. Then we 
will have an opportunity to vote on whatever language you decide to put 
in, in your amendment.
  Mr. DURBIN. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. AKAKA. I agree that English is the common language of our Nation. 
Everyone should learn it, just as I believe everyone should learn other 
languages and more about the world around them. But I must oppose the 
Inhofe amendment because it does not merely encourage learning the 
English language. I am concerned that this amendment will have far-
reaching consequences and eliminate the rights of many Americans.
  First of all, the Inhofe amendment is unnecessary. English is the de 
facto official language of the United States. In fact, according to the 
2000 census, only 9.3 percent of Americans speak both their native 
language and another language fluently.
  Second, the Inhofe amendment is divisive. The sponsors of the 
amendment claim that this is needed to promote national unity. However, 
our common language is not what unifies this country. It is our common 
belief in freedom and justice. The first amendment to the Constitution 
ensures that we have the freedom of speech. We are free to speak in all 
languages--not just English. For those individuals who do not speak 
English, this amendment would deny U.S. citizens with limited English 
proficiency basic rights. For example, our country was founded on the 
belief that the people of this country hold the power--they are the 
check on our Government. However, limiting services to the English 
language could deny people the right to exercise this power and receive 
essential Government services.
  Moreover, children growing up in homes that speak languages other 
than English will feel stigmatized. As a young child, I was discouraged 
from speaking Hawaiian because I was told that it would not allow me to 
succeed in the Western world. My parents lived through the overthrow of 
the Kingdom of Hawaii and endured the aftermath as a time when all 
things Hawaiian, including language, which they both spoke fluently, 
hula, customs, and traditions, were viewed as negative. I, therefore, 
was discouraged from speaking the language and practicing Hawaiian 
customs and traditions. I remember as a young child sneaking to listen 
to my parents so that I could maintain my ability to understand the 
Hawaiian language. My experience mirrors that of my generation of 
Hawaiians.
  This is the same problem facing bilingual education. There is a push 
to stop the learning of other languages when individuals are young, 
when it is much easier to learn another language, but then we tell 
those same people that it is essential that they learn another language 
to preserve our national security. This is contradictory.

[[Page 8584]]

  Third, the amendment sends the wrong message to our heritage 
communities. After the terrorist attacks of 
9/11, we sought out these individuals to help with our translation 
efforts; however, now we are telling them that we do not value their 
language enough to provide them with essential services in their 
languages. The ability to speak a foreign language is critical to our 
national security, and we should not discourage that in any way.
  Fourth, the Inhofe amendment could prohibit the Government from 
providing emergency services in other languages or providing critical 
health and safety materials to non-English speakers since such programs 
may not be required by law. People's lives might be endangered by this 
amendment.
  Finally, I worry that the very strength of our democracy is 
threatened by this amendment. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of 
S. 2703, a bill to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Importantly, S. 
2703 will continue to require bilingual voting assistance. Unless every 
citizen has access to the polls and can understand the language on 
their voting ballot, our democracy is not as strong as it could be.
  We want immigrants and individuals from all over the world to learn 
about the United States and what defines us. I think our basic freedoms 
are what define us. To limit the ability of non-English speakers to 
know about the United States and experience and observe the freedoms on 
which this country was founded, would be a disservice to the United 
States. Actions speak louder than words, no matter the language. I urge 
my colleagues to act to oppose the Inhofe amendment.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I rise in support of an amendment introduced 
by my colleague from Oklahoma, Senator Inhofe.
  I firmly believe a common language promotes unity among citizens and 
fosters greater communication. Establishing a national language would 
save the Government the expensive and time-consuming task of preparing 
documents in many languages.
  A recent Zogby poll showed 84 percent of our population believes that 
English should be the official language of our Government. Twenty-seven 
U.S. States have already made English the official language, including 
Louisiana which agreed to it as a condition of statehood. My home State 
of Wyoming made English the official language of the State in 1996. 
Fifty-one nations also have English as their official language, but the 
United States does not. It is time that we have a clear statement on 
our national language.
  This amendment also addresses the important issue of English 
proficiency for new citizens. On May 15, 2006, President Bush addressed 
the Nation about the needed reform of our current immigration 
situation. He stressed the positive role that the English language has 
for new citizens. Many improvements need to be made to the current 
process that our new citizens go through. I am pleased that this 
amendment creates a set of goals for updates to the new citizen exam. 
Some of the goals are demonstration of sufficient understanding of 
English usage in everyday life and an understanding of American common 
values. These common values include the principles of our U.S. 
Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, and the 
significance of our American flag. The goals will help new citizens 
better understand our Nation and become productive members of our 
society.
  Senator Inhofe's amendment is a good strong statement in support of 
English as our national language and the importance of sharing this 
common value with new citizens. I have worked on legislation that would 
establish English as the official language of the U.S. Government 
during my service in the Senate and in the Wyoming State Legislature, 
and I encourage all Senators to support this important amendment to the 
immigration reform bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.


                           Amendment No. 4073

  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Colorado [Mr. Salazar], for himself and 
     Mr. Durbin, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Bingaman, and Mr. Reid, proposes 
     an amendment numbered 4073.

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

       At the appropriate place insert the following:
       Notwithstanding any other provision:

     SEC. 161. DECLARATION OF ENGLISH.

       English is the common and unifying language of the United 
     States that helps provide unity for the people of the United 
     States.

     SEC. 162. PRESERVING AND ENHANCING THE ROLE OF THE ENGLISH 
                   LANGUAGE.

       The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the common and unifying 
     language of America. Nothing herein shall diminish or expand 
     any existing rights under the law of the United States 
     relative to services or materials provided by the government 
     of the United States in any language other than English.
       For the purposes of this section, law is defined as 
     including provisions of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Constitution, 
     controlling judicial decisions, regulations, and Presidential 
     Executive Orders.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for title 
     4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the Language 
     of Government of the United States.

  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I yield 15 minutes to the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado is recognized.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Let me first say that the amendment I send to the desk is sponsored 
as well by Senators Reid, Durbin, Bingaman, and Kennedy.
  I would first like to start by reading the amendment in its basic 
entirety. I think that it reflects what it is we are talking about in 
the Chamber this afternoon. My amendment reads as follows:

       English is the common and unifying language of the United 
     States that helps provide unity for the people of the United 
     States.
       The government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as a common and unifying language 
     of America. Nothing herein shall diminish or expand any 
     existing rights under the law of the United States relative 
     to services or materials provided by the Government of the 
     United States in any language other than English.

  That is the essential and substantive part of the amendment which we 
are sponsoring today.
  As I start to speak about this amendment, I want to say this 
amendment is a unifying amendment because it speaks to the common 
language of America. It unifies us from whatever particular language or 
background we come from.
  It is my hope that when we complete this debate today we could have 
100 Senators standing up in support of this amendment.
  Let me say, for me--as we have approached this debate over 
immigration and as we approach this debate over official English and 
other aspects of amendments that have been offered by my friend from 
Oklahoma--it has been also a time for me to reflect back to the history 
of America and to the history of my own family in this country. My 
family came in and founded the city of Santa Fe in 1598, 408 years ago. 
And the language that is still the language of my home--the language 
still spoken on our ranch 110 miles north of Santa Fe--is still the 
spoken language from the 12th and 13th centuries. It is a very old 
language.
  I remember during those days when I was a young man going to school 
in the 1960s in Conejos County, in the southern part of Colorado, those 
who spoke Spanish in our school were punished because of the fact they 
spoke Spanish. I remember seeing the incident where young people would 
have their mouths washed out with soap because of the fact they 
happened to be speaking a language other than English in the public 
school. I have seen these kinds of incidents through a lifetime of 
personal experience.
  I think those kinds of incidents and those kinds of experiences run 
counter

[[Page 8585]]

to what America is all about. America becomes richer and stronger 
because of our diversity. We have learned through the hard times of 
history that America is stronger when it stands together, when we find 
those issues that unite us as opposed to those issues that divide us.
  We found those issues that divided us in the Civil War and over half 
a million Americans died in that war. We found those issues that 
divided us in the era of segregation that led to Brown v. Board of 
Education and led to the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. Those acts were 
intended to bring us together as a country.
  My fear is that the proposal which has been presented by my good 
friend from Oklahoma will serve to divide this country and not unite 
the country.
  That is why the amendment I have offered, along with my colleagues, 
is intended to be an amendment that says we believe the English 
language is the common language of the United States and that it is a 
unifying language of the United States and we stand behind that 
language as the common language of America.
  Let me also make a couple of observations regarding Senator Inhofe's 
amendment.
  First, when you read the language itself and read the technical 
language of it, you have to ask yourself the question: Why is that 
language there? You can read in the second part of the second page of 
his amendment essentially the language that says ``no official will 
communicate, provide services, or provide materials in any language 
other than English.''
  I know there have been exceptions written into the language to try to 
accommodate times and places where the language other than English 
might have to be spoken.
  We have to ask the question: Why is the language written the way it 
is which says it is in these narrow, tailored exceptions where we will 
make the exception that a language other than English can be spoken?
  It causes me concern because I am not exactly sure what that means. 
If I am a public official working in law enforcement for one of our 
Federal agencies, if I work for the U.S. Postal Service, or wherever I 
might work in any agency of the Federal Government, I might read the 
language that says officials cannot communicate or provide materials in 
a language other than English. As someone who might not be a lawyer but 
a public servant serving within the Federal Government, it might give 
me a signal--and I think it would--and lots of our Federal employees 
the signal that perhaps providing services to the citizens of the 
United States in a language other than English is wrong and violative 
of the rule of law.
  They will not have the opportunity that we have had today to go 
through the fine review of this legislation in the way that we have, 
and even after having gone through that fine review of this language 
there are still many of us who have questions as to how this proposed 
amendment will take away rights from the people of America.
  As I was listening to my friend from Oklahoma speak about the 
importance of this amendment, one of the things he said is that he 
thought it was important that we stand together in opposing national 
origin discrimination. For sure, we can all agree in this Chamber that 
we are not to discriminate against someone because they happen to be 
Irish or French or if they happen to be of Mexican descent, whatever it 
is; we stand united in this country's belief in the proposition that we 
oppose any kind of discrimination based on national origin. Yet, it 
seems to me, from what I was hearing from my friend from Oklahoma, that 
the same thing does not apply with respect to language discrimination; 
if you happen to speak a language other than English, or if you happen, 
perhaps, to have an accent that indicates you may be of a native tongue 
that is other than English, that perhaps discrimination on the basis of 
language then would be sanctioned under our law in America. That is not 
the American way. The American way is to say that we are a stronger 
country when we recognize the differences among us, when we tolerate 
those who are different among us, and that we create a much stronger 
country when we stand together.
  I believe the amendment which Senator Inhofe has proposed will create 
division within the country. I think it is putting a finger on a 
problem that does not exist today.
  The statistics which Senator Inhofe cited, which are also cited by 
the National Council for Larussa, indicates that most Americans, 
including most Hispanics, speak English. The National Council for 
Larussa cites a GAO study in which it was consistently found that U.S. 
Government documents are printed in English only. In fact, less than 1 
percent of U.S. Government documents are published in any language 
other than English.
  They also found that the English language is not under attack in our 
country. In the U.S. census findings, they found that 92 percent of 
Americans had no difficulty speaking English. We also found in poll 
after poll that immigrants in America come because they want to learn 
English. They want to learn English. They want to assimilate into our 
society because they know that English is, in fact, a keystone to 
opportunity.
  The Inhofe amendment does nothing in terms of including or 
encouraging people to move forward and learn the English language. We 
are already a country that speaks English. Senator Inhofe's amendment 
does not do anything with respect to moving the English language 
acquisition forward.
  Let me finally say that it is true there are many States that have 
made English their official language. I believe that English being made 
the official language is also a matter of States rights. It is true 
that in my State of Colorado, as well as in other States, English has 
been adopted as the official language of those particular States. I 
believe we ought to leave it to the States; let the States decide we 
are a Federal system. I think States ought to decide the way we ought 
to go with respect to dealing with this issue.
  Let me conclude by saying the amendment which I have proposed, along 
with my colleagues, Senators Reid, Durbin and Bingaman, is an amendment 
that would unify America and not divide our country.
  I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting the amendment which 
we have offered and oppose the Inhofe amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I yield as much time as the Senator from 
Tennessee requires.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, first, let me say to my friend from 
Colorado that if we were to take all 100 of us who are in the Senate, 
some of whose families have been here for a while, none of us, I would 
judge, have families who have been in the United States for longer than 
Senator Salazar's family--for 11, 12, or 13 generations. It is a source 
of great pride to serve with him.
  He and I discussed this amendment. I understand his passion and 
feeling about it. But what I would like to do in a few minutes is take 
exactly the opposite view from the distinguished Senator from Colorado 
because I do not see how the United States of America can be unified 
unless we have a national language. That is all this is about. The 
Inhofe amendment is not an official English amendment. It is not an 
amendment to declare English the official language of the United 
States, which 27 States have done. It does not require that all 
government documents even be printed in English. It could have done 
that, but it doesn't.
  It simply says English is the national language of the United States, 
period. That is the first thing it says. Then it has a provision that 
talks about the importance of encouraging the learning and 
understanding of English.
  Then it has a provision which, the way I read it, says that nothing 
prevents the government from rendering services in languages other than 
English.
  That would mean that in a whole variety of areas where the Congress 
last

[[Page 8586]]

made a decision--whether it is the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting 
Rights Act of 1965, the Bilingual Education Act of 1967, the provision 
that Senator Robert Kennedy put into the law recognizing the unusual 
circumstances of Puerto Ricans who moved from Puerto Rico to one of the 
50 States--or an Executive order by any President, this amendment 
wouldn't change any of that. That is the whole point of the amendment. 
It is just to say this is our national language.
  Then it says that someone does not have the right to sue to get 
services in another language unless it is provided by law. It doesn't 
diminish a right already established by law.
  It does one other important thing. It draws on the beginnings of an 
amendment by Senator Sessions about the citizenship requirements that 
have been in our citizenship process. It seeks to make those stronger.
  Senator Sessions is not the only one in this Senate interested in 
that. There is probably no one in this Senate more interested in that 
than the distinguished senior Senator from Massachusetts, who is not 
only interested in American history, but his family has a place in it.
  We have worked together in a variety of ways to try to get a clearer 
understanding of U.S. history among our children, among our citizens--
not because we want to punish them, but because we have such a unique 
and diverse country that it is critical that we all understand these 
common unifying principles which come from our history, including what 
we are debating today: rule of law, equal opportunity, laissez-faire, E 
pluribus unum. We are not pro-immigrant or anti-immigrant; we just have 
four principles on which we all agree, and we are trying to put them 
together into a bill. Those are the things which unite us as a country, 
along with one other thing, and that is our common national language.
  The second part of the Inhofe amendment has in it language to help 
improve the citizenship exam that legal immigrants take to become 
citizens, of which 514,000 did last year. It is good language, language 
which was in the legislation Senator Kennedy, Senator Reid, and I 
worked on with many others a couple of years ago to help create summer 
academies for outstanding teachers and students of American history. We 
tried to define the history we were talking about in the sense of key 
ideas, key documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the place 
from which come our unified principles.
  Here are the differences between the amendment from the Senator from 
Colorado and the Senator from Oklahoma. There are four differences. It 
is important for colleagues to understand.
  Senator Inhofe's amendment declares that English shall be the 
national language. The Senator from Colorado has taken out the word 
``national.'' He does not want it to say that. He says ``common and 
unifying'' language. I prefer the wording of the Inhofe amendment 
because while English is our common language, it is more than that. It 
is the common language of a number of countries, but English is also 
part of our national identity. It is part of our blood. It is part of 
our spirit. It is part of what we are. It is our national language. 
That is one difference.
  No. 2, the Salazar amendment does not include the provision that is 
in the Inhofe amendment that says that for all those people here 
illegally who may become lawful and put on a path to citizenship, which 
is the goal of the sponsors, it says those persons must learn English. 
The Inhofe amendment strengthens that requirement. Currently, in the 
underlying bill, it simply says they must be enrolled in school to 
learn English, and the Inhofe amendment strikes that, so those persons 
have to learn English in order to be here lawfully. That is very 
important.
  This large number of 10 million or so people who are here illegally 
is the source of most of the problems in this debate. If we are not 
going to send them all home, which almost no one thinks will happen, 
then we either have to put them on a path to citizenship or lock in 10 
million people in the United States who pledge allegiance permanently 
to another flag, which is something we have never done before. The 
Inhofe amendment is preferable because it helps make it easier for 
those 10 million to learn our national language. Those are two 
differences.
  The third difference is the Salazar amendment completely takes out 
the excellent work Senator Inhofe and Senator Sessions did, much of the 
language having been borrowed from work that Senator Kennedy, Senator 
Reid, I and others worked on, which tried to improve the citizenship 
test. This may not be an intention of the Salazar amendment, but it 
does it. It takes out the language that says the test should mention 
the key documents, such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the 
Emancipation Proclamation, and key events such as the American 
Revolution, the Civil War, the world wars, the civil rights movement, 
and the key ideas and key persons.
  Why is that important? Because we are not a nation based on race, we 
are not a nation based on ancestors; we are a fragile idea based upon a 
few principles and our national common language. So I prefer an 
amendment that has those provisions in there. That is the third reason.
  The fourth, as I read it, suggests that Executive orders issued by 
the President are just like statutes. Constitutional lawyers would have 
a problem with that.
  A vote for the Inhofe amendment is a vote to say English is our 
national language. It is a vote to say that those who may not be here 
legally, but who eventually may be determined legal by this legislation 
under some process, should learn English on their way to citizenship. 
And finally, the amendment includes a very good section that helps to 
define the key ideas and events of our history for citizenship.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Would my friend from Tennessee yield for a question?
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I would be happy to if we can do that on your time.
  Mr. SALAZAR. I would be happy to do so on my time. Through the Chair, 
I ask the manager.
  Mr. KENNEDY. He is asking the question, and he wants to answer the 
question on our time. I yield 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, through the Chair, I say to my friend 
from Tennessee, there was an Executive order issued on limited English 
proficiency and the importance of reaching out to people who are 
limited English proficient so they could recognize and understand the 
language of the Government, an Executive order dated August 11, 2000.
  Is the Senator's reading of the Inhofe amendment that it would 
essentially eviscerate the Executive order issued by then-President 
Clinton concerning limited English proficiency?
  Mr. ALEXANDER. The answer to my friend from Colorado is no. The 
election of a new President might change an Executive order if the new 
President modified or changed the Executive order. My understanding of 
Senator Inhofe's amendment, and he can speak for himself, is he does 
not seek to change any right now granted to anyone.
  We can have a good debate about whether there ought to be bilingual 
ballots. In my opinion, I don't think there should be because you have 
to be a citizen to vote and you have to demonstrate an eight grade 
understanding of English to be a citizen. But that is in the law and is 
not affected by this and neither would an Executive order.
  Mr. SALAZAR. I say to my friend from Tennessee, not too long ago in 
the Senate, we entered into a debate concerning the nomination of 
Attorney General Gonzales to be Attorney General of the United States. 
There were Members of this Senate who came to the Senate and spoke 
eloquently in Spanish about why he should be confirmed, including 
Senator Martinez. Would the Inhofe amendment make it illegal for that 
kind of activity to occur in the Senate?
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I say to my friend from Colorado, that 
is a preposterous question for what we are talking about and not really 
a suitable question for a serious proposal.

[[Page 8587]]

  This is a simple proposal which declares that English is the national 
language of the United States and that the Government of the United 
States should do whatever it can to encourage that. It does not change 
any right that anyone has today. It also includes a strengthening of 
the citizenship test. Anyone who understands the founding documents 
knows that liberty is at the front of our unifying principles. Any 
citizen has a right to speak in Spanish. A Senator, of course, does as 
well. This has nothing to do with inhibiting anyone's rights. It just 
declares that, unlike Switzerland, unlike Canada, unlike Belgium, we 
have a common national language that is part of our identity. We do not 
want to be based on race. We do not want to be based on ancestry. We 
want to be unified by a few things--the unifying principles and our 
national common language.
  So the answer is, of course not.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, in response to the colloquy I am having 
with my friend from Tennessee, it seems to me this language could be 
read that Senator Inhofe has proposed to say that because we are a 
Government Chamber, since we do not have a law that proactively says--
or a rule of the Senate--that you can speak a language other than 
English here, perhaps when we were speaking about Attorney General 
Gonzales, we would have been in violation of this exact provision if it 
stays in the same language.
  To continue my question to the Senator, my friend from Tennessee, it 
was not at all our intention in the drafting of the amendment to take 
away any of the requirements we have for people who come here under 
this immigration proposal to learn English or to go through the civics 
courses which are required now for the legislation that has been 
included in here. So it is my view that the Senator has misread the 
amendment we have supported.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, if I could have 4 more minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. The differences I see in the two amendments are, No. 
1, the Salazar amendment says no to making English our national 
language. It uses another description. No. 2, it says no to the 
requirement that immigrants who are illegally here and who may be put 
on a path to citizenship should learn English before they go on that 
path to citizenship. And it says no to the provisions in the Inhofe 
amendment which improve the citizenship test, requiring those who 
become citizens to learn the key events, key documents, key ideas of 
our history.
  The Inhofe amendment is well within the mainstream of 90 to 95 
percent of the thinking of the American people. It is a valuable 
contribution. It is a restrained proposal. It does not seek to change 
any existing right that someone might have to receive services from the 
Government in some other language.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I know the minority leader has several 
speakers who want to speak. I also know that virtually everyone on our 
side is wanting to stay with the 4:15 vote.
  What I would like to do, of course, is encourage the minority leader 
to use his leader time if necessary but go ahead and allow anyone on 
the other side to use time at this time.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague, Senator Kennedy.
  I have been trying to figure out what is, in my mind, objectionable 
to the Inhofe amendment. I think it comes down to a very basic point; 
that is, the Inhofe amendment, the language, the operative language of 
the Inhofe amendment, is:

       . . . no person has a right, entitlement or claim to have 
     the Government of the United States or any of its officials 
     or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide 
     services, or provide materials in any language other than 
     English.

  That is the operative provision. And then it says there are 
``exceptions.'' The exceptions are where we have specifically written 
laws which allow that or which provide for the providing of information 
or communication in a language other than English.
  Why is that objectionable? It is objectionable to me because it is 
directly contrary to the constitution of my State, the thrust of the 
constitution of my State.
  When New Mexico came into the Union in 1912, we had many more people 
in my State speaking Spanish than we had speaking English. People were 
very concerned that the right of individuals in the State to speak 
either language would be preserved and that no one be discriminated 
against by virtue of their inability to speak English.
  We wrote a provision in our constitution which says that the right of 
any citizen of the State to vote, to hold office, or to sit upon juries 
shall never be restricted, abridged, or impaired on account of 
religion, race, language, color, inability to speak, read, or write the 
English or the Spanish language except as may otherwise be provided in 
the constitution. So the presumption is directly opposite to the Inhofe 
amendment.
  The general rule in my State and in my State's constitution is that 
people shall not in any way be discriminated against in their dealings 
with the Government by virtue of their inability to speak English. And 
the Inhofe amendment says that the general rule is people have no right 
to speak any language or communicate with their Government in any 
language other than English unless we write a law saying they can. I 
think that is an unfortunate change in emphasis and change in the law, 
which I cannot support.
  Obviously, we have many court cases. And, I gather, under one of the 
exceptions to the general rule that the Inhofe amendment contains, this 
might be covered. But it has been well recognized, I believe, in our 
courts for a very long time that it is a denial of due process to non-
English-speaking persons if they are denied services and communication 
and interpretation in their own language when they are in criminal 
proceedings.
  We have a provision, again, in my own State constitution which I 
think is pretty close on this issue. It says: In all criminal 
prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend 
himself in person, and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of 
the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to 
have the charges and testimony interpreted to him, and in a language 
that he understands.
  Now, I know there is a Federal law that says the same kind of thing 
today. So it falls under one of the exceptions that is provided for in 
the Inhofe amendment.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I am glad to yield.
  Mr. INHOFE. You mentioned several things. I believe the last one you 
mentioned was covered in the Court Interpreters Act of 1978. It does 
allow you to have that, and it is actually written into law.
  I would also suggest that these are already in law. This is not 
something that has to be done.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Right.
  Mr. INHOFE. Those protections are specifically exempted on page 2.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, let me reclaim my time and indicate I 
said that very thing. I am not disagreeing with the Senator from 
Oklahoma. He has pointed out there are legal provisions that make an 
exception to his general rule, and the exception in this case is that 
you are entitled to have the Government provide interpretation when you 
are accused of a crime and you are trying to defend yourself in court.
  All I am saying is, why are we writing into law a general rule that 
you are not entitled to communicate with your Government or have your 
Government communicate with you in any language other than English, 
except where we provide for it? I think that is a mistake. It is 
directly contrary to what my own State constitution does. It is 
directly contrary to the sentiment behind my State constitution.
  We have the Native American Languages Act where Congress specifically 
found that there is convincing evidence that student achievement and 
performance and community and school pride

[[Page 8588]]

and educational opportunity are tied to respect for the first language 
of the child or the student. And we talk there about that Native 
American languages shall not be restricted in any public proceeding.
  Well, you can say: OK, now, we have already written a law that 
protects the rights of Native American languages to be used in public 
proceedings. So that is not a problem.
  I do not know that I want to have to have this Congress write a law 
to cover every circumstance that might arise where an American wants to 
communicate with his or her Government in some language other than 
English. I think it is a bad precedent for us. I think it is contrary 
to the history of my State. It is certainly contrary to that.
  I hope very much we will resist this amendment. I think this is a 
nonproblem. I do not know why we are spending most of the day debating 
an issue of this type, except to say to people who do not speak 
English: You are not going to be entitled to the full rights that other 
citizens are entitled to.
  Clearly, that is true economically. We all know that. We all know you 
cannot succeed economically in this country in a full way unless you 
can speak English, and probably speak English with adequate 
proficiency. But I do not think as a legal matter we need to be writing 
statutes into the Federal law that say if you are not speaking English, 
you are entitled to fewer rights, you are entitled to fewer legal 
rights than other citizens are, and we want to remind you of it.
  In fact, as to this amendment, it is very interesting, because it 
says: Look, even if you fall under one of these exceptions--this 
interpreter's exception or the Native American exception; the language 
where we have written a specific law--it says, if exceptions are made, 
that does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that 
language or any language other than English.
  So we are saying: Look, the general rule is, you have to speak to 
your Government and communicate with your Government in English. We 
acknowledge there are exceptions where we will allow you to use other 
languages, or the Government will agree to communicate with you in 
other languages, but we are going to be specific about what those are. 
But let's also remind you--this last sentence says--by making an 
exception and allowing you to have an interpretation into a language 
you can understand, we are not giving you a legal entitlement. We are 
not, in any way, committing ourselves to do anything more.
  I do not know that is a very welcoming message to all these 
immigrants we are welcoming into our country as part of this 
legislation. I think my State is a State that has a great tradition of 
cooperation between the Native American community, the Hispanic 
community, and the Anglo community. And we have been able to maintain 
that sense of cooperation by respecting each other's languages, by 
respecting the right of each person, each group, to use his or her 
language in whatever way they feel is appropriate. I believe this 
amendment by Senator Inhofe would change that dynamic substantially. So 
I hope my colleagues will agree with me, will oppose this amendment, 
will support the Salazar amendment, and then I hope we can get on with 
more substantive matters.
  There are a great many substantive matters involved with this 
immigration bill. This is an enormous, complex piece of legislation 
which we ought to be trying to understand and deal with separate from 
this discussion about English as the national language.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, in consultation with the floor manager--
this has been a good, important, and constructive debate--we need a few 
more minutes. And we asked the floor manager----
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me go ahead and respond.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Could I ask consent to get the time?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, it is my understanding the manager has 
agreed to allow 45 more minutes for the other side; is that correct?
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, that is correct.
  Mr. INHOFE. That is acceptable.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 45 additional 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, one request I would have, if the Senator 
would yield for a moment.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Sure. Yes.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, when Senator Salazar wants to make a 
correction, I have a correction to make at the same time. We could do 
that right now, if you want to do it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.


                    Amendment No. 4073, as Modified

  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my amendment 
be modified with the change that is at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the modification?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 4073), as modified, is as follows:

       At the appropriate place insert the following:
       Notwithstanding any other provision:

     SEC. 161. DECLARATION OF ENGLISH.

       English is the common and unifying language of the United 
     States that helps provide unity for the people of the United 
     States.

     SEC. 162. PRESERVING AND ENHANCING THE ROLE OF THE ENGLISH 
                   LANGUAGE.

       The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the common and unifying 
     language of America. Nothing herein shall diminish or expand 
     any existing rights under the law of the United States 
     relative to services or materials provided by the Government 
     of the United States in any language other than English.
       For the purposes of this section, law is defined as 
     including provisions of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Constitution, 
     controlling judicial decisions, regulations, and controlling 
     Presidential Executive Orders.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for title 
     4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the Language 
     of Government of the United States.


                Amendment No. 4064, as Further Modified

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to modify the 
amendment on page 2, to change the word ``official'' to the word 
``national.''
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered. The amendment is so modified.
  The amendment (No. 4064), as further modified, is as follows:

       On page 295, line 22, strike ``the alien--'' and all that 
     follows through page 296, line 5, and insert ``the alien 
     meets the requirements of section 312.''.
       On page 352, line 3, strike ``either--'' and all that 
     follows through line 15, and insert ``meets the requirements 
     of section 312(a) (relating to English proficiency and 
     understanding of United States history and Government).''.
       On page 614, after line 5, insert the following:

     SEC. 766. ENGLISH AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE

       (a) In General.--Title 4, United States Code, is amended by 
     adding at the end the following:
                ``CHAPTER 6--LANGUAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT
``Sec.
``161.  Declaration of national language
``162.  Preserving and enhancing the role of the national language

     ``Sec. 161. Declaration of national language

       ``English is the national language of the United States

     Sec. 162. Preserving and enhancing the role of the national 
       language

       ``The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the national language of the 
     United States of America. Unless otherwise authorized or 
     provided by law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim 
     to have the Government of the United States or any of its 
     officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or 
     provide services, or provide materials in any language other 
     than English. If exceptions are made, that does not create a 
     legal entitlement to additional services in that language or 
     any language other than English. If any forms are issued

[[Page 8589]]

     by the Federal Government in a language other than English 
     (or such forms are completed in a language other than 
     English), the English language version of the form is the 
     sole authority for all legal purposes.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of chapters for title 
     4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:

``6. Language of the Government..................................161''.

     SEC. 767. REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION.

       (a) Findings.--The Senate makes the following findings:
       (1). Under United States law (8 USC 1423 (a)), lawful 
     permanent residents of the United States who have immigrated 
     from foreign countries must, among other requirements, 
     demonstrate an understanding of the English language, United 
     States history and Government, to become citizens of the 
     United States.
       (2). The Department of Homeland Security is currently 
     conducting a review of the testing process used to ensure 
     prospective United States citizens demonstrate said knowledge 
     of the English language and United States history and 
     government for the purpose of redesigning said test.
       (b) Definitions.--For purposes of this section only, the 
     following words are defined:
       (1) Key documents.--The term ``key documents'' means the 
     documents that established or explained the foundational 
     principles of democracy in the United States, including the 
     United States Constitution and the amendments to the 
     Constitution (particularly the Bill of Rights) the 
     Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the 
     Emancipation Proclamation.
       (2) Key events.--The term ``key events'' means the critical 
     turning points in the history of the United States (including 
     the American Revolution, the Civil War, the world wars of the 
     twentieth century, the civil rights movement, and the major 
     court decisions and legislation) that contributed to 
     extending the promise of democracy in American life.
       (3) Key ideas.--The term ``key ideas'' means the ideas that 
     shaped the democratic institutions and heritage of the United 
     States, including the notion of equal justice under the law, 
     freedom, individualism, human rights, and a belief in 
     progress.
       (4) Key persons.--The term ``key persons'' means the men 
     and women who led the United States as founding fathers, 
     elected officials, scientists, inventors, pioneers, advocates 
     of equal rights, entrepreneurs, and artists.
       (c) Goals for Citizenship Test Redesign.--The Department of 
     Homeland Security shall establish as goals of the testing 
     process designed to comply with provisions of [8 U.S.C. 1423 
     (a)] that prospective citizens:
       (1) Demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the English 
     language for usage in everyday life;
       (2) Demonstrate an understanding of American common values 
     and traditions, including the principles of the Constitution 
     of the United States, the Pledge of Allegiance, respect for 
     the flag of the United States, the National Anthem, and 
     voting in public elections;
       (3) Demonstrate an understanding of the history of the 
     United States including the key events, key persons, key 
     ideas, and key documents that shaped the institutions and 
     democratic heritage of the United States;
       (4) Demonstrate an attachment to the principles of the 
     Constitution of the United States and the well being and 
     happiness of the people of the United States; and
       (5) Demonstrate an understanding of the rights and 
     responsibilities of citizenship in the United States.
       (d) Implementation.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
     shall implement changes to the testing process designed to 
     ensure compliance with [8 U.S.C. 1423 (a)] not later than 
     January 1, 2008.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coleman). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have spoken several times in the course 
of this debate about my belief that immigrants should learn the English 
language. In my experience, most new Americans want to learn our 
language and make efforts to do so as quickly as possible. The bill 
that we are debating calls for immigrants to learn English as one of 
the several steps they must take before they can earn citizenship.
  We can all agree that English should be the common language of the 
United States, but by making English the ``national'' language, the 
Inhofe amendment goes too far. The amendment was modified to remove a 
ban on publishing official documents in any language but English. That 
was a good correction. In many local communities and States it may well 
be useful and helpful for the government to reach out to language 
minorities. Greater participation and information are good and 
appropriate steps communities should be striving for. We should not be 
mandating artificial and shortsighted restrictions on State and local 
government.
  I regret, however, that the amendment continues to include language 
that strongly discourages the use of other languages to inform 
residents and continues to treat those who speak another language as 
second-class citizens. We would do better to recognize our diversity 
and provide greater opportunities to those for whom English is a second 
language to become more fluent.
  My mother spoke Italian as a child and learned English when she went 
to school. My wife grew up in a family that spoke French. She began 
speaking English when she started going to school. Both were helped 
throughout their lives by being completely and totally bilingual as a 
result.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, if the Senator will yield, we are trying 
to find out how much time the Senator wants.
  Ten minutes, does that work?
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I tell the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts, I will have a total amount of 10 minutes.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I thank the Senator.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, information is vital and sometimes lives 
depend on it. Is it not in the interests of all Americans to have every 
member of our society as well-informed on matters of health, safety and 
our democracy as possible? Do we really want to restrict government 
publications and communications, such as those on disaster 
preparedness, public health concerns, if there is an avian flu 
pandemic, to English only? We have recently seen the extensive and 
effective reach of Spanish radio in this country. Would we not want to 
employ that resource in a crisis? Do we really want to tie our hands 
and require Congress to pass a special statute every time health and 
safety materials, for example, would be useful?
  We already have statutes that call for bilingual election materials 
to assist language minorities in accordance with our commitment to 
making participation in voting fair and meaningful. We know that there 
are many circumstances in which effective access to information 
requires communications in many ways and many languages.
  Would it not have been useful for the President to try to sell and 
explain the Medicare drug benefit plan with all its complications and 
permutations in many languages in order to reach the most possible 
beneficiaries? Do we really intend to require such obviously beneficial 
actions to need a special statutory authorization? Should we review 
agency requirements to take warnings in languages other than English 
off our airlines and automobiles and dangerous equipment? Are we going 
to stop providing court translators and require all court proceedings, 
which are themselves official government proceedings, to occur in 
English, only to the detriment of fairness and justice?
  Are we going to go back into the Congressional Record and scrub the 
statements of Senators Martinez and others who have used Spanish here 
on the floor? If I recall correctly, the Senator from Oklahoma has 
spoken on this floor in Spanish. Would this amendment make his use of 
Spanish illegal--or does the Constitution's ``speech and debate'' 
clause mean that the rule that he is asking us to adopt applies to 
everyone else but not to Senators?
  Now, the distinguished Senator from Tennessee is on the Senate floor. 
It was only a few weeks ago that we worked together to adopt the 
Alexander amendment to S. 2454, the immigration bill we debated in 
April. The text of Senator Alexander's amendment is included in S. 
2611, the bill before us now. The Alexander amendment created a grant 
program to promote the integration of immigrants into our democracy by 
teaching civics, history and the English language.
  That is the right approach for America to take. The Inhofe amendment 
takes the opposite approach, the wrong approach and has the effect of 
stigmatizing those who grew up where Spanish or Chinese or other great 
languages were spoken. It risks driving a wedge between communities. 
This is contrary to our values and what we should be seeking to 
accomplish with this important legislation.

[[Page 8590]]

  I recognize that not every State is like my home State of Vermont, 
where the majority of residents speak English. Even in my State, 
however, there are many families who first came to America speaking 
only French. My parents-in-law became proud American citizens. They 
spoke French at home, and that was the first language of my wife. My 
grandparents emigrated from Italy speaking Italian. That was the first 
language of my mother until she went to school. We are proud of that.
  In prior generations, we welcomed large groups of Irish, Italians, 
Eastern Europeans, and in recent years, immigrants and refugees from 
Africa, Asia and many other parts of the world. I wish my French was 
better. I wish my Latin was more polished. I wish I knew more than a 
few words and phrases in Chinese and Spanish.
  On Monday night, the President spoke eloquently about the need to 
help newcomers assimilate and embrace our common identity. He spoke of 
civility and respect for others and said that Americans are bound 
together by our shared ideals. These are the messages we must send to 
the American people, not the divisive message of the Inhofe amendment.
  I look around this Senate Chamber and engraved in the wall behind the 
elevated desk and chair of the President of the Senate are the words 
``E Pluribus Unum.'' Every school child is taught that expression, 
``out of many, one'' and what it means to our shared value of being the 
United States of America. It points to an important value from our 
history and today. It points to our struggle to become a nation of many 
people, of many States, and of many faiths. What is wrong with our 
using Latin, as we traditionally have and expressing our unity?
  Latin expressions mark our official currency and the reverse of the 
Great Seal of the United States. The phrases ``annuit coeptis'' and 
``novus ordo seclorum'' are part of the official symbols of the United 
States. These expressions are traced back to Virgil and a line from his 
instruction for farmers, which seeks the favor of God or Providence for 
our great endeavor to create a nation unlike any that had come before. 
The second Latin phrase is another allusion to Virgil and notes our 
seeking a new order.
  Our incorporation of languages other than English does not stop 
there. Take a look at the flag of Connecticut with the phrase ``Qui 
transtulit sustinet''; the flag for Idaho that includes the phrase 
``Esto perpetua''; the Kansas flag that includes the phrase ``ad astra 
per aspera''; the Maine flag that includes ``Dirigo''; the 
Massachusetts flag that includes the phrase ``Ense petit placidam sub 
libertate quietem''; the Michigan flag includes not only ``e pluribus 
unum'' but also ``Circumspice,'' ``Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam'' and 
``Tuebor''; the Missouri flag includes the phrase ``Salus populi 
suprema lex esto''; the flag of New York includes the expression 
``Excelsior''; the Virginia flag includes the phrase ``Sic semper 
tyrannis''; the flag of West Virginia includes the phrase ``Montani 
semper liberi''; and the Wisconsin flag also includes the phrase ``e 
pluribus unum.''
  I see the distinguished Presiding Officer, the Senator from 
Minnesota, and I thought I would include the flag from his own State. 
The flag of Minnesota includes a French language phrase befitting its 
history, ``L'etoile du Nord.''
  Do we in this Senate mean to demand that the States change their 
State flags and State mottos to eliminate Latin and French? Do we 
really mean to frown on their use? Or is it only Spanish, a language 
derived from Latin that we wish to denigrate? In that case, I remind 
the Senate that the State of Montana includes on its flag the phrase 
``oro y plata,'' a Spanish phrase that serves as the State motto ``gold 
and silver.''
  I remember how silly we looked a couple of years ago when some in the 
House demanded that French fries be renamed ``freedom fries.'' Does 
this prohibition apply to Roman numerals, such as those included on the 
flag of Missouri? Does this body intend to embark down that road? I 
hope not, I pray not.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I yield myself 10 minutes.
  I think those who have been listening to this debate understand what 
this discussion is all about. On the one hand, we have the amendment of 
the Senator from Colorado, which is effectively a way to unite all of 
us, and on the other hand, we have the Inhofe amendment that is a way 
that is going to divide us. The language couldn't be clearer. From the 
Salazar amendment:

       English is the common and unifying language that helps 
     provide unity for the people of the United States.

  It is clear.

       Preserving and enhancing the role of the English language. 
     The Government of the United States shall preserve and 
     enhance the role of English as the common and unifying 
     language of America.

  On the other hand, we have the Inhofe amendment that has the 
statement:

       Unless otherwise offered or provided by law, no person has 
     a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the 
     United States or any of its officials or representatives act, 
     communicate, perform or provide services, or provide 
     materials in any language other than English.

  We have had a debate about how that applies or whether it doesn't 
apply, and we have had a rather mixed debate.
  I would be impressed if the Inhofe amendment had provided some 
resources to help those who are limited English speaking to be able to 
learn English. In the immigration legislation before the Senate, we 
have the requirement that no person, except otherwise provided in this 
title, can be naturalized upon their application without understanding 
the English language, including the ability to read, write or speak the 
English language. That is what we have said. That is underlined. That 
is what we are committed to.
  Now we have this amendment which is effectively a limiting one.
  In Albuquerque, NM, Catholic Charities reports 1,000 people on their 
waiting list and a waiting time of 12 months to learn English. Is there 
anything in the Inhofe amendment that will help those people? No, there 
is not. In my hometown of Boston, there are 16,000 adults on the ESL 
list waiting to learn English. It is 2 to 3 years. Anything in the 
Inhofe amendment to help those people who want to learn English? No. 
There is nothing. In Phoenix, AZ, in the Rio Solado community, over 
1,000 are waiting 18 months. The list goes on. In New York, 12,000 are 
waiting. All of these individuals are waiting to study English. But 
does their amendment do anything about that? No. We can't help people 
to get to the point where English is their language.
  What did the 9/11 Commission say. It said we lacked sufficient 
translators. It also had a provision in the 9/11 Commission report that 
we ought to give emphasis to other languages and that that was in our 
national security interest. It is on page 415, developing a stronger 
language program with high standards. Do you think that is consistent 
with the Inhofe amendment? Of course, it is not consistent with the 
Inhofe amendment.
  We have outlined the requirements in this legislation that have to be 
met. It is very clear that an understanding of the English language, 
the ability to read and write and to speak, that is the requirement, a 
restatement of the importance of developing and keeping consistent with 
a common and unifying language, which is English. I don't understand 
those who say that English is a part of our national identity. Is that 
more a part of our national identity than our common commitment to 
liberty or fairness or decency or opportunity? Are we going to say we 
are the only ones who own those? Other countries don't own those 
values; it just belongs to the United States?
  The Salazar amendment states effectively and well what we as a nation 
are committed to. It deserves to be supported. It defines English as 
the common and unifying language, guarantees that nothing shall 
diminish existing rights relative to services and materials in a 
language other than English. I urge my colleagues to reject the Inhofe 
amendment and support the Salazar amendment.

[[Page 8591]]

  I yield 2 minutes to the Senator from California.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. If the Senator from California could hold off for a 
minute, I think we have heard some very eloquent statements in 
opposition to an amendment that doesn't exist. We could stand up and 
talk about the flags of the different States. This has nothing to do 
with that. Yes, I have made probably five speeches on the floor in 
Spanish. Every time we did, I had to go up and put it down in English 
for the Record. I don't mind that. This has nothing to do with that. As 
far as there being nothing in here encouraging people, if you look at 
section 767, this is encouraging people and helping people to learn the 
English language, a concept that 90 percent of Hispanics in America 
want. I just hope that anyone listening realizes that these are 
excellent arguments, but they have nothing to do with this amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. KENNEDY. I yield 3 minutes to the Senator from California.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California is recognized.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, Senator Inhofe and I have spoken about 
this amendment. As I said to him when he first decided to offer it, is 
there any question in anybody's mind that in America we speak English, 
that that is the language of the country? If you ask any person in this 
country, they will say English. If you ask any foreigner, they will say 
English. So the question is: Why do we have to say that English is the 
language that we speak in America? Are we that insecure about 
ourselves? Of course, it is. We are a nation of many who proudly keep 
their own culture. But, of course, English is our language.
  If we have to say that it is your language, fine with me. Fine, I 
have no problem with it. In other words, if there are those who believe 
we have to now tell people what they already know, fine. But I want to 
do it in a way that unites us, not in a way that sets up some 
unintended consequences. Even though my friend from Oklahoma would not 
agree that there are unintended consequences, I think there are. For 
example, he said he made five speeches on the floor of the Senate in 
Spanish. And he went and he translated them so they appeared in 
English. Did he go over and did he dub in the videotapes? Because the 
videotapes will show the speech in Spanish. Is he breaking the rule 
then by not going up and hiring someone to dub in his words? What if 
there is an outbreak of a pandemic and it is moving quickly and there 
is no Federal law saying that you have to let people know in a series 
of different languages to protect our people and we didn't have time?
  What if there is a terrorist attack, God forbid, and we are not even 
here, and we need to spread the word and there is no law, and we can't 
come in to pass a law. What is going to happen then? And as my friend 
from Vermont said: Are we going to have to take the State flags out 
from an exhibit in the basement because many of them have slogans in 
Latin? There are unintended consequences.
  I know my friend tried hard to get us all to unify, but I have to 
say, if that was what he wanted to do, Senator Salazar has put together 
an excellent amendment. English is the common and unifying language of 
the United States that helps provide unity for the people of the United 
States. That is a beautiful statement. It says that English is our 
common language. But he doesn't set up an issue in his amendment, which 
I have read very carefully, that can have the unintended consequence of 
coming back to bite us. His particular amendment unifies us. I thank 
the Senator for that very much, coming from a State that has great 
diversity, the great State of California. I thank him for his hard 
work.
  I yield the remainder of my time to the Senator from Massachusetts.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, again, it is a beautiful statement in 
opposition to an amendment that doesn't exist. When the Senator from 
California talks about emergencies and an emergency evacuation, I 
previously used the example of California because I suspected she might 
be coming down. That is, if there is an evacuation or some emergency, 
it can be done in Chinese so Chinatown can all evacuate. That is not a 
problem.
  Yet when I spoke on the floor in Spanish, the only reason I had to 
translate it is because that is one of the rules of the Senate. It has 
nothing to do with this bill. That would not be affected in any way.
  I yield to the Senator from South Carolina 8 minutes.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, this is a debate which you wonder why you 
are having it the more we talk about it. How did we get here from where 
we started?
  Let me suggest that what Senator Inhofe was trying to do here is 
important. Senator Bingaman, my good friend from New Mexico--I disagree 
with him that this is not that big a deal in terms of its importance to 
the bill or the debate. I think it is a very important part of the 
debate. I appreciate Senator Inhofe putting it on the floor of the 
Senate. We will talk about what I think the amendment does and does not 
do. Let's talk about why it is important to the debate.
  One thing we have to remember is that the underlying bill that came 
out of Judiciary, the McCain-Kennedy concept as changed by Hagel-
Martinez, which I support and I think is a good solution for a real 
problem for America, has as one of the provisions that if you will come 
out of the shadows and you raise your hand and say: Here I am, I am 
undocumented, the bill allows you a path to citizenship with several 
requirements before you can ever apply for citizenship. One of those 
requirements is that you come out of the shadows, and for a 6-year 
period you can work here, and you have to pay a $2,000 fine. I think 
that is fair. I don't think that is being oppressive. That is making 
people pay for violating the law. It is a punishment that is consistent 
with a nonviolent offense.
  Another condition is that you must learn English. Why did we make 
that a condition of coming out of the shadows? I think Senator Kennedy 
and every other person on that side of the aisle--the Democratic side 
of the aisle--understands that to require an illegal immigrant to learn 
English is not unfair. If we thought it was unfair, we should not have 
put it in the bill. Why did we put it in the bill? We realize as a body 
the best you can do for people coming out of the shadows is challenge 
them and help them learn English so they can be value added to our 
country and they can survive in our economy.
  It is true that the Inhofe amendment doesn't provide any resources, 
nor does the Salazar amendment. The reason neither one provides 
resources to learn English is that we have already done that with my 
good friend, Senator Alexander from Tennessee. We put a requirement on 
the undocumented illegal immigrant to learn English but in a true 
American fashion. We have put some resources--a $500 grant--on the 
table which will help meet that obligation.
  Here is the important point. If you fail to pass the English 
proficiency exam, you will be deported. Under the bill, if you fail to 
pass the English proficiency exam--and I am probably the worst advocate 
in the country for the English language--you can be deported. That is 
not unfair. That is not too hard. That is just. So if you are willing 
to make everybody come forward and learn English, and if they fail you 
are going to deport them, why can we not say as a body that the 
Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of 
English as the national language of the United States of America? If we 
are willing to deport people for failing to learn English, surely we 
should stand behind the concept as a nation that it is in our best 
interest for people to learn English.
  Now, as to the unintended consequences, I have looked at this all 
day, and I am of the belief that this amendment, as written, preserves 
every legal opportunity avenue available for the Federal Government to

[[Page 8592]]

interact with the people of the United States by issuing forms and 
documents in languages other than English. The purpose is to say 
publicly that English is our national language and that the Government 
shall preserve and enhance the role of English without having the legal 
consequence of rolling back laws that are already on the books that 
allow the Government to interact with its people, provide services in 
other languages. That is why the term ``unless otherwise authorized or 
provided by law'' is there. That means, simply put, if there is a law 
on the books--a case decision, a regulation, an Executive order, you 
name the source of law--or a constitutional provision that would allow 
the Federal Government to interact with its people in a language other 
than English, it is not affected by this amendment, nor does it prevent 
in the future the Government expanding those services in a language 
other than English. It says, also, there is no entitlement to a service 
from the Federal Government in a language other than English, unless 
authorized by law. That is just a simple, commonsense concept.
  We do business in this country at the Federal level. We have programs 
at the Federal level that allow languages other than English to be 
utilized, including the Voting Rights Act, which allows bilingual 
ballots, and the Court Interpreters Act of 1978, which provides for 
translations or interpretations of other languages in Federal court. 
There are a lot of laws that allow the Federal Government to provide 
services in languages other than English, and this amendment protects 
those laws; it doesn't change their status at all.
  Now, to read this amendment to say that some State flag has to be 
changed--I will be honest with you, that is not even an honest, fair 
interpretation of the words as printed on the paper. It is not the 
intent of anyone. It is something being said that is not rationally 
related to the words or the intent of the author or the way the bill 
works. We are trying to preserve whatever legal rights there are to do 
business in languages other than English that are in existence today, 
and maybe tomorrow, and we are trying to reinforce the role that 
English is our national language. If we don't do that, if we back off 
of that concept, what signal are we sending to the people we are 
willing to deport if they fail to learn English?
  We cannot have it both ways. We need to take a strong stand for a 
couple of principles. If you want to assimilate into American society, 
it is important that you learn English. How have we stood for that 
principle? If you come out of the shadows and you fail the English 
exam, you are going to get deported. We are giving people money to help 
them pass that exam, but we are not going to waive the requirement that 
you learn English to be assimilated for the 11 million undocumented 
workers. I think it would help everybody in this country if the Senate 
went on record and said that the policy of this Government will be to 
preserve and enhance the role of English in our society, and do it in 
such a way that understands that speaking other languages, having a 
different culture, is not a bad thing but a good thing. There is 
nothing in this amendment, in my opinion, that does away with any laws 
that already exist or might exist in the future for a language other 
than English.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The assistant Democratic leader is recognized.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, the Inhofe language in this amendment 
contains two basic parts. In the first part, we can talk about changing 
a word or two, but we all basically agree on it. We basically agree 
that to be successful in America, you must speak English. I imagine 
there are people on the margins of our society who survive without a 
command of English, but that is where they will remain. It is rare that 
a person in America reaches a level of success without a mastery of 
English. As I go about the State of Illinois and the city of Chicago, 
where so many people speak many different languages, it is well 
understood that learning English is the first step toward becoming an 
American and becoming successful in America. We don't argue about that.
  There are different ways to characterize English as our language. I 
like the characterization of my colleague, Senator Salazar, who 
characterizes English as ``our common and unifying language.'' It is 
that; it is our common and unifying language. Senator Inhofe uses the 
words ``our national language.'' But when you get down to it, there is 
no argument here about the basic premise. We agree on the basic 
premise. It is not as if it is just in America. We know that the 
language of aviation around the world is English. We know that the 
common universal language in most places on the Internet is English. 
That is a fact. So when it comes to the first part of Senator Inhofe's 
amendment and that first part of Senator Salazar's amendment, there is 
no dispute. If the debate ended there, we would have voted a long time 
ago. But that is not where the debate ends. Senator Inhofe added 
several sentences beyond that, which now take us into a legal thicket.
  He argues that these are technical issues. They are not technical 
issues. They are issues about a person's basic rights in America. They 
are issues that really emanate from landmark legislation, such as the 
Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is not a technicality; it is the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964. People literally fought and bled and died for the 
passage of civil rights legislation. Before we casually cast aside some 
part of the protection of that law, we should think about it long and 
hard.
  I look at the language Senator Inhofe brings to the floor and, on its 
face, it appears to be easy to accept:

       Unless otherwise authorized or provided by law, no person 
     has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of 
     the United States or any of its officials or representatives 
     act, communicate, perform, or provide services or provide 
     materials in any language other than English.

  You would think if it is not authorized by law, that means the 
Government cannot communicate or provide materials in any language 
other than English. How could that possibly come up? Well, let's take 
one illustration. I happened to be on the floor the day that Senator 
Inhofe of Oklahoma came to the floor in the midst of a debate on a 
judicial nominee, Miguel Estrada. The date was November 12, 2003. 
Senator Inhofe came to the floor and gave his remarks to the Senate in 
Spanish. I was impressed. He is proficient in Spanish, and I respect 
his skills in that language, which I do not share. I didn't understand 
what he said, but I respected him for being confident enough to come to 
the floor and express himself in the Spanish language. And then what 
happened was that the Congressional Record, which is printed every day 
from our proceedings, included Senator Inhofe's speech in Spanish and 
his translation in English. They are both part of the Record.
  But wait. Had Senator Inhofe's amendment been in effect then--the one 
he wants us to vote for today--it would have been illegal for our 
government to print the Congressional Record with Senator Inhofe's 
speech in Spanish. There is no statute which creates the right of any 
Member to come to the floor and speak in any language. Oh, it happens. 
Nobody objects to it. They do their best to print those speeches, but 
there is no law authorizing it. So, if Senator Inhofe's amendment had 
passed at that time, the speech which he delivered on the floor in 
Spanish, would not have been allowed to be printed and published by the 
Government in the Congressional Record. Is that what we want to 
achieve? Is that our goal?
  Let me give you another practical example. Near this U.S. Capitol is 
the famous Potomac River. The Washington Post ran a story 6 months ago. 
It said that drowning deaths on the Potomac River were down 
dramatically. Last year, for the first time in 15 years, no one drowned 
in the Potomac in the Washington area. Park Rangers believe they know 
why: their new signs that warn swimmers and fishermen about the river's 
strong current and undertow. The new signs are printed in

[[Page 8593]]

English and in Spanish, the native languages of many new immigrants who 
use the river to relax with their families or to fish. The Park Service 
posted the bilingual signs after they noticed that many recent drowning 
victims were also recent immigrants. So, is making this political 
statement in the Inhofe amendment so important that we wouldn't want to 
provide safety for those who are using the Potomac River? It was 
considered to be a sensible, rational thing to do: print the sign in 
both languages so people will be warned of the danger.
  You have heard the arguments here about the potential of avian flu. 
Wouldn't we want any dangers relative to avian flu or some other 
epidemic to be shared in enough languages so that we all would be 
protected? Yet what Senator Inhofe has done is to create an obstacle 
for those who are trying to achieve public safety and public health.
  Why do we need to do this? Why do we need to change the laws of 
America? I don't think we do. I think instead we have an option which 
is much better.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, would the Senator yield?
  Mr. DURBIN. I would like to yield on your time if you have a 
question.
  Mr. INHOFE. I don't have time. We were very generous in giving you 
time, I would remind you.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I will yield for a colloquy for 1 minute, 
and then I see that the minority leader is here.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, where in this bill does it say you can't 
put those signs up, or where does it say in this bill that my speech 
that I made in Spanish would not be able to be included in the 
Congressional Record?
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I am glad the Senator asked that question 
because that is exactly the point of what I am saying. It is because of 
your language in the amendment that states, ``Unless authorized or 
provided by law,'' bilingual printing cannot be done, and it would be 
illegal.
  We have done some quick research but there is no statute we have 
found which says that when Members give speeches on the floor in 
foreign languages, the government shall print that speech in the 
foreign language in the Congressional Record. It isn't there. There is 
no authorization in law for the printing of your remarks in Spanish. 
And you tell us in the language of your amendment that if not 
authorized by law, it cannot be done; it is illegal.
  The point I am making is that the Senator started with a very 
positive and important premise, that English is our common and unifying 
language and that it should be preserved and enhanced by our 
Government. But the amendment then went too far. I think I know why. I 
believe what he is really aiming for is an Executive Order by President 
Clinton. Some on his side want to get rid of that. They don't like that 
Executive Order because that Executive Order, which is now being 
followed by our Government as law, says that when it comes to basic 
Federal services, we will help people who have limited proficiency in 
English understand their rights and understand their responsibilities. 
I think that is reasonable. I believe perhaps the Senator from Oklahoma 
sees it the other way.
  I see my leader is here on the floor.
  Mr. INHOFE. If the gentleman will yield, colloquy goes two ways. Let 
me just respond.
  Mr. DURBIN. I am sorry, I say to the Senator from Oklahoma, but it is 
my time. I will conclude by saying that in this situation, I urge my 
colleagues to take a close look at these amendments. I hope they will 
consider that the Salazar amendment is really the more positive 
statement that protects the rights of all Americans. It respects our 
cultures, but it also makes it clear that we have one common and 
unifying language in this country, and that is English.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, just one comment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma is recognized.
  Mr. INHOFE. First of all, I request that the minority leader not use 
leadership time since he now has 45 more minutes than we have, but that 
is just a request.
  I would say this: We have a very short period of time to wind up. I 
would have to say that all of these ridiculous examples, such as the 
one the Senator from Illinois just came up with and the flag examples, 
have nothing to do with this amendment. It might be some other 
amendment that was referred to. This merely recognizes and declares 
English to be our national language. We have exceptions for anything 
that is in there in law or would refer to anything else that is 
accepted.
  Mr. President, I would like to ask, how much time do we have 
remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 8 minutes 9 seconds remaining.
  The Democratic leader is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, English is today, as I speak, the language 
of America. In spite of the fact that in Nevada, we have the beautiful 
Sierra Nevada mountains; in Las Vegas, the meadows. In one of our 
counties, White Pine County, 200 miles from Las Vegas, Ely, a longtime 
mining community, I can remember going there to the Slav festival and 
being taken to the graveyard because in the days of early Kennecott, 
they had a section in that graveyard for Greeks, for Slavs, for 
Italians.
  Today, as I speak, the language of America is English. Things have 
changed around the world. If a person wanted to join the Foreign 
Service, whether they were in England, the United States, or any 
country in South America, to be in the diplomatic corps of their 
country, they had to learn French. That was the language of diplomacy. 
Not anymore. It is English. The language used in diplomatic relations 
around the world is English.
  If I am a pilot and I am flying into National Airport, the air 
traffic controller is speaking English. If I am a pilot and am flying 
into Lima, Peru, the air traffic controller speaks English. If I am a 
pilot flying into Moscow, the air traffic controller in Moscow speaks 
English. The language of flying is English. It applies to every country 
in the world where they have an airport and they have air traffic 
controllers. English is the language, and my distinguished friend, the 
Senator from Oklahoma, knows that. He himself has flown around the 
world as a pilot.
  I have affection for my friend from Oklahoma, but I have the greatest 
disagreement with him on this amendment. While the intent may not be 
there, I really believe this amendment is racist. I think it is 
directed basically to people who speak Spanish.
  I have three sons who speak Spanish--fluent Spanish. One of them 
lived in Argentina for a couple of years, one lived in Ecuador, one 
lived in Spain. They speak fluent Spanish. I am very proud of these 
young men. They have acted as interpreters for me when I do radio 
programs that are in Spanish. I can remember once being so frustrated. 
I was a guest in a hotel. I had locked myself out of my room. There was 
a lady pushing the cart, and I told her I would like to get back in my 
room. She did not know what I was saying. She could not converse with 
me in Spanish. So as luck would have it, here comes one of my sons. The 
minute he spoke to her in Spanish, her whole demeanor changed. She 
became a different person because, through my son, we could 
communicate.
  I have a young man who works for me, an American citizen, of course, 
Frederico. Frederico comes from Puerto Rico. We were talking today 
after this amendment had been laid down, and Frederico said it wasn't 
long ago--and these were his words--that a cleaning lady, a janitor, 
was buying a home here in Washington, DC. She had been an American 
citizen for 10 years, doing her best to become part of society. She was 
very concerned, though. She was buying a home. Maybe by some standards 
the home wasn't much, but to her, it was her first home. She was so 
frightened. She had papers; she couldn't understand them. She asked 
Frederico if he would help her, and he did that. She was able to buy 
the home.
  He also told me that he became ill--very sick. He didn't know what 
was wrong with him. He speaks Spanish, and I don't think I would 
embarrass

[[Page 8594]]

Frederico in saying that even today--he is well educated, a longtime 
citizen--he still speaks with an accent, a Hispanic accent, for want of 
a better description. He speaks good English with a slight accent. He 
was so sick. He didn't know what was wrong with him, and he was afraid, 
when he went to the hospital, the emergency room, he was afraid that he 
couldn't communicate to the health care workers what was wrong with 
him, and he asked: Is there anybody here who speaks Spanish? And there 
was--one of the nurses--and he was able to communicate. He felt better 
and the emergency room personnel felt better because he could explain 
to them what was wrong.
  I believe this amendment cuts the heart out of public health and 
public safety. I gave you the example of the emergency room. I don't 
know all of the reasons that the Executive order was issued by the 
President. I think one reason is because of public health. It is so 
important for us, English speakers only, that when someone goes to get 
help and they are sick, that they are able to tell the health care 
personnel everything they need to know because it is important to me 
if, for example, it is a communicable disease.
  So I believe we have to understand that this amendment would hurt 
public health badly. We need people to be able to take their children, 
when they are sick, to a facility, whether it is for mumps that is 
going around now or whether, Heaven forbid, it is avian flu at some 
later time.
  I have served in the Congress of the United States with Jim Inhofe 
for many years, and we disagree on issues on occasion. But even though 
I believe this amendment is unfair, I don't in any way suggest that Jim 
Inhofe is a racist. I don't believe that at all. I just believe that 
this amendment has, with some people, that connotation--not that he is 
a racist but that the amendment is. So I want to make sure the record 
is spread with the fact that I have only the strongest, as I indicated 
early on, affection for Jim Inhofe, the senior Senator from Oklahoma.
  Public safety. Mr. President, one of the earmarks I got a number of 
years ago in our appropriations bill was for the Las Vegas Metropolitan 
Police Department because they needed police officers who were fluent 
in Spanish. Why? Because we have a large influx of Spanish speakers 
coming to southern Nevada, and the sheriff of Clark County believed he 
could do a better job with law enforcement if he had people who could 
communicate. And that is true. That worked out very well. I believe 
funding for police could be affected by this amendment if it passes.
  Domestic violence is a perfect example. There is a lot of domestic 
violence, and we need people who can speak the language that people 
understand.
  Reporting crimes--it is so important that law enforcement has the 
ability to understand when people report crimes. In Nevada, 6 percent 
of the population is Asian American. We have now in Las Vegas a very 
large, burgeoning Chinese-American community. One of my former 
employees went from here to the district attorney's office and is now 
working for a private individual and/or company, building a big hotel 
in what we call Las Vegas Chinatown.
  I have been there. A lot of people there are not real good at 
speaking English. We have to do everything we can, whether people speak 
Chinese or whether they speak Spanish, to have them assimilated into 
our society. It is good for all of us. One of my concerns is that this 
will turn us back in the wrong direction.
  I have said before, my wife is Jewish. Her father was born in Russia. 
He learned to speak English as a little boy. He spoke good English. His 
parents didn't. We know what happened in years past. I have heard 
Senator Leahy, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, state on 
many occasions that there were signs in his State of Vermont: No 
Catholics or Italians need apply for jobs. We know that applied to 
people who emigrated from Germany.
  I think this turns us in the wrong direction. I think we should make 
sure that people who are 911 operators can immediately switch to 
somebody who can speak Spanish. I think what I did, to get a little 
extra money there for the metropolitan police department so we could 
have people who were fluent in Spanish, I think that is the right way 
to go. I am not too sure this amendment wouldn't stop that, or 
certainly slow it down.
  Today, as I speak, the language of America is English. We want people 
to integrate, to learn English, but they need tools to do this no 
matter what their native language. This amendment takes some of those 
tools away, and we need all of those tools.
  The fastest growing component of adult education in America today is 
English as a second language. This will slow that down. This amendment 
impacts English speakers, reporting of crimes, reporting of diseases, 
involvement in commerce. Next, is it going to impact upon the right to 
vote?
  This amendment is divisive. We should be here to unify our country, 
not divide it by ethnicity or language differences. I rise in strong 
opposition to this amendment. Everyone who speaks with an accent knows 
that they need to learn English as fast as they can. Success in America 
means the ability to speak English. That is the way it is now. We don't 
need this amendment. Speaking English is critical to the functioning of 
anyone in our country. It is the language of our Government, of our 
Nation, and as I have indicated before, air traffic controllers and 
diplomacy. This amendment, I believe, is unconstitutional. It raises 
serious concerns that American citizens could lose some of their 
rights.
  This amendment directly conflicts with several provisions of Federal 
law, I believe, that guarantee the right of non-English-speaking 
students to learn English in our public schools. Does this amendment 
apply to a Presidential order, an Executive order? Does it apply to a 
city ordinance? A county ordinance? A State statute? What does it apply 
to? Federal law.
  This amendment conflicts with provisions of Federal law that require 
language materials or assistance to be provided to voters in some areas 
of non-English languages, where there is evidence of educational 
discrimination resulting in high illiteracy and low registration 
turnout.
  One of the problems we are having all over America is children 
dropping out of school. This amendment will not help that. Do we 
benefit by children dropping out of school? Of course not. Don't we 
want high voter turnout? Don't we want people to vote? This is going to 
slow that down, people asking to register to vote.
  There has been substantial evidence of harassment, intimidation, even 
violence against language minority voters. This provision makes a 
blatant violation of the 14th and 15th amendments and criminal 
provisions of the Voting Rights Act more likely to occur. Look at 
history. In Nevada, Chinese who came over to build the railroads, the 
transcontinental railroad, were treated like animals. There were laws 
passed, State laws, county ordinances, local ordinances promulgated 
against the Chinese. Those laws which were discriminatory did not help 
our country. They hurt our country. This amendment is not going to help 
our country, it is going to hurt our country.
  By the very terms of this amendment, persons accused of crimes would 
be denied the ability, I believe, to receive information material in 
their native language to assist in their own defense. This clearly 
violates the due process clause of the fifth amendment of our 
Constitution.
  I have talked about public health. This amendment will stand in the 
way of efforts made to facilitate the transmission of vital information 
necessary for the receipt of health care and public safety, including 
informed consent by non-English-speaking patients.
  Doctors need this. Health care workers need this. This undermines our 
Nation's public health and safety.
  The foregoing things I have talked about are not exclusive. There are 
many more areas, public service and public safety, that will be 
negatively impacted by this amendment, hurting all Americans in the 
process. I hope we all support civic integration, but this amendment is 
not the way to do it.

[[Page 8595]]

  Why don't we spend more money so we can educate more people who want 
to learn English? We are short of money. We have programs that are cut 
every day. That is the way it is in Nevada and around the country. That 
is where we should be directing our efforts. That brings people 
together. That is good for all of us. This does not bring people 
together. It makes it far more likely that we will end up with civic 
exclusion, including the denial of rights they should have to millions 
of U.S. citizens.
  I hope we reject this amendment. It is bad policy. It is un-American. 
It turns back the clock on the substantial gains that language minority 
citizens have made. I hope that there will be a resounding vote against 
this.
  I have no problem going home today and telling the people of the 
State of Nevada: English is the language of America. We are not going 
to change that with this amendment. This is divisive, it is mean 
spirited. I think it is the wrong way to go.
  Mr. President, I also want to express my appreciation to the manager 
of the bill and Senator Inhofe for giving me extra time. We had not 
enough time over here, and it was gracious of him to allow us the extra 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time? The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President may I inquire as to how much time is left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There remains 12 minutes 45 seconds.
  Mr. SALAZAR. How much is left on the other side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. They have 8 minutes 7 seconds.
  Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I thank Senator Reid and state his 
eloquence today, in terms of pointing out issues and concerns with 
respect to the Inhofe amendment, is very much appreciated.
  I want to reiterate to my colleagues on the floor of the Senate today 
that I am asking for your support for an amendment that will unify 
America, that will say that English is in fact the language of the land 
and that we will work to make sure English is the common language of 
America. I am also here to ask my colleagues to vote against the 
amendment of Senator Inhofe because I am concerned about the unintended 
consequences that will flow from the proposal which Senator Inhofe has 
offered.
  Let me say there can be no doubt at all that English is, in fact, the 
unifying language of America. In my own State of Colorado, as I look at 
some of the statistics on the number of people who are waiting in long 
lines to learn English, it is an incredibly long line. In the five-
county Denver-Metro area, adult ESL programs working with the 
Department of Education have 5,000 people enrolled in those programs. 
They have a waiting list that is up to 2 months, because there are so 
many people in the Denver metropolitan area who want to learn English.
  This debate is not about the endangerment of English in America 
today. People in America understand that we conduct our business in 
English, that we are conducting our business in the Senate today in 
English. The people of America understand that the keystone to 
opportunity is learning the English language, and you need not look any 
further than the number of people who are enrolled in educational 
classes, trying to learn English to know they understand that very 
fact.
  The concern with the amendment of Senator Inhofe is that you are 
going to have unintended consequences that will flow from the language 
of the amendment. Many of my colleagues have spoken about those 
unintended consequences. I want to focus on one particular aspect of 
that which I find to be very un-American and that is the fact that when 
you allow for discrimination to occur on the basis of national origin, 
on the basis of race, on the basis of gender, on the basis of language, 
that we are taking a step backward in the progress that America has 
made. None of us wants to revisit what has happened in the history of 
America as we have moved forward as a nation to become a much more 
inclusive nation and a nation that celebrates the diversity that makes 
us a strong nation. None of us wants to revisit the latter half of the 
last century, when segregation was sanctioned under the law until 1954, 
and until the Civil Rights Act. None of us want to move back into those 
dark days of American history.
  Yet the fact remains today we still have some of that discrimination 
that exists in our society. We have example after example, personal 
examples we can cite about people who have been the victims of language 
discrimination. When we elevate one language, in the manner that 
Senator Inhofe has attempted to do in his amendment, above every other 
language, what will happen as an unintended consequence of his 
amendment is that you will usher in, in my judgment, a new era of 
language discrimination in America. I do not believe that ushering in a 
new era of language discrimination in America is something that will be 
helpful to us as we struggle in this 21st century to make sure that we 
maintain the strongest America, the strongest Nation possible in our 
world.
  I ask people, those of you who are concerned about language 
discrimination in America, to vote against the amendment of Senator 
Inhofe on that point.
  Let me conclude by saying that the amendment we have proposed today 
talks about the importance of English and the importance of unifying 
America through the English language. I believe we can work together. I 
believe that will require the immigrants to whom we are trying to 
address the immigration reform package to learn English. It is 
important that they learn English.
  As I conclude my portion of this discussion, I think back to a mother 
and a father who in the 1940s were part of that greatest of generations 
fighting for the freedom of America--a father in World War II as a 
soldier, and a mother at the age of 20 speaking Spanish but coming to 
Washington to work in the Pentagon. They were victims of language 
discrimination. That generation was a victim of language 
discrimination. They would have had maybe the same opportunities I have 
had if they had been part of an America that fully understood they 
would be treated the same as those who speak languages other than 
English. But I do not want us to go back in the history of our country 
to a place where we are darkened again by that discrimination which 
existed in the 1940s or the 1950s.
  My fear is that the amendment that my good friend from Oklahoma is 
offering today will open the door once again to that history of 
discrimination, which I find very pernicious.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
Tennessee.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Senator. I thank the Presiding Officer.
  Mr. President, I have been listening to the Democratic leader and 
colleagues struggle to come up with some reason we shouldn't declare 
that English is our national language. They are having a very difficult 
time doing that. In fact, what they have been doing is arguing all 
sorts of unusual ways against an amendment that no one has proposed.
  Let me say what Senator Inhofe's amendment does. It declares English 
as the national language of the United States. We are free to say 
whatever we want, speak whatever we want, but it is our national 
language. Specifically, the Inhofe amendment says it doesn't prevent 
those receiving Government services in another language from doing so, 
whether authorized by law or by Executive order or by regulation. That 
is No. 1. The Salazar amendment, in contrast, does not say English is 
our national language. That is the first point.
  The second thing is the Inhofe amendment would say that those who are 
illegally here, who might become legal under this law and get on a path 
to citizenship, would have to actually

[[Page 8596]]

learn English rather than just enroll in school. Anyone can sign up and 
not learn anything. Senator Salazar's amendment doesn't do that.
  A third reason Senator Inhofe's amendment is better, in my opinion, 
is it has some excellent language that would improve the citizenship 
test that new citizens take, including the key ideas, key documents, 
and key events of our history that we all agree on, and which we voted 
unanimously on a couple of years ago in another piece of legislation.
  If you believe English is our national language and don't want to 
interfere with any existing law or right, if you want new citizens who 
might be illegally here today to learn English as a part of that path 
to citizenship, and if you want a better American history test for new 
citizens, the Inhofe amendment is preferable.
  I think a lot of this debate is about unity versus diversity. That is 
the struggle. It is a real struggle in this country.
  Some on the other side of the aisle said this is unimportant. It 
might be to them, but it is not to me, nor is it to most Americans. I 
think it is at the center of this whole discussion about what we are 
doing with immigration. If the American people got any whiff that we 
thought having a national motto or a national anthem or a national 
pledge of allegiance or a national language was unimportant to us, I 
think they would throw us all out because most people know that our 
diversity is a magnificent strength--we are a land of immigrants--but 
our greater strength is that we have turned that all into one country.
  Iraq is diverse, and Bosnia is diverse. Are they better places for 
that? They haven't been able to unite themselves into one country. How 
did we do that? Partly because of these unifying principles which we 
debate here with respect for one another, and through our national 
language.
  No matter what they say, the opponents of this amendment are 
reluctant to say that English is our national language. If they were 
not, they would vote for the Inhofe amendment. First, it declares that 
if you have any rights now, you will still have them after the Inhofe 
amendment passes. It requires those who are here illegally but want to 
become citizens to learn English rather than just enroll in school. And 
it beefs up the U.S. history requirement in a way the Senate has 
previously approved.
  The Democratic leader talked about how nice it would be for someone 
to call 9-1-1 and get a Spanish-speaking voice. It wouldn't have been 
so nice to the 200,000 new citizens from Asia who came in last year 
because they do not speak Spanish. That is why we have a common 
language.
  My goal is that every child in America be bilingual or even 
multilingual. But one of those must be to learn English, and every 
child should learn it as soon as possible. We have a common language 
because we are a land of immigrants. It is our national language.
  A vote for the Inhofe amendment is a vote for our national language. 
It is a vote to leave everyone's rights to receive services in other 
languages exactly where they are today. It is a vote to say that those 
who might be here illegally today but who seek to become citizens must 
learn English, and it is a vote to beef up our U.S. history tests which 
are required of those coming into this country and applying for 
citizenship.
  For generations, we have helped people in this country learn English. 
We do so even further in the underlying bill with new $500 grants. It 
should be a simple statement to say that English is our national 
language, that we have a national motto, a national pledge, a national 
oath.
  Then why struggle to come up with reasons not to make English our 
national language?
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I think it is very obvious what is going 
on here. It has been 23 years since we have had a chance to vote on it. 
It probably will be the last time most Members--maybe all of the 
Members in this Chamber--will have a chance to vote to make English the 
national language.
  Those who are offering this amendment today don't want English to be 
the national language. They use the word ``common,'' the common 
language.
  Those opposing this amendment want an entitlement to have the Federal 
Government provide for language, services, and materials. They can do 
it now. If you pass this bill, they can still do it. It is just not 
mandatory. It is not something that can't be done; it doesn't have to 
be done. They say that national origin equates to language. Their 
claims are consistently refuted by the Federal Government, the most 
recent one being in 2001, the Sandoval case.
  The opponents of this don't want people learning English but instead 
being served in foreign languages.
  I think it is interesting that the word ``racist'' was used. I just 
wish the people here knew what has happened in the past and what I have 
been involved in in my State of Oklahoma. This is not the time to 
repeat what I said earlier. But the bottom line is I received the 
highest award given by the Hispanic community in the city of Tulsa. I 
started the first Hispanic community commission, and it is now a model 
for the Nation.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Colorado for his 
amendment. He is a Senator who continues to demonstrate his interest 
and ability in bringing us together rather than seeking to drive wedges 
between us. We can all agree that English should be the common language 
of the United States. His is a good suggestion for an alternative that 
I will support. In many local communities and States, it may well be 
useful and helpful for the Government to reach out to language 
minorities. Greater participation and information are good things. We 
should not be mandating artificial and shortsighted restrictions on 
State and local government.
  I have spoken in the course of this debate about my belief that 
immigrants should learn the English language. In my experience, most 
new Americans want to learn our language and make efforts to do so as 
quickly as possible. The bill that we are debating calls for immigrants 
to learn English as one the several steps they must take before they 
can earn citizenship.
  I certainly understand why the Mexican American Legal Defense and 
Education Fund, the Asian American Justice Center, the Lawyer's 
Committee for Civil Rights, the National Council of La Raza, the 
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 
Educational Fund and others have been concerned about the Inhofe 
amendment. I share their concerns. I strongly support the efforts of 
the Senator from Colorado to find a common ground to unite us rather 
than divide us and strongly support his alternative amendment.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I rise today in support of Senator 
Salazar's amendment. English is one of the common bonds that bring 
Americans together. Just as a new immigrant must learn the monetary 
currency of a country, new immigrants must learn the social currency 
the English language. Immigrants need to learn English so they can be 
successful and contribute to their new country. That is why current law 
already states that anyone becoming a U.S. citizen is required to learn 
English.
  Yet as immigrants are learning English, we need to be able to provide 
them with critical information in a language they can understand. What 
if there was an avian flu outbreak? What if there was another terrorist 
attack? Or a hurricane? Our first priority is to make sure they are 
safe in any language.
  English can bring us together it shouldn't pull us apart. We must 
remember that our country was founded by immigrants from around the 
world. Their contributions to this Nation have made it great. My own 
great-grandparents were immigrants from Poland. Their desire to seek a 
better life for them and their children is the part of the American 
dream.
  It is ridiculous. I don't think people are going to buy into it.
  I agree with my friend from Tennessee. If they are looking, searching

[[Page 8597]]

for things to object to, they are not going to find it in this bill.
  The racist thing, it is interesting. If you will look at polling data 
in 2002, the Kaiser Family Foundation poll says 91 percent of foreign-
born Latino immigrants agree that learning English is essential to 
succeed in the United States.
  Just 2 months ago, the Zogby poll found that 84 percent of Americans, 
including--this is significant--77 percent of Hispanics, believe that 
English should be the national language. That is only 2 months ago--77 
percent of the Hispanics.
  I think it is an insult to the Spanish to say we are not going to 
have English as a national language because they are not capable of 
operating and succeeding in a country like this. They are dead wrong.
  In terms of people criticizing us for wanting to make this the 
national language, 51 countries have done it. Isn't that interesting? 
Fifty-one countries have made English their national language, except 
for us. Twenty-seven States out of fifty States already have it on a 
State basis.
  When you go to your townhall meetings, it is not even a close call. 
This comes up every time I go to a townhall meeting in Oklahoma: Why 
don't we have English as a national language? Now I hope they 
understand why, if they have seen this debate today, and the dialogue 
that is going on, pulling out of the air very eloquent statements that 
might be referring to some bill someone may want to introduce someday, 
or some amendment. It is certainly not this amendment.
  I look at this and wonder, and I shake my head. What have you been 
reading? It has nothing to do with this. Our amendment does not 
prohibit using language other than services, or any other Government 
services in languages other than English. It doesn't prohibit it at 
all; it allows it. It doesn't prescribe and say you have to do it. 
There is no prohibition of giving Medicare services or any other 
Government services in a language other than English. This amendment 
simply says there is no right unless Congress has explicitly provided 
that right.
  If you read page 2 of the bill, it very specifically says ``unless 
otherwise authorized or provided by law.'' That is the exception. In 
every one of these examples that have come up--from the Senator from 
California, the Senator from New Mexico, the Senator from Illinois, 
they fall into that category.
  This is going to answer the question for a lot of people out there 
saying: Why can't we have this as our national language?
  It has been 23 years since we had our last vote. You can't have it 
both ways. I wouldn't want anyone here to be under the misconception 
that they could vote for my amendment and then turn around and vote for 
the Salazar amendment because that would completely negate our 
amendment.
  This is your last chance to vote to make English the national 
language. When we listen to the National Anthem: O, say can you see, by 
the dawn's early light . . . bombs bursting in air . . . gave proof 
through the night that the flag was still there . . . the land of the 
free, and the home of the brave--that is not an official anthem, that 
is not a common anthem, that is the national anthem.
  This is our last chance to have English as the national language for 
America.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I will take 1 minute.
  Patriotism doesn't belong to a political party or any individual. The 
Salazar language is very clear. English is the common unifying language 
of the United States. It helps provide unity for the American people, 
preserving and enhancing the role of the English language. It couldn't 
be clearer.
  Let us not distort and misrepresent the amendment that is before us.
  I ask unanimous consent that it be in order to ask for the yeas and 
nays on the Salazar amendment and the Inhofe amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask for the yeas and nays on the Inhofe amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second. The question is on agreeing to the 
amendment. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez).
  Further, if present and voting the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. Martinez) would have voted 
``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 63, nays 34, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 131 Leg.]

                                YEAS--63

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Carper
     Chafee
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeMint
     DeWine
     Dole
     Dorgan
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kyl
     Landrieu
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner

                                NAYS--34

     Akaka
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Cantwell
     Clinton
     Dayton
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Obama
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Stabenow
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Bunning
     Martinez
     Rockefeller
  The amendment (No. 4064), as further modified, was agreed to.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, what is now before the Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cornyn). The question is on agreeing to 
amendment No. 4073, offered by the Senator from Colorado, Mr. Salazar.
  The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) would have voted ``nay'' and the Senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez) would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Santorum). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 39, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 132 Leg.]

                                YEAS--58

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Brownback
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Graham
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     McCain
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Obama
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--39

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Burns
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dole
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson

[[Page 8598]]


     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     McConnell
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--3

     Bunning
     Martinez
     Rockefeller
  The amendment (No. 4073), as modified, was agreed to.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. SPECTER. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we are now ready to proceed with an 
amendment by Senator Clinton and a side-by-side by Senator Cornyn, with 
a half hour equally divided. At the conclusion of those 2 votes, we 
will discuss the business for the remainder of the evening.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, we intend to support that as soon as we 
get a chance to see the Cornyn amendment. May we see that before the 
Senator makes that request? Is that possible?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, while they are looking at that amendment, 
the plans will be that in about 30 to 45 minutes we will have 2 
rollcall votes, and then we will keep amendments going, and we will be 
voting tonight. We will do at least several other amendments. I will 
let the chairman speak to that. We plan on having two votes tomorrow 
morning. We don't know exactly what time. I expect us to be able to 
debate those. I ask that whatever amendments they be, we debate them 
tonight so we can vote as early as possible tomorrow morning.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I think we are now prepared to go to 
Senator Clinton and then Senator Cornyn, with 30 minutes equally 
divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Chafee). The Senator from New York is 
recognized.


                           Amendment No. 4072

  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 4072, and I ask 
for its consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from New York [Mrs. Clinton], for herself, Mr. 
     Obama, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Salazar, and Mr. Schumer, proposes an 
     amendment numbered 4072.

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

(Purpose: To establish a grant program to provide financial assistance 
to States and local governments for the costs of providing health care 
  and educational services to noncitizens, and to provide additional 
        funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program)

       On page 259, line 23, strike ``section 286(c)'' and insert 
     ``section 286(x)''.
       On page 264, strike line 13, and insert the following:
       ``(x) State Impact Assistance Account.--
       ``(1) Establishment.--There
       On page 264, strike line 20, and insert the following:
     ``218A and 218B.
       ``(2) State criminal alien assistance program account; 
     state health and education assistance account.--
       ``(A) State criminal alien assistance program account.--
       ``(i) Establishment.--There is established within the State 
     Impact Aid Account a State Criminal Alien Assistance Program 
     Account.
       ``(ii) Deposits.--Notwithstanding any other provision under 
     this Act, there shall be deposited in the State Criminal 
     Alien Assistance Program Account 25 percent of all amounts 
     deposited in the State Impact Aid Account, which shall be 
     available to the Attorney General to disburse in accordance 
     with section 241(i).
       ``(B) State health and education assistance account.--
       ``(i) Establishment.--There is established within the State 
     Impact Assistance Account a State Health and Education 
     Assistance Account.
       ``(ii) Deposits.--Notwithstanding any other provision under 
     this Act, there shall be deposited in the State Health and 
     Education Assistance Account 75 percent of all amounts 
     deposited in the State Impact Aid Account.
       ``(3) State impact assistance grant program.--
       ``(A) Establishment.--Not later than January 1 of each year 
     beginning after the date of enactment of the Comprehensive 
     Immigration Reform Act of 2006, the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security, in cooperation with the Secretary of Health and 
     Human Services (referred to in this paragraph as the 
     `Secretary'), shall establish a State Impact Assistance Grant 
     Program, under which the Secretary shall award grants to 
     States for use in accordance with subparagraph (D).
       ``(B) Available funds.--For each fiscal year beginning 
     after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary 
     shall use \1/2\ of the amounts deposited into the State 
     Health and Education Assistance Account under paragraph 
     2(B)(ii) during the preceding year .
       ``(C) Allocation.--The Secretary shall allocate grants 
     under this paragraph as follows:
       ``(i) Noncitizen population.--

       ``(I) In general.--Subject to subclause (II), 80 percent 
     shall be allocated to States on a pro-rata basis according to 
     the ratio that, based on the most recent year for which data 
     of the Bureau of the Census exists--

       ``(aa) the noncitizen population of the State; bears to
       ``(bb) the noncitizen population of all States.

       ``(II) Minimum amount.--Notwithstanding the formula under 
     subclause (I), no State shall receive less than $5,000,000 
     under this clause.

       ``(ii) High growth rates.--Twenty percent shall be 
     allocated on a pro-rata basis among the 20 States with the 
     largest growth rate in noncitizen population, as determined 
     by the Secretary, according to the ratio that, based on the 
     most recent year for which data of the Bureau of the Census 
     exists--

       ``(I) the growth rate in the noncitizen population of the 
     State during the most recent 3-year period for which data is 
     available; bears to
       ``(II) the combined growth rate in noncitizen population of 
     the 20 States during the 3-year period described in subclause 
     (I).

       ``(iii) Funding for local entities.--The Secretary shall 
     require recipients of the State Impact Assistance Grants to 
     provide units of local governments with not less than 70 
     percent of the grant funds not later than 180 days after the 
     State receives grant funding. States shall distribute funds 
     to units of local government based on demonstrated need and 
     function.
       ``(D) Use of funds.--A State shall use a grant received 
     under this paragraph to return funds to State and local 
     governments, organizations, and entities for the costs of 
     providing health services and educational services to 
     noncitizens.
       ``(E) Administration.--A unit of local government, 
     organization, or entity may provide services described in 
     subparagraph (D) directly or pursuant to contracts with the 
     State or another entity, including--
       ``(i) a unit of local government;
       ``(ii) a public health provider, such as a hospital, 
     community health center, or other appropriate entity;
       ``(iii) a local education agency; and
       ``(iv) a charitable organization.
       ``(F) Refusal.--
       ``(i) In general.--A State may elect to refuse any grant 
     under this paragraph.
       ``(ii) Action by secretary.--On receipt of notice of a 
     State of an election under clause (i), the Secretary shall 
     deposit the amount of the grant that would have been provided 
     to the State into the State Impact Assistance Account.
       ``(G) Reports.--
       ``(i) In general.--Not later than March 1 of each year, 
     each State that received a grant under this paragraph during 
     the preceding fiscal year shall submit to the Secretary a 
     report in such manner and containing such information as the 
     Secretary may require, in accordance with clause (ii).
       ``(ii) Contents.--A report under clause (i) shall include a 
     description of--

       ``(I) the services provided in the State using the grant;
       ``(II) the amount of grant funds used to provide each 
     service and the total amount available during the applicable 
     fiscal year from all sources to provide each service; and
       ``(III) the method by which the services provided using the 
     grant addressed the needs of communities with significant and 
     growing noncitizen populations in the State.

       ``(H) Collaboration.--In promulgating regulations and 
     issuing guidelines to carry out this paragraph, the Secretary 
     shall collaborate with representatives of State and local 
     governments.
       ``(I) State appropriations.--Funds received by a State 
     under this paragraph shall be subject to appropriation by the 
     legislature of the State, in accordance with the terms and 
     conditions described in this paragraph.
       ``(J) Exemption.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, section 6503(a) of title 31, United States Code, shall 
     not apply to funds transferred to States under this 
     paragraph.
       ``(K) Definition of state.--In this paragraph, the term 
     `State' means each of--
       ``(i) the several States of the United States;

[[Page 8599]]

       ``(ii) the District of Columbia;
       ``(iii) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
       ``(iv) the Virgin Islands;
       ``(v) American Samoa; and
       ``(vi) the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.''.
       On page 371, line 4, strike ``(B) 10 percent'' and insert 
     the following:
       ``(B) 10 percent of such funds shall be deposited in the 
     State Impact Aid Account in the Treasury in accordance with 
     section 286(x);
       ``(C) 5 percent
       On page 371, line 8, strike ``(C) 10 percent'' and insert 
     ``(D) 5 percent''.

  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senators 
Salazar and Schumer be added, along with Senators Obama and Boxer, as 
cosponsors of this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, as has become abundantly clear from the 
debate on the floor, immigration is a Federal responsibility. As this 
debate has shown, for too long the Federal Government has neglected its 
duty.
  My amendment addresses one of the clearest examples of this neglect 
because our failed national immigration policy has left our State and 
local governments to bear the brunt of the cost of immigration. Our 
schools, our hospitals, our other State and local services are being 
strained.
  Obviously, this is a problem in many communities and not just in 
border communities. Throughout our country and in my State, there are 
counties and municipalities that are covering the costs of dealing with 
education, health care, and law enforcement without adequate or any 
Federal reimbursement. So we have left our local and State governments 
to fend for themselves. They should not be left to bear these costs 
alone because it is not they who are making Federal immigration policy.
  This amendment does several things. It helps finally provide adequate 
support for State and local governments. How? Well, it not only 
appropriates the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program funding to our 
States, but it establishes a program that provides financial assistance 
to State and local governments for the cost of health and educational 
services related to immigration.
  Money is allocated to our States in accordance with a funding formula 
based on the size and recent growth of the State's noncitizen 
population. The State must then pass the funds on to local governments 
and other entities that need the money for reimbursement. Here is how 
this program would be funded, because the amendment does not 
appropriate any new funds or impose any new fees on immigrants. Funding 
is drawn solely from existing fees already in the underlying bill.
  The underlying bill creates a State impact assistance account at the 
Treasury, but it does not direct any money into that account. It is an 
empty account with no State purpose. My amendment would direct certain 
fees that already exist in the underlying bill into the account and 
then provide for the disbursement of the collected funds to State and 
local government.
  To which fees are we referring? Well, there is a $500 fee for 
immigrants who participate in the guest worker program. Right now, that 
fee is not marked for any purpose, and the funds simply go to the 
Treasury. My amendment directs this $500 fee into the State impact 
assistance account. Additionally, the underlying bill imposes a $2,000 
fee for the undocumented immigrants to participate in the path to 
legalization program spelled out in title VI of the bill, plus imposes 
an additional fine that is left to the Department of Homeland Security 
to determine later. Eighty percent of these funds go to border 
security; 20 percent go to processing and administrative costs related 
to the undocumented.
  My amendment does not touch the 80 percent going to border security. 
Instead, it takes half of the processing fees--in other words, 10 
percent of the $2,000 fee and the yet-to-be, unspecified fine by DHS--
and redirects that money away from Federal Government administration to 
this fund which will help State and local governments get reimbursed.
  This still leaves about $1 billion for processing and administrative 
costs at the Federal level. What happens with this money? Pursuant to 
my amendment, 25 percent goes to the State Criminal Alien Assistance 
Program, known as SCAAP, to pay for the cost of detention which our 
State and local governments incur.
  Each year, the SCAAP program is underfunded. A 2005 GAO study 
documents that State and local governments get only 25 percent of their 
costs reimbursed through this program. A report indicates that my State 
of New York received even less--21 percent of their costs were 
compensated in 2002 and 24 percent in 2003. The remaining 75 percent of 
the money collected from the fees deposited in the State Impact 
Assistance Account would go to States and localities to pay for the 
cost of providing health and education services to noncitizens. This 
money is allocated among the States in accordance with a funding 
formula based on the size and recent growth of the States' noncitizen 
population.
  Now, to ensure that the funds actually get to the counties and cities 
and don't sit in State governments, my amendment also requires that at 
least 70 percent of those funds be passed on to localities within 180 
days of the States receiving the money. States can retain the remaining 
30 percent to help offset their own costs related to immigration.
  I think this amendment helps us fix a problem I care a lot about as I 
travel around my State. Our local communities have a tradition in New 
York of being very welcoming. We are a State that is not only built on 
immigrants but very proud of that, as the Statue of Liberty in New York 
Harbor so eloquently says. But the costs of immigration have steadily 
increased, and the Federal Government's neglect has strained local and 
State government budgets. I think if we pass any kind of immigration 
reform and we don't take into account the strains on the budget on 
State and local governments, we will not have done our job.
  This amendment also helps State and local governments not only recoup 
some of their expenditures, but it underlines a message to communities 
that they are working together, they welcome people who work hard and 
who make a contribution and will be on the path to earned legalization.
  So I hope this amendment will be supported. It has support from the 
National Immigration Law Center, the National League of Cities, the 
National Association of Counties, and the National Conference of State 
Legislatures.
  I think our laws can be both fair and strict. I think we can have 
laws which don't shut the doors of America to people who want to make a 
contribution and at the same time don't really provide disincentives to 
communities to be part of that welcoming tradition. Balancing all of 
the interests in this debate is not easy, but I appreciate the efforts 
that are being made on this floor to wrestle with this difficult 
problem. I hope we will also send a message to local communities that 
we are here to help them because they don't set immigration policy, 
they don't enforce immigration laws, but they are often left holding 
the bag for the costs that flow because we haven't done our job.
  So I hope that this amendment finds favor in this body and we send a 
message to our local executives and legislatures around our country 
that we are going to send them some help to be part of a comprehensive 
immigration solution.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas is recognized.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I congratulate the Senator from New York 
on her amendment. One of the greatest scams the Federal Government has 
ever imposed upon taxpayers across the country is unfunded Federal 
mandates, and education costs and health care costs imposed by the 
Federal Government on local taxpayers without reimbursement is not only 
unfair, it is a scandal.
  The estimated annual costs to hospitals and other emergency providers 
of health care nationwide for undocumented immigrants or illegal 
aliens, which is mandated but not reimbursed

[[Page 8600]]

by the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, is $1.45 
billion a year. According to congressionally commissioned research, the 
annual cost to just 24 border counties in my State and in New Mexico 
and California exceeds $200 million a year. Texans spend more than $4 
billion annually on education for the children of illegal immigrants 
and their U.S.-born siblings. About 12 percent of Texas schoolchildren 
in K through 12 are children of undocumented immigrants. Texas health 
care expenditures for illegal aliens are more than $520 million a year.
  All States--New York, Texas, and all 48 other States--bear the burden 
of unfunded mandates providing for the health and education of 
undocumented aliens because we have failed to enforce our immigration 
laws. Again, the Federal Government is twice culpable. No. 1, it 
imposes these costs on local taxpayers and local government; and No. 2, 
the very reason why they are incurred is because of the Federal 
Government's failure to secure our borders and enforce our immigration 
laws.
  The Federal Government requires, under the IMTALA act, that hospitals 
treat every person, irrespective of their immigration status. But then 
Congress fails to secure the border and our local hospitals have become 
overrun. So while the Government requires hospitals to treat everyone, 
the Government then fails in its own responsibility to secure the 
borders or reimburse those health care providers for carrying out their 
federally mandated obligations.
  The bill before the Senate fails to reimburse States for the costly 
burden placed upon their health care system and education system by 
undocumented immigrants. For example, recent reports are that 70 
percent of the children born at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX, are 
born to undocumented immigrants.
  What will my amendment do? The current Senate bill does not reimburse 
State and local governments for health care and education costs related 
to the millions of undocumented immigrants. While the underlying bill 
creates a State impact assistance account for future temporary workers, 
it is an unfunded account. The Cornyn amendment would impose a 
surcharge on any illegal alien who applies for legal status under this 
bill.


                           Amendment No. 4038

  Mr. President, at this time I ask unanimous consent to set aside the 
current amendment and to call up amendment No. 4038 and ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Texas [Mr. Cornyn] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4038.

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

(Purpose: To require aliens seeking adjustment of status under section 
   245B of the Immigration and Nationality Act or Deferred Mandatory 
 Departure status under section 245C of such Act to pay a supplemental 
application fee, which shall be used to provide financial assistance to 
      States for health and educational services for noncitizens)

       On page 264, strike lines 13 through 20.
       On page 370, line 21, strike ``this subsection'' and insert 
     ``paragraphs (2) and (3)''.
       On page 371, between lines 14 and 15, insert the following:
       ``(5) State impact assistance fee.--
       ``(A) In general.--In addition to any other amounts 
     required to be paid under this subsection, an alien shall 
     submit, at the time the alien files an application under this 
     section, a State impact assistance fee equal to--
       ``(i) $750 for the principal alien; and
       ``(ii) $100 for the spouse and each child described in 
     subsection (a)(2).
       ``(B) Use of fee.--The fees collected under subparagraph 
     (A) shall be deposited in the State Impact Assistance Account 
     established under section 286(x).
       On page 389, between lines 6 and 7, insert the following:
       ``(3) State impact assistance fee.--
       ``(A) In general.--In addition to any other amounts 
     required to be paid under this subsection, an alien seeking 
     Deferred Mandatory Departure status shall submit, at the time 
     the alien files an application under this section, a State 
     impact assistance fee equal to $750.
       ``(B) Use of fee.--The fees collected under subparagraph 
     (A) shall be deposited in the State Impact Assistance Account 
     established under section 286(x).
       On page 389, between lines 21 and 22, insert the following:
       ``(3) State impact assistance fee.--
       ``(A) In general.--In addition to any other amounts 
     required to be paid under this subsection, the spouse and 
     each child of an alien seeking Deferred Mandatory Departure 
     status shall submit a State impact assistance fee equal to 
     $100.
       ``(B) Use of fee.--The fees collected under subparagraph 
     (A) shall be deposited in the State Impact Assistance Account 
     established under section 286(x).
       On page 395, after line 23, add the following:
       (e) State Impact Assistance Account.--Section 286 (8 U.S.C. 
     1356) is amended by inserting after subsection (w) the 
     following:
       ``(x) State Impact Assistance Account.--
       ``(1) Establishment.--There is established in the general 
     fund of the Treasury a separate account, which shall be known 
     as the `State Impact Assistance Account'.
       ``(2) Source of funds.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     under this Act, there shall be deposited as offsetting 
     receipts into the State Impact Assistance Account all State 
     impact assistance fees collected under section 245B(m)(5) and 
     subsections (j)(3) and (k)(3) of section 245C.
       ``(3) Use of funds.--Amounts deposited into the State 
     Impact Assistance Account may only be used to carry out the 
     State Impact Assistance Grant Program established under 
     paragraph (4).
       ``(4) State impact assistance grant program.--
       ``(A) Establishment.--The Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, 
     shall establish the State Impact Assistance Grant Program 
     (referred to in this section as the `Program'), under which 
     the Secretary may award grants to States to provide health 
     and education services to noncitizens in accordance with this 
     paragraph.
       ``(B) State allocations.--The Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services shall annually allocate the amounts available in the 
     State Impact Assistance Account among the States as follows:
       ``(i) Noncitizen population.--Eighty percent of such 
     amounts shall be allocated so that each State receives the 
     greater of--

       ``(I) $5,000,000; or
       ``(II) after adjusting for allocations under subclause (I), 
     the percentage of the amount to be distributed under this 
     clause that is equal to the noncitizen resident population of 
     the State divided by the noncitizen resident population of 
     all States, based on the most recent data available from the 
     Bureau of the Census.

       ``(ii) High growth rates.--Twenty percent of such amounts 
     shall be allocated among the 20 States with the largest 
     growth rates in noncitizen resident population, as determined 
     by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, so that each 
     such State receives the percentage of the amount distributed 
     under this clause that is equal to--

       ``(I) the growth rate in the noncitizen resident population 
     of the State during the most recent 3-year period for which 
     data is available from the Bureau of the Census; divided by
       ``(II) the average growth rate in noncitizen resident 
     population for the 20 States during such 3-year period.

       ``(iii) Legislative appropriations.--The use of grant funds 
     allocated to States under this paragraph shall be subject to 
     appropriation by the legislature of each State in accordance 
     with the terms and conditions under this paragraph.
       ``(C) Funding for local government.--
       ``(i) Distribution criteria.--Grant funds received by 
     States under this paragraph shall be distributed to units of 
     local government based on need and function.
       ``(ii) Minimum distribution.--Except as provided in clause 
     (iii), a State shall distribute not less than 30 percent of 
     the grant funds received under this paragraph to units of 
     local government not later than 180 days after receiving such 
     funds.
       ``(iii) Exception.--If an eligible unit of local government 
     that is available to carry out the activities described in 
     subparagraph (D) cannot be found in a State, the State does 
     not need to comply with clause (ii).
       ``(iv) Unexpended funds.--Any grant funds distributed by a 
     State to a unit of local government that remain unexpended as 
     of the end of the grant period shall revert to the State for 
     redistribution to another unit of local government.
       ``(D) Use of funds.--States and units of local government 
     shall use grant funds received under this paragraph to 
     provide health services, educational services, and related 
     services to noncitizens within their jurisdiction directly, 
     or through contracts with eligible services providers, 
     including--
       ``(i) health care providers;
       ``(ii) local educational agencies; and
       ``(iii) charitable and religious organizations.
       ``(E) State defined.--In this paragraph, the term `State' 
     means each of the several

[[Page 8601]]

     States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
     Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, 
     American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
     Islands.
       ``(F) Certification.--In order to receive a payment under 
     this section, the State shall provide the Secretary of Health 
     and Human Services with a certification that the State's 
     proposed uses of the fund are consistent with (D).
       ``(G) Annual report.--The Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services shall inform the States annually of the amount of 
     funds available to each State under the Program.''.

  Mr. CORNYN. The problem is this, Mr. President: Under the current 
bill, about 80 percent of the $2,000 paid by undocumented immigrants at 
the time they apply for a green card or legal permanent residency, 80 
percent of that $2,000 fee goes for border security. Ten percent of it 
goes to administering the process provided for under the underlying 
bill and another 10 percent for other uncovered administrative costs. 
In other words, there is an 80-20 split of the $2,000 that are paid by 
undocumented immigrants at the time they regularize their status, in 
contrast with the Clinton amendment--the Senator from New York provides 
essentially an 80, 10, and 10 split, with 80 percent of the money going 
for border security, 10 percent going to a State impact fund, and 5 
percent each for the administrative costs. In other words, rather than 
an 80-20 distribution, the Senator from New York sets aside 10 percent 
for the State impact fund, and then retains an additional 10 percent to 
pay for the administrative costs.
  The difference between the Cornyn amendment and the Clinton amendment 
is this: The Clinton amendment takes money away from the program that 
administers this immigration reform bill in order to pay the State and 
local taxpayers under the impact fund.
  I don't think most of our colleagues are familiar with this, but 
actually the $2,000 that is required to be paid under this bill is not 
paid at the time that illegal aliens get a H-2C card and remain in the 
country for approximately 6 years, pending their application for a 
green card or legal permanent residency. It is only at the time they 
apply for their green card or legal permanent residency that money is 
due. So for 6 years, they are able to stay in the country with an H-2C 
card without paying a penny, while continuing to impose financial 
burdens on local taxpayers for health and educational costs that are 
unreimbursed. Under my proposal, they will get money right away as the 
money and costs are being incurred and not some 6 to 8 years later.
  Finally, under my proposed fee, which is a surcharge paid, $750, at 
the very time that a person enters in the system, not waiting 6 years 
when they apply for their green card. By paying $750 a person and an 
additional $100 for each family member, this will generate about $7.5 
billion in money for this State Impact Fund as opposed to approximately 
$1.3 to $1.5 billion under the Clinton amendment.
  Just by way of comparison, in 1986 when the U.S. Congress granted 
amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants, it set aside $4 billion 
in taxpayer money to help reimburse the States for these uncompensated 
costs. In other words, $4 billion for 3 million undocumented immigrants 
to regularize their status. Yet under this bill, if passed, the bill 
would regularize four times the number of people. Yet under the Clinton 
amendment it would only provide $1.3 to $1.5 billion for State impact 
funds. Under my proposal, which would impose a $750 surcharge at the 
very time an individual registers for the H-2C program, it would 
generate $7.5 billion, obviously necessary to pay for the unfunded 
mandates I mentioned a moment ago.
  I reserve the remainder of my time and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that we proceed 
to rollcall votes on the Clinton amendment at 6:20, to be followed by a 
rollcall vote on the Cornyn amendment, with the Cornyn amendment being 
a 10-minute vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I was just going to speak for 5 minutes on the amendment 
that Senator Clinton and I and others have introduced.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Can I get 30 seconds at the very end?
  Mr. SCHUMER. I would ask for 5 minutes. I ask unanimous consent I 
speak for 5 minutes, and Senator Kennedy proceed for 1 minute 
immediately thereafter.
  Mr. SPECTER. Reserving the right to object, how much time does 
Senator Cornyn have left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no division of time.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I will take 3\1/2\ minutes. I don't mind.
  Mr. CORNYN. I was under the impression there was 15 minutes allotted 
to Senator Clinton and 15 minutes to me, a total of 30 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. That agreement was not entered.
  Mr. SPECTER. We are talking about how much Senator Cornyn needs and 
how much Senator Schumer needs. We could delay the votes a bit. How 
much time does Senator Cornyn need?
  Mr. CORNYN. I would be happy with 5 more minutes total.
  Mr. SPECTER. I amend the unanimous consent request to give 5 more 
minutes to Senator Cornyn, 5 minutes to Senator Schumer, and that would 
bring us to 6:25, at which point I ask unanimous consent that we have 
rollcall votes on Senator Clinton, then a rollcall vote on Senator 
Cornyn, with the second vote to be 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from New York is recognized.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment 
sponsored by my colleague, Senator Clinton, cosponsored by a number of 
us on this side. I commend her efforts to address a very important 
component of the immigration debate.
  This amendment is going to provide some much needed and overdue 
relief to States and localities that have had to bear a 
disproportionate share of the burden when they have been host to a 
large number of undocumented immigrants. Too many of our State and 
local governments are overwhelmed and underfinanced. As the number of 
undocumented immigrants goes up in a community, so do the costs of 
services that the local governments provide to them--including 
increased costs for law enforcement, health care, and education.
  These localities are not to blame for the Federal Government's 
failure to adequately secure our borders or to enforce the immigration 
laws against employers who do not play by the rules. But more and more, 
they had to devote already scarce resources to deal with the rising 
numbers of undocumented immigrants.
  They have done the right thing. They have provided medical care, 
education, other public services. But it has all come at the expense of 
local taxpayers who are already stretched too thin, and that is not 
fair.
  As we work toward comprehensive reform, we in the Federal Government 
owe them our help. We need to make sure the flood of new immigrants 
does not drown out our local governments. We need to make sure that 
while we embrace our new immigrants we don't give the local communities 
the cold shoulder.
  This is not just a problem on the southern border. In Suffolk County 
on Long Island there are about 40,000 undocumented immigrants. Total 
estimates for all of Long Island are about 100,000. In Suffolk, the 
annual cost of meeting the needs of undocumented immigrants is 
estimated to be $24 million. Of course, property taxes are too high. 
The counties are strapped for cash. This amendment will offer some much 
needed relief to localities such as Suffolk County that have had to go 
it alone for too long. And it will not require finding new sources of 
revenue. It will take some of the fees already in the bill and give the 
bulk of that money for reimbursement of health care and educational 
costs paid out by the States and localities, and the rest goes to 
SCAAP, to pay for the costs of detaining noncitizens, a program I have 
been much involved with in the past.

[[Page 8602]]

  These funds will be targeted toward States that have seen the 
sharpest rise in their noncitizen populations, and we are going to get 
the money from the States to their localities fast because they are 
feeling the strain now. States will have to get most of the money to 
the localities within 180 days once the money is allocated.
  Taxpayers in our country are already being pushed to the limit. They 
didn't cause the problems, but they far too often have to bear the 
financial consequences, and they should not be left holding the bag.
  This financial assistance will not solve every problem associated 
with undocumented immigration, but it will go a long way toward lifting 
the financial strain in our States and localities all over the country.
  I yield. If my colleague from Massachusetts wants, I yield my 
remaining time to my colleague from Massachusetts.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 1 minute 40 seconds.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, Senator Clinton has a very sensible and 
responsible amendment. The way the funds are allocated, there will be 
approximately more than $1 billion that would be available under her 
amendment that will be allocated to these needs which she has outlined. 
It seems to me that is the way to go.
  On the other side, Senator Cornyn is going to raise, for these 
workers, immigrant workers who are working hard, playing by the rules--
he is just going to jack up the amounts they are going to have to pay 
by another $750.
  The sky is the limit. Why not $2,000, $3,000, $4,000? I mean, the 
fact is, they are already going to be paying the $2,000. This is going 
to add at least $750; $100 per child additional. So you are giving 
additional kinds of burdens on the worker, those who are in line to 
become citizens. I think the Clinton proposal is far superior and more 
fair.
  I yield the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I fail to understand why it poses an 
unreasonable burden upon the 10 million or 11 million or 12 million 
undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States in 
violation of our immigration laws to pay a modest fee as part of the 
quid pro quo for their regularization when, in fact, they have been 
imposing unfunded burdens on local taxpayers and local hospital 
districts and counties and cities for the entire time they have been 
present in the United States. No one is talking about being punitive or 
being unnecessarily harsh. But fair is fair. To suggest that it is not 
fair for them to pay a fee really stands in stark contrast to the fact 
that these same individuals, when they apply for legal permanent 
residency or a green card, will be required to pay $2,000.
  The truth is, most individuals who come across at least the southern 
border in violation of our immigration laws, turn their lives over to 
human smugglers and pay on average about $1,500 each for each trip they 
make into the United States. Certainly, these individuals, in return, 
for the benefits that are conferred upon them under this bill, should 
be expected, and I think they would expect, to pay some modest cost to 
help defray the expenses to local and State taxpayers. In fact, these 
individuals are being given an opportunity for a second chance, and I 
believe there should be some cost associated with that. In fact, we 
have been told during the course of this debate that this underlying 
bill creates a situation where people earn their right to legal status.
  As we found out, during the first 6 years of their presence in the 
United States, after this bill passes, if it passes in its current 
status, they will be able to live and work and travel and have all the 
benefits of living in this country and have paid nothing--zero, zip, 
nada. Only after about 6 years, when they apply for a green card or 
legal permanent residency, will they then be required to pay the 
$2,000.
  I think it is only just that these individuals be required to pay a 
surcharge of $750, a reasonable amount for reimbursement to State and 
local governments and taxpayers for the costs of health care and 
education that have been imposed by their very presence on local 
taxpayers. Again, this is not punishing anybody. This is not about 
making it unusually difficult for them to comply. This is a matter of 
simple justice.
  Indeed, if the only source of that money is the funds that are paid 
some 6 years after they began to transition into legal permanent 
residency, under the Clinton amendment--and I applaud the goals of the 
Senator, to pay some money into a State impact fund, but it will amount 
to about $1.3 billion as opposed to $7.5 billion under my amendment. We 
will not see any of that money for at least 6 years and, in fact, it is 
taking money away from the program necessary to administer this 
underlying legislation which is necessary to make it a success.
  Certainly, we are not going to build failure into this model by 
underfunding the very administrative process by which it is supposed to 
work.
  I suggest it is the Federal Government's responsibility to step up. 
This is not taking any tax dollars in order to fund this unfunded 
mandate. This is coming from the beneficiaries of the program that is 
supposed to be enacted by this underlying legislation. If, in fact, it 
made sense to appropriate from tax dollars $4 billion for the 3 million 
individuals who were given amnesty in 1986, it makes sense to me, 
today, that it is going to cost quite a bit more than the $1.3 billion 
under the amendment of Senator Clinton. But it also makes sense that 
burden should not be borne again by the taxpayers of the United States 
but, rather, should be borne by the individuals who are going to 
receive a benefit under this bill.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment. I think it only makes 
sense, it is only fair and just to the local taxpayers around this 
country, and it is a matter of funding what is currently an unfunded 
Federal mandate on those tax credits.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  The question is on the Clinton amendment.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, for the information of our colleagues, we 
are now trying to work through another amendment following the votes, 
the Chambliss amendment. We are checking to see how much time would be 
needed. But it appears that we have a good likelihood of proceeding 
with that amendment and a later vote tonight, after enough time for 
debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. We are not prepared. We thought we were moving ahead 
with the Kyl amendment. Now we are on the Chambliss amendment. It 
involves a number of individuals here who feel very strongly. We are 
just trying to find out the amount of time they would need. Hopefully, 
we are going to be having two votes now, and by the end of those votes 
we will have more information.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Clinton 
amendment.
  Mr. SPECTER. 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 assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning), the Senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez), and the Senator from Wyoming (Mr. Thomas).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. Martinez) would have voted 
``nay.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from North Dakota (Mr. 
Dorgan) and the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Rockefeller) are 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 43, nays 52, as follows:

[[Page 8603]]



                      [Rollcall Vote No. 133 Leg.]

                                YEAS--43

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Boxer
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Conrad
     Dayton
     Dodd
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Obama
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeMint
     DeWine
     Dole
     Domenici
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     McCain
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Nelson (NE)
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Stevens
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thune
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner

                             NOT VOTING--5

     Bunning
     Dorgan
     Martinez
     Rockefeller
     Thomas
  The amendment (No. 4072) was rejected.
  Mr. BURNS. 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. 4038

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The order calls for the Cornyn amendment.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the Cornyn amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) and the Senator from Florida (Mr. Martinez) would have voted 
``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from North Dakota (Mr. 
Dorgan) and the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Rockefeller) are 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Allen). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 64, nays 32, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 134 Leg.]

                                YEAS--64

     Alexander
     Allard
     Allen
     Baucus
     Bennett
     Biden
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brownback
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chambliss
     Clinton
     Coburn
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Cornyn
     Craig
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dole
     Domenici
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Frist
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Kerry
     Kyl
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lott
     Lugar
     McConnell
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Pryor
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith
     Snowe
     Stabenow
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--32

     Akaka
     Bayh
     Bingaman
     Chafee
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Graham
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     McCain
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Obama
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Specter
     Stevens

                             NOT VOTING--4

     Bunning
     Dorgan
     Martinez
     Rockefeller
  The amendment (No. 4038) was agreed to.
  Mr. CORNYN. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. LEVIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we are now prepared to take the amendment 
of the Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign, and have a brief debate, 10 
minutes. It will be accepted.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Would the Senator from Pennsylvania outline what the 
rest of the evening is going to be?
  Mr. SPECTER. That is what I am in the process of doing. I commented 
about the Ensign amendment. I was about to say we are going to have the 
amendment of the Senator from Florida, Mr. Nelson, which I anticipate 
will be accepted as well. Then we are going to take the Kyl amendment 
under an arrangement where there will be a tabling motion. And it is 
now anticipated that we will have an hour-and-a-half time limit there. 
I would like to do it in an hour time limit, if that would be 
acceptable to that side. Senator Kyl is prepared to take a half an 
hour.
  Mr. KENNEDY. That is fine, an hour evenly divided.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator from Pennsylvania yield?
  Mr. SPECTER. I do.
  Mr. REID. We just received a call from one of our Senators who 
objects to the Ensign amendment. So let's do the hour and a half on 
Kyl, and maybe we can work that out while we are doing that.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, through the Chair, I ask the Senator from 
Pennsylvania if it would be possible at least to make my statement, lay 
down the amendment, and then we can consider it at the appropriate time 
based on the two managers of the bill.
  Mr. REID. That certainly is appropriate. Mr. President, as you know, 
we don't run this place. I don't know why we need to wait an hour and 
45 minutes to vote. We are going to have votes in the morning anyway. I 
talked to Senator Kennedy. It is all right to go ahead for 90 minutes 
prior to a motion to table tonight on Kyl; we have no objection. 
Following that, we can decide what we will do for tomorrow.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. I ask unanimous consent that we have a time agreement of 
an hour and a half. We have just been informed that Senator Kyl wants 
an hour. I hope we can get some of that yielded back.
  Mr. REID. We will take 30 minutes prior to a motion to table.
  Mr. SPECTER. And a motion to table with no second-degree amendments 
being in order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, did I understand that prior to the debate, 
I would have 10 minutes?
  Mr. SPECTER. I was about to come to that. Let me include in the 
unanimous consent request that we lay down the Ensign amendment and 
give him 10 minutes, and then we will move to the Nelson amendment. 
There would be 5 minutes for Senator Nelson. I anticipate it will be 
accepted.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, that is not fair to our folks over here. If 
we are going to have a vote tonight, let's vote and let people go home. 
Those people who want to still stand around and talk--that is Nelson 
and Ensign and Landrieu or anybody else--let them do it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Reserving the right to object, may I just ask that at 
any time tonight or any time in the morning, I be allowed to offer the 
two amendments that have been pending all week. We can vote whenever 
the leadership would like, in the morning or later tonight.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we will take a look at the amendments. I 
will give the Senator from Louisiana an answer as soon as we can take a 
look at the amendments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada, Mr. Ensign.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I suggest we modify the unanimous consent 
to accommodate the minority and those

[[Page 8604]]

who want to vote. I would be first recognized for 10 minutes right 
after the vote on Kyl to lay down my amendment, debate for 10 minutes, 
followed by Senator Nelson, followed by Senator Landrieu.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I want to modify the unanimous consent request that 
after Senator Nelson from Florida, Senator Landrieu would then be 
allowed to offer two amendments.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I am advised that we have not seen the 
amendments of the Senator from Louisiana. I repeat, we are going to be 
in here next week. We will take a look at them. We will accommodate her 
tomorrow, if we can, but we have to see the amendments before we can 
say anything.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. It is my understanding we are going to have 90 minutes of 
debate on Kyl--60 for the majority, 30 for the minority--prior to a 
motion to table the Kyl amendment, no second-degree amendments would be 
in order, and following that there would be 10 minutes for Senator 
Ensign and then Senator Bill Nelson 10 minutes after that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Would the Senator from Pennsylvania wish to 
restate or state the request?
  Mr. SPECTER. Senator Reid has accurately stated the unanimous consent 
request. I adopt his statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered.
  The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, another aspect of our evening business 
is, at the conclusion of the sequencing stated in the unanimous consent 
agreement, to then lay down the Chambliss amendment. I am advised there 
are quite a number of Senators who want to speak on that. They can 
speak as long as they like. A vote will occur tomorrow on a tabling 
motion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Reserving the right to object, I most certainly don't 
mind showing the amendments. They have been on file for a week. But I 
would like it to be in order this week for 10 minutes, either tonight 
or tomorrow morning.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we would be glad to respond after we see 
the amendments. We may need more time. We haven't seen the amendments. 
That has been a problem continuously, not having seen the amendments. I 
repeat to the Senator from Louisiana, if we can see the amendments, we 
can answer the question.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. I appreciate that. I cannot agree to any unanimous 
consent until we get this.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair would say to the Senator from 
Louisiana, there is no request pending. The unanimous consent request 
was agreed to without objection previously. The Senator from 
Pennsylvania has subsequently spoken about the amendment of the Senator 
from Georgia, Mr. Chambliss. There is no request pending.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Then I will wait to object to that next request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania has the floor.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, may we start on the Kyl amendment?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.


                           Amendment No. 3969

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, on behalf of Senator Kyl and myself, I 
call up amendment 3969.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Texas [Mr. Cornyn], for Mr. Kyl, for 
     himself and Mr. Cornyn, proposes an amendment numbered 3969.

  The amendment is as follows:

   (Purpose: To prohibit H-2C nonimmigrants from adjusting to lawful 
                       permanent resident status)

       Beginning on page 295, strike line 8 and all that follows 
     through page 297, line 2, and insert the following:
       ``(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an 
     alien having nonimmigrant status described in section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(c) is ineligible for and may not apply for 
     adjustment of status under this section on the basis of such 
     status.''.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, the bill that is on the floor purports to 
create two different paths to American citizenship for those, first of 
all, who are in the country living outside of the law in an 
undocumented status, and secondly, for those who are not yet present in 
the country but who want to come here at some future date to work. We 
have given the somewhat misleading name of ``guest worker'' to the so-
called future flow, the people who are not yet here.
  As I pointed out earlier, a guest is not ordinarily defined as 
someone who moves in with you and never leaves. Rather, a guest is 
someone who comes into your home or wherever it may be temporarily and 
then leaves. The title ``guest worker'' to describe the future flow of 
people coming into the country to work is simply inaccurate. It does 
not describe what this bill does.
  First let me talk about the future flow. Under the Bingaman 
amendment, the Government would authorize the entry of 200,000 people a 
year who would qualify for an H-2C visa. These so-called guest workers 
could work here up to 6 years, live, travel, enjoy the benefits of this 
country short of citizenship, after which they then apply for a green 
card, whereby they become a legal permanent resident. They then get on 
the path to American citizenship 5 years later. Rather than a temporary 
worker, these are individuals who, under this bill, will become first 
legal permanent residents and then American citizens. Because of that, 
the title of ``guest worker'' is a misnomer. It is a 
mischaracterization of what this bill does. I submit it is simply 
misleading.
  It is important for us to debate this issue honestly. This is a 
complicated bill, over 600 pages long. Obviously, the Congress has not 
debated the issue of comprehensive immigration reform for the past 20 
years, since the last time Congress dealt with this in a comprehensive 
fashion. But at the very least, we ought to require of each of 
ourselves that we have an honest debate, that we call things what they 
are and we don't call things what they are not.
  The Kyl amendment, one I am proud to cosponsor, simply makes the 
point that a guest worker ought to be temporary. It doesn't sound like 
a profound amendment but, in fact, it will change the fundamental 
structure of this underlying bill to make the representation that 
everyone, from the President of the United States on down to those of 
us here, believes that a guest worker program is part of a 
comprehensive solution to the crisis that now confronts our country 
with our broken immigration system, that, in fact, we are talking about 
a temporary worker program.
  That is important for many reasons. Let me mention two beyond the 
initial reason that we ought to be honest and accurate and clear about 
what it is we are doing.
  First, in terms of the future flow of individuals who come into the 
country to work, it is important that we have a temporary worker 
program in order to protect American workers. In fact, if we have an 
influx of 200,000, or whatever the number is, permanent residents and 
then new citizens in this country, without regard to the fact that our 
economy is in a boom time when we need those workers or in a bust when 
we find that those new workers will end up competing with Americans and 
potentially displacing them from their jobs, it is important that we 
keep faith with the American people and we protect American workers by 
being able to dial up or dial down the provisions of this guest worker 
program in order to meet the demands of our economy.
  Secondly, Mexico, as an example, which has a 1,600 mile common border 
with my State of Texas, has seen the mass exodus of some of its best 
and brightest and hardest working people permanently out of their 
country to live forever, the rest of their natural lives, in the United 
States.
  Now, I believe we ought to have a legal system of immigration and 
that

[[Page 8605]]

ought to serve our national interests. But the reason why there is so 
much pressure put on our borders and on illegal immigration is because 
when a country's young workers leave permanently and never return, how 
in the world can that country, whatever the country is--Mexico, United 
States, Guatemala, Honduras, or Brazil--how can any country ever hope 
to create economic opportunity and jobs within that country if its 
young, hard-working workers leave permanently and never come back?
  Well, a temporary worker program would allow people to come to the 
United States and work for a while and then return to their country of 
origin with the savings and skills they have acquired working in the 
United States. That would benefit not only the employers who need the 
workforce--a legal workforce that cannot be satisfied with sufficient 
numbers of Americans--but it would also satisfy the demands and the 
needs of their country of origin by providing circular migration--in 
other words, people coming for a while to work and then going home with 
the savings and skills they have acquired in the United States. What 
are they going to do with the money they have earned? Some may decide 
to buy a home or start a small business in their country of origin.
  I think that has at least the promise of developing economic 
opportunity and jobs in those countries that are now a net exporter of 
people to the United States. It would give them a realistic opportunity 
of creating jobs for those who, in fact, would prefer not to sever 
their ties with their home and their family and their culture. It would 
reinstate this circular migration that would benefit both the United 
States and their country of origin.
  I remember some time ago--maybe 2 years ago--I was visiting Guatemala 
and had lunch with our American Ambassador to Guatemala at his 
residence. We were talking about American trade policy, and 
specifically the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which had not 
yet come to Congress for a ratification vote. What a gentleman from 
Guatemala told me at that time very concisely--I will never forget--was 
that they want to export goods and services, not people. I think he 
said it perfectly. We ought to provide countries such as Guatemala, 
Mexico, and others an opportunity to do business with the United States 
in a way that will help them develop their economy, so their people can 
stay home and enjoy their culture and their country and their family 
and not feel compelled to leave permanently to come to the United 
States and never return home.
  Some have said that, well, what attracts countries such as Mexico to 
massive illegal immigration of its own citizens is the fact that this 
last year they received $20 billion in remittances; that is, savings 
that workers from Mexico earned in the United States while working in 
the shadows, in the cash economy, in the black market, so to speak. 
They sent that money home to their family to help support them. 
Recently, though, a high official in the Mexican Government pointed out 
to me that it is not a benefit to countries such as Mexico to see their 
people leave just to send maybe 10 percent or 15 percent of their money 
or savings back home because if you look at the economic activity that 
occurs in the United States, they would much rather have that economic 
activity occur in their country of origin.
  Let's say, for example, that $20 billion represents a 10-percent 
savings rate. That means that for the $20 billion that is sent from 
Mexican workers back to Mexico, there is $180 billion in economic 
activity occurring in the United States that could occur in Mexico if 
they had opportunities and jobs there. Obviously, that kind of economic 
activity feeds on itself and provides greater opportunity for those 
people and benefits to those people living at home. It takes a lot of 
pressure of illegal immigration off our borders.
  Ultimately, I believe in comprehensive immigration reform because I 
believe that whatever we do has to be built upon a foundation of 
security. In 2006, national security is about border security. In a 
post-9/11 world, we simply must know who is coming into our country and 
the reasons they are coming here. We cannot assume that people are 
coming here only for benign reasons. We all understand that when people 
have no hope and no opportunity where they live, they are going to do 
whatever it takes. Any one of us, assuming we had the courage, would 
take whatever risk was necessary, including a risk to life itself, to 
provide for our loved ones. So at a very human level, we understand why 
people want to come to the United States.
  But we also know, in a post-9/11 world, that the same porous borders 
that allow people to come across our borders to work are also available 
to be exploited by violent gangs such as MS-13, by drug traffickers, by 
all sorts of people that we don't want in the United States because we 
have a duty to protect the American people and their security.
  We also know that in a post-9/11 world, international terrorists can 
use these same avenues of entry into the United States and potentially 
create another 9/11, or some similarly catastrophic incident. So we 
have to have that border security. We also have to have interior 
enforcement working with local and State law enforcement officials. We 
also have to have worksite verification, along with secure 
identification cards that can be swiped through a reader to confirm 
that the person presenting themselves for work is, in fact, legally 
authorized to work in the United States.
  Indeed, the one thing that people point to, when they point to the 
mistakes of the 1986 amnesty that was granted, is the failure to create 
a reliable means of verifying eligibility to work in the United States, 
and along with that sanctions for employers who cheat. It is absolutely 
critical that we secure our borders, that we work with our local and 
State law enforcement officials to enforce the law beyond the borders 
and the interior, and that we provide security at the worksite by 
providing secure documents and ways for employers to confirm legal 
authority to work in the United States; then we punish those employers 
who cheat. If we do that, I believe we can get this problem under 
control. If we fail to do any part of that, I worry that we will have 
been engaged in a futile act, and we will have been laboring and 
debating in vain on this bill.
  Finally, I believe there are sectors of our economy that create jobs 
that are not being satisfied adequately by Americans and by legal 
citizens, legal immigrants in the United States. So I believe that to 
supply a legal workforce for those sectors that cannot find an adequate 
workforce among native-born and legal immigrants, we ought to create a 
temporary worker program, as I have described it a moment ago. This 
would also have the additional benefit of allowing law enforcement to 
direct their attention at the real problems and to eliminate from their 
concerns those who simply want to come here and work in a temporary 
worker program.
  Mr. President, I also say that the other part of this amendment deals 
with those who are already here and who, under the underlying bill, 
would be able to stay in place and then participate in the H-2C program 
or those who would have to go to a port of entry and then who could 
come back in, participate, and get on a path to legal permanent 
residency and citizenship. This would say that ``notwithstanding any 
other provision of this act, an alien having non-immigrant status is 
ineligible for and may not apply for adjustment of status under this 
section on the basis of such status.'' In other words, temporary means 
temporary, and that a guest is welcome, assuming they qualify, to come 
for a time and participate in the benefits of this program but not 
necessarily be put on a path to a green card or legal permanent 
residency and citizenship.
  Now, there are those who say that this kind of plan will not work and 
that we have no option but to legalize those who are here in place and 
those who want to come in the future. There are those who say there is 
no such thing as a temporary worker because America has not shown 
itself capable

[[Page 8606]]

of enforcing its own immigration laws and making sure that people whose 
visas expire, in fact, leave the country at the expiration of their 
legal authorization.
  I believe that we can, assuming we have the political will, enforce 
our laws. We can create humane and realistic laws that provide for our 
Nation's needs and that serve our Nation's interests and which, 
incidentally, serve the interests of countries who have young workers 
who want to come for a while and then return to their country of 
origin.
  I don't believe that we are incapable of enforcing our laws. I don't 
believe we have to throw our hands up and say the only way we can deal 
with this is to create an opportunity for people to basically stay in 
place and become legal permanent residents and citizens. It is not that 
I think that we should not provide that opportunity. In fact, I believe 
we should do it for those who meet our Nation's capacity to deal with 
this and who create a realistic cap based on our ability to assimilate 
those people and for them to become Americans.
  So I think we can create a category of temporary workers, people who 
have no desire to stay, and then those who do want to come to our 
country, assuming that we can establish realistic caps and can then 
assimilate that population and they could become American citizens, and 
that we ought to create a reasonable opportunity to do that.
  But our interests ought to be, first and foremost, what is in 
America's best interest? What is in America's best interest?
  I guess I wish that America could open its arms and accept the flood 
of humanity that might want to come from the four corners of the world, 
from every oppressed and downtrodden part of the planet. But the fact 
is that we cannot. We cannot do that without jeopardizing what America 
is. That is not to say that we would discontinue being the melting pot, 
where people who want to come legally from any part of the world and 
become Americans can do so. We ought to provide an opportunity for them 
to do so, to the extent that it serves America's interests and serves 
America's needs.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time, and I yield the 
floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I yield myself 7 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is this from the time in opposition?
  Mr. McCAIN. Yes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to the 
amendment. It undermines both the intention and the spirit of this 
bill. The amendment would not only treat future workers as less than 
American workers, it would treat them as less than all other immigrant 
workers.
  The real issue is--I will get right to it--after many long months and 
weeks and hours of negotiation, we had a proposal that passed through 
the Judiciary Committee and then a compromise, thanks to Senators Hagel 
and Martinez, basically establishing the framework for a compromise in 
the Senate. If this amendment should pass, that whole compromise is 
destroyed because a fundamental part of that compromise was that those 
who have been here for 2 to 5 years, after having gone back to a port 
of embarkation, would then be eligible for temporary work under the 
temporary worker program, and then over time be eligible for green card 
status and citizenship. This amendment would destroy that compromise. I 
understand very well why the Senator from Texas and the Senator from 
Alabama on the floor of the Senate, and others, have been opposed to 
this bill from the beginning. I understand that and I appreciate it and 
I respect it. But let's have no doubt about what this amendment would 
do. It would destroy the entire carefully crafted compromise.
  Now, the Senator from Texas has an interesting theory about people 
who would want to come here and only work and then go back, or maybe 
not go back, but not have any opportunity for citizenship. We have 
examples today in Europe of the situation that the Senator from Texas 
and my colleague from Arizona would want to create, which is having 
people living in your country with no hope to ever be a part of that 
society.
  I would remind my colleagues of what happened not long ago in France. 
There were thousands of young Muslims who were burning cars everywhere 
and rioting and demonstrating because they had no hope and no 
opportunity. Why is it that all over Europe you find these enclaves of 
foreign workers who are totally and completely separate from society? 
Because they are in the situation which this amendment would dictate: 
No hope, no job, no opportunity, no future, but we will let you work.
  This is not what we do with highly skilled workers. That is not what 
we do under various other programs, and especially for those who have 
already been here between 2 and 5 years under this very carefully 
crafted compromise, the Hagel-Martinez compromise, as it is called, 
embodied. I understand why the Senator from Texas or the Senator from 
Arizona would oppose that. They oppose the very principles upon which 
the legislation was based and the Hagel-Martinez compromise was shaped.
  The Senator from Alabama is on this floor constantly against 
virtually every aspect of the bill. I understand that.
  But I want my colleagues who are voting to understand that if this 
amendment would pass, this whole compromise and this whole legislation 
collapses because it removes a fundamental principle of this 
legislation, which is that we give people an opportunity to earn 
citizenship, which is exactly what the 2- to 5-year part of the 
compromise under the Hagel-Martinez proposal represents. If you are 
here between 2 to 5 years, you have to go to a port of embarkation, you 
come back, you take part in a temporary worker program, and then over 
time you obtain eligibility for a green card, and ultimately 
citizenship. That is what America has been all about: people coming 
here and having the opportunity to obtain citizenship.
  So we have a fundamental disagreement. I hope all of my colleagues 
will recognize that passage of this amendment would cause the entire 
bill to collapse, which we have been working on now for a week with 
excellent debate and good votes, and I think the way the Senate should 
function. So I hope that everybody understands exactly the implication 
of this amendment, and I understand and respect the view that is held 
by my colleagues who support this amendment. But I want all of my 
colleagues to understand the impact of passage of this amendment. It 
undermines not only the principles of the bill but, in my view, the 
principles of what this Nation should be and is all about today.
  We have talked many times about people who live in the shadows, the 
people who don't have the benefits of our citizenship, or an 
opportunity to become citizens, these 11 million people who are living 
in the shadows. If this amendment would pass, I can assure you we would 
keep several million in the shadows because they would never come out 
of the shadows because they would never want to return to their country 
and never be able to be on a path to citizenship. So from a principled 
viewpoint and, frankly, from a practical viewpoint, this amendment is 
unacceptable.
  I know the hour is late. I know a lot of my colleagues are not paying 
as much attention, perhaps, as they would at other hours of the day, 
but I hope we make it very clear that the passage of this amendment 
would cause the entire legislation to implode, and we would then be 
obviously in a position where we could probably not pass meaningful 
legislation that would entail comprehensive immigration reform, which 
is what the President has espoused and what I believe the overwhelming 
majority of the Senate has proved in numerous votes this week that we 
support.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.

[[Page 8607]]


  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from 
Alabama.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Texas for his 
hard work on this amendment and his thoughtfulness.
  The Senator from Arizona just tells us that he and a few masters of 
the universe have met somewhere in some room to which I wasn't 
invited--I am not sure many other Senators were invited--and they have 
decided that this bill as written is the compromise and if any of it is 
changed, well, the compromise collapses and the bill fails. So, if I am 
hearing the Senator from Arizona correctly, he thinks we should all 
just give it up and quit offering amendments. But I don't think that is 
the way the Senate does business. I know the Senator from Arizona is a 
smart man and so are some of the others who have worked on this bill 
and worked out all of these compromises with Senator Kennedy.
  When they were working out these compromises did they consult the 
American people? I submit they haven't consulted the American people. 
The American people, when they find out what all is in this bill, they 
are going to be more upset with it than they are today.
  More is wrong with this piece of legislation than can be explained. I 
took an hour or so Friday, not condemning the philosophy of 
comprehensive immigration reform, not condemning steps to make the 
legal system work properly in a way that we can be proud of, I talked 
about why the legislation is insufficient and flawed and is unable to 
do what the sponsors say.
  Senator McCain doesn't back down from a challenge, and I don't intend 
to back down either. I am not going to just hide under my desk because 
he and Senator Kennedy have worked out a compromise. They think we 
shouldn't even make an argument against it, I suppose.
  Let me just show you what the bill says. In big print up here: 
``Title IV--Nonimmigrant And Immigrant Visa Reform.'' All this rubric 
at the top in big letters: ``subtitle A, Temporary Guest Workers.'' It 
says, ``Temporary Guest Workers'' in big print--not even the normal 
print. It says ``temporary'' and ``guest'' I don't know how many times 
in this provision.
  The President told me--and he has said publicly a half dozen times--
he believes in a temporary worker bill. I suppose his lawyers, maybe 
they thought it must be temporary, right? Well, it is not so. Let's 
take the people who will be allowed to enter our country in the future 
under this bill. This bill say that they can come in as a guest worker, 
temporary, and they can come for 3 years and then they can extend and 
stay another 3 years.
  So that means it is temporary, right? Wrong. All you have to do is 
read the language of the bill, and as Senator Kyl and Senator Cornyn 
have pointed out, and you discover that the first day the temporary 
workers are here they can apply for a green card through their 
employer. And what is a green card? It makes them a legal, permanent 
resident. Permanent resident, not a temporary guest workers.
  Five years after that green card is issued, they are entitled to 
apply for citizenship, every single one of them that enter under this 
so-called temporary provision. That is the truth, but it is not the 
message we are being told.
  Earlier today I thought about offering an amendment or a resolution 
to bar anyone in the Senate from using the phrase ``temporary guest 
worker'' when they talk about this bill because it is so bogus. It is 
an utter and total misrepresentation. As I just explained, and as the 
Senators have just explained, everyone coming in under this provision 
for the indefinite future get to become permanent workers. I challenge 
anybody to dispute that. They have the ability to become a legal 
permanent resident, and after that, they get to go and become a 
citizen. So it is just not a temporary worker program, it is permanent 
immigration. That is the deal.
  Now, President Bush, as much as he believes in immigration and has 
been supportive of it, he has made clear that this is not what he 
wants. He supports the principles behind the Kyl-Cornyn amendment. We 
need to listen to him. This is a big amendment. And I do not think the 
Members of this body should feel in any way that they are not able to 
reject this bill and improve it by legislation because some group says 
they have reached a compromise and nobody can fix it, when they have 
made mistakes, and there are a lot of mistakes. This is just one of 
them. But I don't believe this Senate has ever seen--since I have been 
here, a piece of legislation of such monumental consequence have a 
misrepresentation as great as the allegation that the bill deals with 
temporary guest workers when it absolutely creates an automatic path to 
citizenship.
  So why don't we do it right? Why don't we do what Senator Kyl and 
what Senator Cornyn say and fix it, make it actually do what we the 
bill claims it does, make it temporary?
  A green card is valuable. It entitles people to great benefits of the 
United States alone, even short of citizenship. So we have benefits 
that accrue like the earned income tax credit, like the food stamps and 
benefits of that kind as you come to be on the path of legal permanent 
residence. A legal permanent resident can bring their family into the 
country, their wife, and their children. When they become a citizen, 
which they will have a right to do in 5 years, they will then be able 
to bring in their parents who would probably soon, as a matter of 
demographics, be eligible and in need of substantial health care as 
they age, which the American taxpayers would provide them in one form 
or another. They can bring in their brothers and sisters. They all are 
eligible to come under the chain migration provisions of existing law.
  This is a huge provision of the bill, is all I am saying. It is a 
major increase in the amount of people who will come into the country 
lawfully. It is a program that allows permanence and citizenship for 
every single person who comes in under this provision. It is not a 
temporary guest worker program. It is contrary to the whole message the 
American people have been told repeatedly that they are somehow dealing 
with, which is a guest worker program, when it is a permanent 
citizenship track. It is against what the President of the United 
States believes in. In fact, he has now endorsed the Kyl-Cornyn 
amendment because he has been saying all along he thought we ought to 
have temporary workers in not such a large number that would be coming 
in permanently under this provision.
  There will be other provisions by which people can come and get on 
the citizenship track. But the temporary guest worker provisions of the 
bill should be simply that. I think that will meet the needs of 
workers; I think it will meet the needs of businesses. I think it will 
be the right way to handle this matter. I think it is what the American 
people have in their minds and think we are talking about. 
Unfortunately, if they heard that message and think that is what we are 
doing, it is not. Unless the Kyl-Cornyn amendment passes, we will not 
have a temporary guest worker provision in the bill.
  The choice is clear. If Senators actually believe what they have been 
saying about what they are trying to pass, that they want a temporary 
guest worker program, then they should support Kyl-Cornyn. If not, they 
ought to come out of the shadows and stand before the American people 
and say that the temporary guest worker words printed right here in 
this bill--well, they don't mean what they say. They ought to tell us 
plainly and simply that they know that this is a provision that takes 
people straight to permanent resident status and straight to 
citizenship, so when we vote, Americans will know where we stand.
  I thank the Senators from Texas and Arizona for offering the 
amendment and yield the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time? The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I will yield myself 3 minutes. Also, I 
yield to the Senator from Arizona, Senator Kyl, 20 minutes.

[[Page 8608]]

  One of the hardest things about this whole subject I think is there 
are so many assumptions that people make based upon their own 
experience. How in the world can we put ourselves in the place of some 
of the individuals that this bill impacts and know what their desires 
are, know what their aspirations are, know what their relationships are 
to their country and their family and their culture?
  I think there are some people who assume if America was to offer 
individuals from other countries an opportunity to come and qualify and 
work legally in the United States for a period of time, that they would 
not want to do that because they would want to stay permanently and 
they wouldn't want to go back home. I think common sense tells us these 
individuals love their country, they love their culture, and they love 
their family as much as we love ours. There is a deep and abiding 
connection that is not easily severed. The reason why people do sever 
it is necessity, when they don't have any opportunities where they live 
so they are willing to do whatever it takes, including leave their 
country and come to work in the United States. But what they would 
like--there is at least some segment of these individuals who like to 
come and work for awhile and then go back home and then maybe come back 
again and work for another couple of years and maintain their ties to 
their culture and their country and their family.
  I would like to point out to our colleagues there is one piece of 
what I would call objective evidence out there that is not a 
supposition or an opinion or a guess as to what people's motivations 
might be. Not too long ago the Pew Hispanic Center took a survey of 
5,000 applicants for the Matricula Consular card in the United States. 
That is basically a Mexican identification card that citizens of Mexico 
can apply for and receive while living in the United States. Five 
thousand Mexican citizens applied for the Matricula Consular card and 
they were asked this question: If you were provided an opportunity to 
work legally in a temporary worker program in the United States, would 
you participate, even though it meant that at the end of that temporary 
period you would be required to go home?
  Seventy-one percent of the applicants said yes. Yes. I think we are 
fooling ourselves by thinking that the only folks who want to come to 
the United States want to stay here permanently and that there are not 
at least a large segment of people who would participate in a temporary 
worker program.
  I hope we don't get too confused about this. There are ways for 
people to come, immigrate to the United States, and to become legal 
permanent residents and American citizens. But there are caps on those. 
There are waiting lists on those. Those are designed with America's 
best interests involved because, frankly, we can't assimilate everybody 
who wants to come, as I mentioned a moment ago.
  I agree with the Senator from Arizona, Senator McCain. We don't want 
unassimilated populations living permanently in the United States who 
do not speak our language and do not share our values. That has been 
the great promise and the hope and realization of America that, no 
matter who you are, how you pronounce your last name, what country you 
come from, if you believe in our values, you believe in freedom, and 
you believe in opportunity, that you, too, can become an American if 
that is what you want. But I believe we ought to provide a reasonable 
opportunity, based on our national interest, for people who want to 
immigrate on a permanent basis, and we also ought to provide another 
category for people who don't want to sever their ties, don't want to 
come here permanently, they want a job and then they want to go home.
  That is what this temporary worker provision would provide. It is, in 
fact, I believe, an honest representation of what the program is, as 
opposed to the problem that the Senator from Alabama noted and that I 
noted earlier. This bill, as written, is neither a guest worker program 
or temporary in any sense. This amendment, I believe, would correct 
that.
  I yield the floor and retain the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, how much time do we have?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 22 minutes and 42 seconds. The 
Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I will take 11 minutes and yield the 
remaining time to the Senator from Nebraska.
  The hour is late. We have had a very good debate over the course of 
the day. Now we are faced with an amendment that, even though it comes 
at the late hours of the day, is very basic and fundamental to the 
success of the whole piece of legislation. Just as important or even 
more important is the spirit of this particular amendment and what it 
is meant to achieve and what it is not meant to achieve.
  Under the current immigration law, if you have a H-1B, that means you 
have a visa and you are highly skilled. The concept behind the H-1B is 
you are highly skilled, and because you are able to have a particular 
niche, the result of your service means you are going to have 8 or 10 
or 15 more Americans working. So there is a limited number of the H-
1Bs.
  Under our current law, if your employer wants to petition for you, 
you can get a green card. If you are highly skilled, your employer can 
get the green card for you. But under the Cornyn amendment, if you are 
low skilled, you are out the window. One set of treatment for the very 
highly educated, highly skilled, who are working on the computers. But 
if you are cleaning a building in America, if you are working in menial 
jobs, if you are looking after children, if you have one of the lower 
paid jobs, you are out of luck.
  Really a nice, fair standard. The Statue of Liberty is turned around 
tonight, listening to the argument of our friends over here. It is 
turned around. One standard for high skilled, and, boy, if you are 
doing the more menial work, which we know other Americans are not 
prepared to do, you are out. You are finished. You are gone. No chance 
at all. Work for 6 years and then maybe they will go out and leave the 
country or maybe they will stay. If they stay, they will be part of a 
subclass. Do you hear me? A subclass in the United States of America. 
That is what we are trying to avoid in the basic immigration bill.
  We emphasize legality: legality in coming in as guest workers, the 
legal system; legality in terms of employment; you can only employ 
those who come in where there is not an American for the job.
  But there is also opportunity. We respect those individuals who do 
menial jobs because after the 4 years that they are here, if there is 
not going to be an American to do the job, they can petition, and if 
they meet all the other requirements--they learn English, they obey the 
laws--they can be part of the American dream. Boy, if the Cornyn 
amendment applied to our immigration laws 150 years ago, no Irish 
needed apply, no Polish needed apply, no Italians needed apply, no Jews 
needed apply. But tonight we are saying no Hispanics, primarily, need 
apply because those are the ones--sure, it is 85 percent, the rest 5 
percent or 6 percent Asian, the rest from Central America. But that is 
what the Senate tonight is confronted with. This undermines the whole 
purpose of the bill. It brings in illegality again. It says your 
employer hires this person, they work for 6 years, the employer might 
have trained him, given him decent skills and, bang, you are either 
part of the subclass or you are reporting to deport.
  Those were wonderful words--report to deport. We will know who those 
individuals are--Homeland Security. As soon as that time is up, six 
times, they will get picked up and either pushed over and pushed out of 
the country or they will be in a permanent underclass.
  This is probably a very nice amendment that goes over in some 
circles. But I tell you, if we are talking about fairness in this 
country, if you are talking about fairness in the immigration bill, you 
are talking about fairness in the standards, you are talking about

[[Page 8609]]

the history and the tradition of this country about welcoming the poor 
and the unwashed in our country, you are changing that with the Cornyn 
amendment. Make no mistake about it. You are changing that.
  I was around during the Bracero period, and the exploitation of 
humanity was extraordinary. We are returning to it if we accept the 
Cornyn amendment. We are saying: Because you do more menial jobs, your 
life, your worth, your being is not worth as much as somebody who is a 
highly skilled person. That is a wonderful statement for the United 
States of America to make.
  You know what is going to happen? Those individuals are going to be 
exploited. If they are women, they are going to be abused. You are 
going to have sexual harassment and abuse for them. That is the record. 
Read the history of the Braceros. I went to the hearings. I attended 
the hearings all through the Southwest and into California; one of the 
most shameful periods in American history. We go back to it tonight 
with this amendment. That is what this amendment is all about. That is 
what this amendment is all about. It strikes a dagger at the heart of 
what this legislation is about: strict enforcement, strict 
accountability, strict legality if people are going to play by the 
rules and earn their way to be a part of the American dream.
  I withhold the reminder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska. The chair would say 
to the Senator from Nebraska, there are 11 minutes for you.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, how much time on both sides?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 25\1/2\ minutes on the Kyl side and 
16\1/2\ on the opposition.
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I would like to address the Kyl-Cornyn 
amendment tonight. I obviously have listened to some of this debate 
over the last hour. There is one thing I want to address before I get 
into what I think are the real critical issues here, not just on this 
amendment that we are going to be voting on but the bill, the purpose, 
underlying focus.
  I heard the junior Senator from Alabama say that the White House, the 
President, was supporting the Kyl-Cornyn amendment.
  That is not my understanding. As a matter of fact, the senior Senator 
from Arizona, Mr. McCain, and the senior Senator from Florida, Mr. 
Martinez, and I just got off the phone with the Chief of Staff of the 
President of the United States. He did not tell us what I just heard on 
the floor of the Senate as to the President's support of this 
amendment. There seems to be some confusion. I would welcome the junior 
Senator from Alabama or maybe the junior Senator from Texas clarifying 
that if they have some tangible evidence that the President is 
supporting this amendment. As I said, we just got off the phone with 
the Chief of Staff of the President of the United States.
  I would even add further that maybe some of my colleagues didn't hear 
the President of the United States Monday night. I think most of 
America did. As a matter of fact, there seems to be some significant 
approval developing out there because the President of the United 
States articulated very clearly essentially the underlying bill that we 
are debating and have been debating this week on the Senate floor. Much 
of that is about the Hagel-Martinez bill. The President laid that out 
rather clearly.
  I don't know if the President of the United States is withdrawing his 
position that he clearly articulated to the people of the United 
States, and why he felt the underlying bill was important. He laid out 
his principles. Those principles are the principles in this underlying 
bill.
  I welcome clarification of where the President is on this. Maybe the 
White House would like to clarify that as well.
  Let us talk about what this is about. This is a difficult issue. It 
is complicated. It is wide and deep. Yes. Why is that? Because we have 
essentially deferred this issue for years. We have provided no 
leadership for the American people. We have not had the courage to deal 
with it because it is political, because it is emotional, because it 
cuts across every sector and every line of our society. It is about 
national security. It is about autonomy, and our future. It is about 
our society, our schools, our hospitals. That is difficult. It is 
difficult.
  But what the President of the United States did Monday night--and a 
number of my colleagues have been doing for a long time--was to try to 
find a resolution.
  Mr. President, the American people have a very low opinion of you, of 
me, of the Congress, of the President--not because I say it. Read the 
latest polls. I do not know if the President takes any heart in the 
fact that his job approval numbers are higher than ours.
  Why are the American people upset with us? Because we are not doing 
our job. We talk about: Let's run to the base. Let's run to the 
political lowest common denominator. That is not governing. That is 
cheap, transparent politics. That is why we are all down in the 
twenties and the low thirties. The people of this country have lost 
confidence in us, and no wonder. We run from every tough issue. We can 
get into the subsections on page 17 and 500 and 433 of the underlying 
bill--all imperfect, absolutely, because resolution on this issue will 
be imperfect, absolutely. But we are trying to do something. We are 
trying to come to some resolution. We are trying to find some answer 
for the American people.
  What do we do with the 12 million illegal aliens in this country? Do 
the American people really believe we are going to ship them all out of 
here, go down to the bus depot? Is that really what they are going to 
do? Come on. That is not the answer.
  Why are we so afraid of this issue? This issue brings out the best in 
our society and the worst in our society. Why are we afraid to deal 
with this issue? Do we really want, as Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy, 
and others have said, a second-class system in this country? Do we 
really want that? Do we know what the consequences of that are? I am 
not sure we do.
  This Kyl-Cornyn amendment destroys every fiber of what many of us 
have worked for, including the President of the United States, to try 
to find some resolution, some common denominator center point, some 
consensus of purpose about how we do this. Sure, we can pick apart 
temporary worker visas. Does that really mean that somebody is going to 
stay longer or not going to stay longer? All imperfect, absolutely, but 
do you know what we were doing with a resolution like this, as 
imperfect as it is? What we are saying to our country, to the world? 
That we can deal with the tough issue. We, in fact, can put people onto 
a path of responsible behavior, of legal status, just like America has 
always stood for--hard work, opportunity, do your best, 12 million 
illegal immigrants. They are here illegally. Of course, they are. Yes.
  This nonsense about amnesty. I said on the floor yesterday--Mr. 
President, you might remember 1978 when Jimmy Carter gave amnesty, 
unconditional, no questions asked: Come on back over the border, all of 
you who ran away from this country and didn't want to serve your 
country, didn't want to go to Vietnam, didn't want to be a part of our 
country. Jimmy Carter said in 1978, no questions asked, unconditional, 
come back. That is amnesty.
  What we are talking about is not amnesty. The President said it very 
clearly Monday night.
  We are talking about pathways to legality, responsible processes, 
opportunities for people to come out of the shadows.
  Who are we helping with the current situation that we have today? How 
are we winning? People stay in the shadows, we don't collect the taxes 
we need, we don't have the complete involvement in communities that we 
have always had from our immigrants. There is a national security 
element to this. There is a law enforcement element to it. There is 
certainly an economic element to it.
  Are we really winning? No, we are losing. We are losing everywhere.
  What we are trying to do is find a way to move this forward so that 
we can start to resolve the issue. I will be

[[Page 8610]]

the first to say, since I had a little bit to do with helping construct 
this and I have been at this for many years--I have not been at this as 
long as Senator Kennedy has, but I tell you, not many Senators on the 
floor of this Senate have been at this as long as I have. It doesn't 
mean that I am right. But I do know a little something about it. I have 
been down on the border. I have talked to immigrants and have spent 
personally thousands of hours on this issue, as has my staff. It 
doesn't mean I am right or that I am smarter. But I know a little 
something about it. I know a little about this country. I know how this 
country was built, and I know about the people of this country.
  The people of this country want us to resolve the problem. It isn't 
perfect. That is what we have been doing this week. We have been adding 
amendments. Some amendments I did not vote for, some I didn't like. But 
adding to this, crafting something for the future, for our history, for 
our children, and for our society, that is what it is about.
  If this amendment passes tonight, if this goes down, the entire 
compromise will go down. What will stand in its place? What will stand 
in its place?
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona, on the proponent's 
side, 25 minutes 28 seconds; on the opposition side, 7 minutes 22 
seconds.
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield myself 5 minutes and then the 
remaining period of our time to the Senator from Arizona, Mr. Kyl.
  Mr. President, I respect enormously the contributions that the 
Senator from Nebraska and the senior Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain, 
and Senator Kennedy have made to try to address this problem that has 
festered for so long and which cries out for resolution.
  I daresay, as chairman of the Immigration, Border Security, and 
Citizenship Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that I have 
been trying to make a contribution to that solution, as has Senator 
Kyl. We have held numerous hearings of our subcommittee. He chairs the 
Terrorism Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Inasmuch as 
our border presents national security concerns, we have held many 
committee hearings to try to, first, find out what the problem is, and, 
second, try to couple with practical solutions. I appreciate the 
contributions of each and every Senator who has tried to find a 
solution to this problem.
  I recognize this is what some have called a ``fragile compromise''--
that if we tinker with it, all of a sudden it implodes and nothing is 
going to happen.
  I personally don't believe that because we have seen a number of 
amendments offered and accepted during the course of this debate which 
I believe has done nothing but make this bill stronger and better. I am 
absolutely committed to seeing passage of a bill out of the Senate and 
then going to the conference with the members of the House of 
Representatives. They have some very different views from all of us.
  If our colleagues from Nebraska and Massachusetts and the senior 
Senator from Arizona think that they have found some adversaries on 
some of these points among those of us here, just wait until they get 
to the conference with Members of the House. Then they will see that we 
really have a shared vision for comprehensive immigration reform, and 
we are going to have to work through all of that.
  But I don't believe it is appropriate to say that this amendment 
which merely tries to bring accuracy and truth in advertising to this 
temporary worker program, that it, in fact, be made temporary and not 
permanent that a guest worker program does not mean permanent residence 
and American citizenship.
  I differ with the interpretation of some of our colleagues who say we 
are trying to replace the normal immigration path with legal permanent 
residency and citizenship with a temporary worker program. That is not 
true at all. What we are trying to do is say there is an additional way 
that people who want to come here and don't want to stay here can come 
for a while and work in a legal system and then go home, and those who 
want to become American citizens we ought to provide a reasonable path 
for them to do so subject to cap, subject to our ability to determine 
what is in America's best interests.
  I know the Senator from Massachusetts talked about distinguishing 
between immigrant populations based on skills, based on talents and 
their contribution. I say we have every right as a nation to determine 
what the attributes are of the immigrants we want to come here and 
contribute to our country, whether they are a net-plus in terms of 
their contribution. Let's say have engineer, math, or science skills as 
opposed to low-skilled workers. I think we have a right to make that 
distinction.
  This is an important amendment. I do not believe it will gut the bill 
but will advance it.
  I yield the remainder of our time to the Senator from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona is recognized.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, this is a simple amendment, a very important 
amendment. It is not inconsequential. It changes in a major way a 
specific feature of the underlying bill. But I believe that feature is 
wrong and needs to be changed. The underlying bill sets up a temporary 
worker program, but it is not temporary in the sense that the workers 
who come here and get a temporary worker permit can then apply for 
permanent legal residency and ultimately citizenship. There is no 
reason to deny them that under the bill.
  As a result, you never have temporary workers. You always have 
permanent workers, people who are allowed to come here originally as 
temporary but who can in effect automatically convert their status to 
permanent legal residency and then citizenship.
  The question is, Why is that necessary? The second point is it 
creates a problem when economic conditions change.
  Why would it be necessary? There are many visas in our system today 
that are temporary. In fact, there are skilled labor visas that are 
temporary. They can be renewed. They are based upon an economic need. 
When there is a job here that is going unfulfilled by an American 
worker, we have the ability to issue visas to foreigners who can then 
come here and work for a temporary period of time. Then they return 
home. As long as there are jobs here, those visas ordinarily continue, 
but when the work is not here, the visas stop. That is a good thing.
  I support a temporary worker program under this legislation. However, 
it should be temporary. That is to say, the program may be permanent, 
but the visas under it are temporary, for a limit period of time. They 
may be 8 or 10 months out of the year; they may be 1 or 2 or 3 years in 
duration. In my view, they should be renewable. There are a lot of 
different ways to construct it. The bottom line is, when you come in 
because there is a job available for you as a temporary worker, that 
same job or another job may not be available to you 5 years later. 
There may be no work for you 5 years later.
  Let me give an illustration I have used before. In my home State of 
Arizona, we are in a construction boom period. We cannot get enough 
people to help build houses. There are jobs that go begging, and 
therefore we have to rely on a large supply of foreign labor to help. 
It is undoubtedly the case that many of the foreign laborers are 
illegal. They are not documented in the appropriate way. However, they 
are workers who are performing a valuable function in our economy 
today.
  Here is the question. I have been in Arizona now for almost 50 years. 
We have seen lots of upturns and lots of downturns. What happens when 
the downturn comes, when we are not building as many houses or office 
buildings, there aren't many jobs available, and Americans begin to 
find that jobs are not available for them, they are unemployed, and 
there is just not

[[Page 8611]]

the work for people? What happens if you have a temporary visa issued 
and say that visa is for a period of 2 years? That visa expires, and 
there is no more job available. In fact, there are Americans looking 
for work. That foreign worker goes home. When another job opens up, 
when the construction industry gets going again and there are 
opportunities for foreign labor because Americans can no longer provide 
all of the labor required, the visas would begin being issued again, 
and that individual could come back and begin working again. Perhaps 
there is some other industry in which the individual can work. In any 
event, the visa for that job would, after a year or after 2 years, 
expire, and if there is not a job available, you do not issue a new 
visa.
  The problem in the underlying bill is that once you get your 
temporary visa, you can apply or your employer can apply for you to 
turn that automatically into a permanent legal residency status or a 
green card status. And we know from that you can apply for citizenship. 
When you have a green card, it does not matter whether there is a job 
here for you, it does not matter whether we are in the middle of a 
recession and Americans are looking for work; you have a legal right to 
be in the United States and no one can kick you out. That is what legal 
permanent residency means.
  So there is no reason in a temporary worker program to be able to 
convert the temporary visa or permit into a legal permanent residency. 
In fact, there can be great harm done if the economy changes, the 
economic situations change, jobs are no longer available, and instead 
of having those visas expire, you have converted the individuals into 
people who have a permanent right to stay in the United States.
  This amendment does absolutely nothing to change the existing law 
with respect to how you can acquire a green card in the United States 
or convert other legal status into benefits under our immigration laws. 
You can still apply for a green card. You can still apply for other 
ways of remaining in the United States for differing periods of time. 
We do not change any of that. If you are somebody who wants a green 
card, there is still a way to get a green card. In fact, under 
different versions of the bill, the number of green cards is increased 
so that there are greater opportunities for green cards. The bottom 
line is, you do not have to convert the temporary worker program into a 
permanent worker program.
  There are economic studies which back up what I am saying. For the 
sake of time, I will not get into the details of some of the studies. 
Among other things, in previous times, going back to the year 2000, for 
example, in the skilled visa era where we issued large numbers of 
visas, there were economic studies that suggested we could have a 
continuing need for those visas on into the future for some number of 
years, and we were issuing those visas at a very high rate at that 
time. Little did we know that the economic conditions were going to 
change very rapidly, and very quickly those high-skilled jobs fell off. 
Yet we had issued visas for people to come into the country at a time 
when, in fact, we were starting to go into a recession and, in fact, 
those jobs were not available for those people.
  If they had been able to permanently reside in the United States 
after they got their temporary visas, it wouldn't matter whether there 
were jobs available for them; they would be here. It would be legal. 
There would be no way to remove them. And of course, with green cards, 
they would be entitled to benefits which would flow from that status. 
The United States is going to have to pay a lot of unemployment 
compensation if we now have two bodies of workers, neither one of which 
can get a job or both of which are competing with each other, American 
workers and foreign workers.
  Whether you are talking about purely the future flow workers under 
the temporary worker program which many in this Senate want to create, 
although we differ somewhat on the details of it, I would like to 
create a temporary worker program because we think they may be needed 
in the future, or you are talking about the people in the underlying 
bill who have been here 5 years or less and are required to go into the 
temporary worker program--those are the two groups of people we are 
talking about--our view is they should be temporary workers, subject to 
the economic conditions of the United States, not replacing American 
workers but fulfilling a work requirement when there aren't enough 
Americans to do the job. It is basically the same thing the President 
said in his speech earlier this week when he said that the temporary 
workers should have an opportunity to be matched with a willing 
employer when there are not Americans who can do the job. When the job 
is finished, they can return home. I am paraphrasing, but I think those 
are the words of the President.
  The concept the President has articulated is the same concept that we 
believe is appropriate. It is the basis of the temporary worker bill in 
the Kyl-Cornyn legislation. We believe it is appropriate for that same 
concept to be embodied in this legislation.
  Might I inquire how much time remains on both sides?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Twelve minutes to the Senator from Arizona and 
7 minutes to the Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KYL. I will give someone on the other side an opportunity to 
speak.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I yield the remaining time to the Senator 
from Idaho.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I approach this part of the debate on a 
critical piece of legislation with due caution. I say that because of 
my respect for my colleagues from Arizona and from the State of Texas 
and the work they have done as members of the Judiciary Committee and 
the due diligence they have always put into this critical issue.
  I believe there is a component missing from this debate that speaks 
to the need for this country to be in a continual and progressive mode 
of training and shaping a permanent stable workforce.
  Unlike all of the demographic studies of the last decade or two, 
there is something upon us as a nation that we have never experienced 
before. I am a 1945 baby. I am 60 years old. I am just 1 year ahead of 
a great class of people--77 million Americans--called baby boomers. 
They, similar to myself, because of their age, will soon be leaving the 
American workforce. There are demographic studies out there today which 
suggest that if we are to sustain a 3.5- to 4-percent growth economy, 
we have to have about 500,000 new, non-U.S. citizen workers in our 
workforce on an annual basis.
  Yes, we will have ups and downs in the economy. We always have. But 
in the last downtrend we had, in the final days of the Clinton 
administration and the early days of the Bush administration, it was 
about 3.5 million in the downturn before it came back. In the 5.2 
million jobs created since that time, one-third of them have been 
claimed by foreign nationals. It speaks to an economic growth pattern 
that now requires for the first time in our history a sustained, 
incoming, trainable, and permanent workforce of the kind that the 
American citizen, by birthrate, is not providing.
  If we deny that as a country, if we create instability as a country, 
we deny ourselves the ability to continue to grow. And if we do not 
grow, this Senate is going to be faced with public policy decisions we 
are not yet brave enough to make: Social Security reform, Medicare 
reform, Medicaid reform--all of those things which, without a sustained 
economic growth cycle, become phenomenally expensive and maybe 
unaffordable.
  That does not sound like part of the debate that would tie itself to 
the Kyl-Cornyn amendment, but I suggest it does. I suggest it behooves 
this country to create a legal transparent immigration system with a 
secured border that allows America's employers to train and sustain a 
permanent workforce, a constantly growing permanent workforce, because 
the American, by birth, is no longer going to do that. It is the nature 
of our country. It is the maturity of our country. It is, in fact, the

[[Page 8612]]

wealth of our country. That is, in part, what all of this debate is 
about.
  Americans said: Get your borders secured and get the illegal flow 
under control; identify them, control them. That is what we are trying 
to do.
  I do not believe that a constant temporary environment is a stable 
environment. For those who work for long periods of time and get a 
green card, does it mean they will become a citizen? No, it does not. 
Does it mean they are eligible? In this bill, it says: Yes, if you go 
to the end of the line and apply, and that is 6 years, another 5 years, 
that is 11 years, and it goes on and on.
  I don't believe this is an appropriate amendment to this bill. There 
is enough temporariness to the bill itself by the nature of H-2A's, H-
2B's and H-2C's, and that is written in. There has to be some stability 
of permanency. That is critical to the American economic scene and to 
the stability of America's workforce. And even in that, we will have 
the down cycles that the Senator from Arizona talks about. I am not 
sure at that point, when trained workers are at hand and have supplied 
the American economy with its growth, that you say: The lights are out, 
leave the country.
  Somehow, we have to balance that out. That is what we are attempting 
to do. That is why tonight I ask my colleagues to oppose the Kyl-Cornyn 
amendment.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, this is yet another amendment designed to 
undermine the well-balanced programs in this bill. The Comprehensive 
Immigration Reform Act is the product of hard-fought compromise and it 
reflects a balance between the needs of American business and American 
workers. Strong coalitions representing both of those sectors of our 
society support this bill and endorse the temporary worker program 
contained in it.
  One critical provision in the bill creates an opportunity for 
temporary workers who have followed the rules and worked hard while in 
the U.S. to seek legal permanent status after a period of time. An 
employer who has come to rely upon an immigrant guest worker and wants 
to keep that immigrant on staff can file a petition after 1 year for 
the immigrant to get in line for a green card. The guest worker does 
not receive any preferential treatment in this program. He must get in 
the back of the line and meet all the other requirements to earn 
citizenship, a process that will likely take more than a decade to 
complete.
  The Kyl amendment strips out this provision, taking away a valuable 
option for both the immigrants and their employers.
  When a similar amendment was debated in the Judiciary Committee--and 
defeated, as I hope this one will be--the sponsor stated his belief 
that lower skilled immigrant temporary workers should have to leave the 
U.S. after a few years. High-skilled workers are not treated in this 
manner. H-1B visas holders have the opportunity to apply for green 
cards under current law. But some sponsors of this bill are willing to 
treat guest workers as second class.
  This attitude is deeply disturbing. Lower skilled workers are 
essential to our economy and deserve to be treated with respect and 
dignity. Many of our great American leaders, scientists, artists, and 
teachers have immigrant roots of very modest means. Throughout this 
debate we have heard many Senators tell their personal stories. Almost 
all of these reflected early years of hardship and struggle while 
immigrant parents worked hard under very tough circumstances so that 
their children could have greater opportunities.
  Not only is that attitude offensive to me, but it makes little 
business sense. Employers of immigrants in the sectors most likely to 
use these temporary workers, such as hotels and tourism, food service, 
health care, and meat packing, support the program in the bill. The 
National Restaurant Association has stated that the restaurant industry 
is expected to create almost 2 million new jobs by 2016. It expects 
this growth to outpace available labor. For reasons such as these, the 
business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and members 
of the Essential Worker Coalition support the bill, and strongly oppose 
this amendment.
  Striking the path to citizenship measures in the guest worker program 
is also the wrong decision for national security reasons. One of the 
driving forces behind enacting a comprehensive reform program is to 
ensure that we know who is living and working within our borders. If 
there is no path available to those who seek it and can meet the tough 
requirements in the bill, then some guest workers will overstay their 
visas and continue to live and work in the U.S. out of status. That 
would put us back in the position we are in right now--the position 
that we all agree must be reformed.
  In fact, the reason that guest worker programs have failed in the 
past is precisely because they did not contain an option for guest 
workers to apply to remain in the U.S. legally, if that is what they 
hope to do. Many guest workers will return home, but not all. We should 
ensure that the programs we define in law do not send immigrants back 
into the shadows.
  Finally, I express my disappointment in hearing about the White House 
support of the Kyl amendment. I find it troubling that the White House 
would choose this amendment to fight so hard to pass. A tremendous 
amount of effort has been expended by many of us in the Senate, 
including a handful of determined Republicans, to preserve the core 
provisions of the bill. These committed supporters of the bill view the 
Kyl amendment as one that strikes to the core of the compromises 
contained in it. We would have benefited from the White House's 
involvement earlier in the process in a helpful way, but its choice to 
fight against comprehensive reform today is a grave disappointment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 2 minutes remaining on the opposition 
side and 12 minutes on the proponents.
  Mr. KENNEDY. We are prepared to yield back our time if the other side 
wants to yield back.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, let me take a couple of minutes to respond to 
my friend, the Senator from the State of Idaho.
  He projects that 500,000 workers are going to be needed every year. 
That sounds a bit high, but there is a way to resolve the question. If 
we have a temporary worker program that works well and brings in all of 
the temporary employment needed to fill your labor needs, then whatever 
that number is can be satisfied with the temporary worker program. But 
if the Senator is wrong and we do not need that many people but we have 
allowed that many people to come into this country and remain here 
permanently, then we have a big problem because we also have to 
consider the American worker and the job of the American worker.
  The Senator said we need stability in our workforce. Indeed, that is 
a good thing. But I submit we need stability for the American worker. 
The American worker needs to know his job is secure. In all of the 
industries we are talking about, while there is a significant need for 
foreign labor, there are far more American workers working in those 
industries than foreign workers.
  The bottom line is, there are American workers who will do these 
jobs. The only exception of any significance is in certain specters of 
agriculture. And agriculture, in many respects, is a very different 
animal.
  The reality is, whether you are talking about the hospitality 
industry with people making beds and washing the dishes or talking 
about the construction industry or landscaping, there are millions of 
Americans doing those jobs. And we want to know that those jobs are 
there for those American citizens when the economy is not as strong as 
it is now.
  So in periods of decreasing jobs and increasing unemployment, we want 
to be able to ensure that American workers can remain employed. With a 
temporary foreign worker program, we can ensure that because the 
foreign workers are brought in, to the extent they are needed, when 
they are needed, in each of these industries. But if they

[[Page 8613]]

can convert to permanent status automatically, which is what this 
legislation would allow, they cannot be removed. They are here. They 
have legal permanent residency and eventually can acquire citizenship, 
if they desire.
  So whether there is a job for them here or not, they are here. The 
studies show they compete with American workers very well in the low-
skilled job categories by usually taking less money than Americans, 
with the result that many times Americans will be unemployed, for which 
we will be responsible for paying unemployment compensation and other 
benefits, and yet the foreign worker might have the job. So instead of 
a situation in which there is not an American to do the job, we will 
have a situation in which there is a job, but it is held by a foreign 
worker rather than an American worker.
  Why do we need to take the chance, is my question. We all agree with 
the concept of a temporary worker program for skilled labor. In skilled 
labor, these visas expire. For student visas, they expire. For tourist 
visas, they expire. They can be renewed in certain situations. In the 
different categories of temporary workers that we have in the law 
today, they are all for a specific period of time, and then they 
expire.
  What is the matter with that same principle being applied to low-
skilled workers? In fact, the experts all agree--we had testimony 
before our committee--that with respect to low-skilled workers, you are 
more likely to have people who are undereducated or less well educated 
and likely to work in the lower skill occupations. No surprise there. 
So if you are going to end up in a situation in which you have extra 
workers who are here, would you rather have them be of the high-skilled 
variety or the low-skilled variety, unable to be as flexible in the job 
market as somebody with better education and skills?
  Our immigration law has always been very leery of allowing large 
numbers of undereducated and low-skilled workers into the country 
because they represent a potential expense for this country in the 
event that the employment that was promised to them does not 
materialize or goes away.
  So there is no need to take a chance on this. If, in fact, my 
colleague is correct that we will need more laborers, we can get them 
under a temporary program where permits can continue to be expanded. We 
can expand the number or they can be renewed.
  In any event, there is always the opportunity for people to acquire 
green cards. In fact, under I think all of the bills that are pending, 
the number of green card slots is increased. So there is also an 
opportunity for that.
  But in case they are wrong, and jobs evaporate over time, and even 
Americans cannot find work, why would we want to be granting these 
foreign residents who are here temporarily the right to be here 
permanently? It seems to me it is unnecessary. It is potentially 
devastating, devastating to American workers, and we ought to change 
it.
  As a result, I hope my colleagues will support this amendment, which 
could go a long way toward improving this bill, creating a true 
temporary worker program rather than one which automatically converts 
to legal permanent residency.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  There is 5\1/2\ minutes on the proponents' side and 2 minutes on the 
opponents' side.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, the Senator from Massachusetts is willing to 
yield back his time. And if there is no one else on this side desiring 
to speak, I will be happy to yield back our time. I hope our colleagues 
will support the amendment. Thank you.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I move to table the amendment and ask for 
the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will please call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators were necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Kentucky (Mr. Bunning), the Senator from South Carolina 
(Mr. Graham), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Lott), the Senator from 
Florida (Mr. Martinez), and the Senator from Alabama (Mr. Shelby).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. 
Bunning) would have voted ``nay'' and the Senator from Florida (Mr. 
Martinez) would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from California (Mrs. Boxer) 
and the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Rockefeller) are necessarily 
absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Burr). Are there any other Senators in the 
Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 35, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 135 Leg.]

                                YEAS--58

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Biden
     Bingaman
     Brownback
     Cantwell
     Carper
     Chafee
     Clinton
     Cochran
     Coleman
     Collins
     Conrad
     Craig
     Dayton
     DeWine
     Dodd
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Hagel
     Harkin
     Inouye
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     McCain
     Menendez
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (FL)
     Obama
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Salazar
     Sarbanes
     Schumer
     Smith
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Stevens
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--35

     Allard
     Allen
     Bennett
     Bond
     Burns
     Burr
     Byrd
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dole
     Domenici
     Dorgan
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Frist
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Kyl
     McConnell
     Nelson (NE)
     Roberts
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Sununu
     Talent
     Thomas
     Thune
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--7

     Boxer
     Bunning
     Graham
     Lott
     Martinez
     Rockefeller
     Shelby
  The motion was agreed to.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. SPECTER. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania is recognized.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we have made good progress on the bill 
but, candidly, not enough progress. We have about two-thirds of the 
Republican list included, and I think that much or perhaps even more of 
the Democrats' list. We are not sure there because we just got the 
list. We have been trying hard to schedule two votes for tomorrow to 
try to get the Senate back on a schedule where we work on Fridays. It 
would take about a half hour to go through the chronology of about 
eight different amendments that we have tried to structure but all of 
which have collapsed. Managing a bill has a lot of pitfalls, where we 
have absences for dinners on both sides, where we have adjournments for 
signing ceremonies, where we have recesses for social events at the 
White House and other places. In one situation, we had an arrangement 
for a half hour, equally divided, and to have a vote tomorrow and that 
was changed to we cannot do it tomorrow to we can do it tomorrow, but 
we want 2 hours, to we cannot do it ever.
  I think there would be a 100-to-nothing vote on the point that we 
don't have enough discipline here to move ahead with our work. We have 
tried to get this bill complete. So after telling the majority leader 
what the situation was, it was decided that it would be fruitless to 
have two 99-to-0 votes which are meaningless when they could be 
accepted. It would be ludicrous, notwithstanding the fact that we all 
deserve to be voting tomorrow on ludicrous matters. But the majority 
leader decided we will not bring in people to have meaningless votes. 
It is our hope that this will spur us to some meaningful votes early 
on.
  The Chambliss amendment will be laid down tonight, and there will be 
30

[[Page 8614]]

minutes of debate on it before the vote at 5:30 on Monday. We will have 
a vote on Senator Feinstein's amendment, where she will have 
substantial time on Monday afternoon. We will see if we can construct a 
vote for Senator Ensign on what he is trying to work out, which has 
quite a number of concerns. Senator Bond has an amendment that we may 
be able to take.
  The remaining business tonight is to take the amendment of the 
Senator from Florida by a voice vote, which will, I believe, conclude 
business on this bill for the evening and the week.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, in the big picture, let me say at the 
outset that things are going very well. It is 9:30 on a Thursday night. 
We are making decisions about tomorrow and Monday. We have had a very 
good week. I thank the Democratic leader and both managers for making 
great progress over the course of the week.
  It is very frustrating, from a leadership standpoint, for the 
Democratic leader and myself, where we have to truncate and essentially 
stop tonight when we could have had a productive day tomorrow morning. 
Two reasons. The managers have done such a good job addressing such a 
large number of amendments--more than I had anticipated--which is good, 
which means the amendments that remain, they want a lot of people 
around to be able to vote on those. In part, I am making an excuse 
because I told everybody we are going to vote tomorrow morning. Given 
where we are, it is in our best interest to complete debate tonight, 
and the votes we would have had tomorrow we will have Monday. There 
will be at least two votes starting at 5:30 on Monday.
  We do have to recognize in this body that we cannot stop work on a 
Thursday afternoon or evening. We have to be able to use Fridays, 
especially over the remainder of the session. We don't have that many 
days. Even between now and next week, we have this bill--and that is 
why we are working as hard as we can--and we have the Kavanaugh 
nomination, which is out there and ready to bring to the floor. We have 
a supplemental spending bill which funds our troops overseas. I talked 
to three different generals today and the Secretary of Defense, all of 
whom say we have to act on that supplemental. So we have to have 
Senators here. We have to have them participating.
  Again, this is not the fault of the managers. They have done a superb 
job. It means that tomorrow we will likely be in session, but we will 
not have rollcall votes. We will be voting Monday afternoon at 5:30.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will make a brief comment.
  Mr. President, we started out on this with the decision that we were 
going to try to do some legislation on this very difficult bill. This 
is from our perspective. We wanted to move through this an amendment at 
a time. I think it worked out well. We are at a point now, I think, as 
we have done earlier in the day, that we don't have to live by that. We 
have proven that we can legislate. We can always go back and do an 
amendment at a time if we have to. We are going to take an amendment at 
a time on a case-by-case basis, and we have no objection tonight--or 
very likely in the near future--to being able to set amendments aside 
and move on. I think we have been able to accomplish a great deal in 
this short week.
  This bill is not finished yet, so there is no reason to give high 
fives and say work well done. There is still a lot of real hard work to 
do. I have submitted at the request of the manager, the distinguished 
chairman of the committee, a list of Democratic amendments that we have 
hotlined--a lot of them. I have indicated to the managers that I am 
confident that most of them will not have to be offered. You asked for 
that and you have gotten that.
  I think that this coming week we all have to keep our heads down and 
push hard. There is a lot of work to do, and we have very significant 
amendments. I applaud and commend Senator Specter and Senator Kennedy 
for the way I see the Senate working. I think we have done good work. 
We have had some very timely amendments and difficult amendments. We 
have had winners and losers. That is what legislating is all about. 
Some of the compromise takes place not in the back room but on the 
Senate floor when we vote.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I wish to thank the leaders and my 
colleague, Senator Specter. I think this has been a very good week in 
terms of talking and debating. I think we have seen some real debates 
on the floor of the Senate, some which we have not seen for a long 
period of time. I think the Members know a great deal more about what 
is in this legislation. They may like it or not, but I think the debate 
will be even better next week. I think we have made good progress. 
Sometimes it is useful to take a little time to go over these 
amendments, as someone who has been here for 12 hours. Sometimes we can 
have a better debate and discussion if we can go over them and know 
where we are going to be on Monday and then what the priorities are. 
The Republicans have had, as I remember, 20 sort of key issues. We have 
gotten through a fair amount of them. There is still a good group of 
those. I think they have laid out the issues, and I think we can use 
this time and be better prepared and have a better debate and a better 
outcome next week. I thank the leaders for all they have done, and I 
thank the Members on both sides.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, we will now go to the Nelson amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senator from 
Florida is recognized.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, if my colleague would yield, we have an 
amendment that I think has been agreed to, and I am prepared to take 5 
or 10 minutes tonight and get through it. I will leave it up to the 
leaders how they want to handle it.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, let's take the Nelson amendment. There is 
always manana.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada is recognized.
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, my understanding of the earlier unanimous 
consent agreement was that I would be recognized followed by Senator 
Nelson.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct. The unanimous consent 
agreement recognized the Senator from Nevada for 10 minutes prior to 
Senator Nelson. The Senator from Nevada is recognized.


                    Amendment No. 4076, as Modified

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, we have spent a great deal of time talking 
about how to proceed with tonight's debate. We have been trying to work 
out whether we would have a vote on my amendment No. 4076.
  I send a modified version of my amendment to the desk which has been 
seen by both Senator Byrd and Senator Gregg who had previously 
expressed problems with the text of the amendment. The modification 
strikes a particular paragraph which had dealt with the questions of 
which agency would fund the program if the cost exceeded a certain 
dollar amount. I would ask for immediate consideration of the modified 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Nevada [Mr. Ensign], for himself and Mr. 
     Graham, proposes an amendment numbered 4076, as modified.

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that further 
reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 4076), as modified, is as follows:

  (To authorize the use of the National Guard to secure the southern 
                      border of the United States)

       At the end of subtitle C of title I, add the following:

     SEC. 133. TEMPORARY NATIONAL GUARD SUPPORT FOR SECURING THE 
                   SOUTHERN LAND BORDER OF THE UNITED STATES.

       (a) Authority To Provide Assistance.--(1) With the approval 
     of the Secretary of Defense, the Governor of a State may 
     order any units or personnel of the National Guard of such 
     State to perform annual training duty under section 502(a) of 
     title 32, United States

[[Page 8615]]

     Code, to carry out in any State along the southern land 
     border of the United States the activities authorized in 
     subsection (b), for the purpose of securing such border. Such 
     duty shall not exceed 21 days in any year.
       (2) With the approval of the Secretary of Defense, the 
     Governor of a State may order any units or personnel of the 
     National Guard of such State to perform duty under section 
     502(f) of title 32, United States Code, to provide command, 
     control, and continuity of support for units or personnel 
     performing annual training duty under paragraph (1).
       (b) Authorized Activities.--The activities authorized by 
     this subsection are any of the following:
       (1) Ground reconnaissance activities;
       (2) Airborne reconnaissance activities;
       (3) Logistical support;
       (4) Provision of translation services and training;
       (5) Administrative support services;
       (6) Technical training services;
       (7) Emergency medical assistance and services;
       (8) Communications services;
       (9) Rescue of aliens in peril;
       (10) Construction of roadways, patrol roads, fences, 
     barriers, and other facilities to secure the southern land 
     border of the United States; and
       (11) Ground and air transportation.
       (c) Cooperative Agreements.--Units and personnel of the 
     National Guard of a State may perform activities in another 
     State under subsection (a) only pursuant to the terms of an 
     emergency management assistance compact or other cooperative 
     arrangement entered into between Governors of such States for 
     purposes of this section, and only with the approval of the 
     Secretary of Defense.
       (d) Coordination of Assistance.--The Secretary of Homeland 
     Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense 
     and the Governors of the States concerned, coordinate the 
     performance of activities under this section by units and 
     personnel of the National Guard.
       (e) Annual Training.--Annual training duty performed by 
     members of the National Guard under subsection (a) shall be 
     appropriate for the units and individual members concerned, 
     taking into account the types of units and military 
     occupational specialties of individual members performing 
     such duty.
       (f) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) The term `Governor of a State' means, in the case of 
     the District of Columbia, the Commanding General of the 
     National Guard of the District of Columbia.
       (2) The term `State' means each of the several States, the 
     District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam 
     and the Virgin Islands.
       (3) The term `State along the southern border of the United 
     States' means each of the following:
       (A) The State of Arizona.
       (B) The State of California.
       (C) The State of New Mexico.
       (D) The State of Texas.
       (g) Duration of Authority.--The authority of this section 
     shall expire on January 1, 2009.
       (h) Prohibition on Direct Participation in Law 
     Enforcement.--Activities carried out under the authority of 
     this section shall not include the direct participation of a 
     member of the National Guard in a search, seizure, arrest, or 
     similar activity.

  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I will speak just briefly, because it is 
late. I am not going to take up a lot of time, but this is a very 
important amendment. The substance of this amendment is something that 
I have been working on for over a month. During the last Congressional 
recess, I went down to Yuma, AZ, where the President was today. I saw 
firsthand what an extraordinary job our Border Patrol is doing. I also 
observed firsthand how undermanned the agency is and how overwhelmed 
they are with the numbers that are coming across our southern border.
  When I was at the border, I asked a question of the Border Patrol 
personnel. That question was: Could you use more National Guardsmen at 
the border, beyond those in the Counter Drug Program, to help you with 
your mission of protecting and securing our borders? The overwhelming 
answer was that they would absolutely welcome our National Guard in 
larger numbers down on the border.
  The Border Patrol was very clear. It would create problems if the 
National Guard were to come down to the border to carry on law 
enforcement duties like arresting, detaining, and questioning 
detainees. Each of those things are part of the speciality role that 
the Border Patrol should do. They are, after all, highly trained law 
enforcement personnel while the National Guard is trained in other 
areas, areas for which the Border Patrol requires support.
  In his Monday night address, the President proposed using up to 6,000 
National Guardsmen on the border this year. Their presence would help 
multiply the force of the Border Patrol that is currently on the 
border. What do I mean by that? In many instances, the Border Patrol is 
taken away from their normal duties when they have to, for instance, 
perform a medical rescue of somebody who has gone into distress. This 
is actually a common occurrence in the southwest desert. Immigrants 
crossing the desert become dehydrated and nearly die. Some of the 
Border Patrol surveillance cameras might pick it up, or the alien pulls 
a distress beacon to signal they need help, and the Border Patrol 
actually goes to rescue them. This is something the National Guard is 
very well trained to do. When they are on the border, the National 
Guard can fulfill that mission which will free up the Border Patrol to 
perform some of the other functions of their duties, like arrest and 
detention.
  When the National Guard trains today, when personnel are performing 
their 2 to 3 weeks of training, they are building roads, building 
fences, and building bridges. They do all of these things as part of 
their training. Except most of the time when they are training, after 
they build something they are required to tear it down. It is a 
training exercise. What this amendment envisions is that what they will 
build, fences, barriers, and roadways, will all be essential 
infrastructure needed to secure the border. The National Guard can use 
training time to build roads down on the border, except this time they 
won't have to tear them down. What they build will actually be 
permanent structures.
  We had a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday. 
The National Guard told the committee that they are very excited about 
this mission, about what they will be accomplishing. Instead of 
building a road and tearing it up with a tractor, they will actually be 
building a road that is going to help secure the United States of 
America. I have received e-mails from National Guardsmen in my State 
that say they believe in the objective, they believe in the mission, 
and they are very excited about it.
  I want to be clear. Some people have erroneously reported in the 
media that the National Guard would be on the border and would be 
arresting, they would be shooting at people, that they would be 
militarizing the border and performing law enforcement activities. That 
is not true. Let me tell you exactly what we have put in this amendment 
that states exactly what the National Guard will be authorized to do. 
They will be authorized to conduct ground reconnaissance activities, 
airborne reconnaissance activities, logistical support, provision of 
translation services in training, administrative support services, 
technical training services, emergency medical assistance and services, 
communications services, rescue of aliens in peril, and construction of 
roadways, patrol roads, fences, barriers, and other facilities to 
secure the southern land border of the United States. They will also 
cooperate with ground and air transportation.
  We are very clear on what their mission is going to be down there. I 
appreciate the work of Senator Craig on this issue. I see him here on 
the Senate floor. He has been one of the biggest proponents of using 
the National Guard down on the border, and I appreciate the driving 
force that he has been in the United States Senate to bring everybody's 
attention to this issue.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
  Mr. ENSIGN. I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for bringing this issue 
before the Senate. Yesterday the Senator from Nevada and I were in 
attendance at a hearing of the Armed Services Committee chaired by 
Senator Warner, with the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of the 
National Guard, the lieutenant general of the Army, and the Chief of 
the Border Patrol. What we saw was the coming together of a complete 
unit, a complete unit to secure our border and build an orderly process 
on the border.
  What the Senator from Nevada speaks to tonight is a reality that is

[[Page 8616]]

very doable, and it is done in the normal activity of the summer 
training of our Guard. The Senator knows that we are not putting 
Guardsmen out on the front lines. They will facilitate those of the 
Border Patrol who are the frontline officers in this defensive securing 
mechanism that we will call the southwestern border of our country.
  So I thank the Senator for bringing this to the floor. It is critical 
and important. It fits well into what our President has proposed, 
responsibly so, for our country.
  Mr. DURBIN. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I would ask unanimous consent for an 
additional 2 minutes so that I will be able to yield for a question.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is 
so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I would like to ask the Senator a question 
because perhaps he has thought this through and he could help me 
understand it. I support the President's effort to make the border 
stronger and safer. What I understood him to say was at least 6,000 
National Guardsmen at any one time, rotated every 2 or 3 weeks to 
accommodate what was their normal training schedule. By my calculation, 
that means that in the first year over 100,000 National Guardsmen from 
around the United States will be sent to the border. And in the second 
year, when half as many are needed, another, say, 50,000. So out of the 
400,000 National Guardsmen nationwide--I hope my figure is correct, 
although I don't know if it is--but is it your understanding that 
100,000 to 150,000 will end up on border duty during that period?
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his question. I 
was going to address his very point. The way that the Border Patrol, 
the National Guard, and the administration have developed their plan 
envisions that about one-third of the 6,000 Guardsmen would actually be 
on the border for longer than the 21 day maximum. My amendment mirrors 
their plan. It sets forth that two-thirds of the overall personnel will 
perform their required 21 days of annual training down on the border. 
That time is time that the Guardsmen committed to when they signed up. 
The amendment also says that about a third of the force, consisting of 
command personnel and guardsmen who are necessary for integration 
purposes, will be down there full time. They will be there full time to 
ensure some continuity. The personnel who are rotating in will need to 
have leadership that can organize and who have some institutional 
memory. The full time personnel can say to the rotating personnel: you 
need to go here, this is what you will do, and we need you to work with 
this other group.
  During our hearing yesterday--this very issue came up--according to 
the National Guard the numbers that the President has committed will 
work. They have said that this mission can be done, that there is 
absolutely no problem for them to operate in this fashion, considering 
they will be going through the training anyway. Personnel will have to 
go through the 2 to 3 weeks of training and this set up will actually 
improve the training they are getting.
  Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for another question?
  Mr. ENSIGN. I am happy to.
  Mr. DURBIN. I would like to address this question through the Chair. 
About 75 percent of the Illinois National Guard units have been 
activated to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, and some have been on more 
than one tour of duty. During the course of that, they have left behind 
in Iraq and Afghanistan a lot of wornout equipment, damaged equipment. 
Currently our National Guard, in some areas of supplies, like certain 
trucks, is down to 7 percent of what they need, and nationwide we have 
been told the National Guard stock of supply and equipment has been 
depleted to the level of 34 percent of what they need.
  Can the Senator from Nevada tell me whether our commitment of the 
National Guard to the border will also be a commitment to replenish the 
equipment they will need to serve effectively there and return home and 
do their job?
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, to address that question, we actually 
talked about that in yesterday's hearing. It was one of the questions 
that was asked. What the National Guard is going to do, with the 
Department of Defense, is take the equipment down there, and it will 
stay down there. If the Illinois National Guard comes down, they won't 
come down with their own equipment; they will use the equipment that is 
there. So it will stay there for the 2 years, for the duration, what 
they need. So that is going to be paid for separately. It is part of 
the $1.9 billion the administration had requested, so it does not come 
out of the normal National Guard budget, it doesn't come out of what we 
are trying to replenish of the National Guard's that are coming back 
from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  Those are excellent questions. We have addressed those. We have 
addressed those as to how the administration policy is going to happen.
  This is the last point I will make. This is a critical stopgap, but 
it is only a stopgap because we can only train about 1,000 Border 
Patrol agents a year. It was my amendment actually to ramp us up to 
10,000 more Border Patrol agents in the intelligence bill last year. We 
can't do even the 2,000 that bill envisioned, and we certainly can't 
get to the 10,000 right way. This bill before us needs this if you are 
going to have the temporary guest worker program. This National Guard 
is the temporary measure that we need to fill in so we actually secure 
the borders. 1I appreciate very much the indulgence of the manager of 
the bill. We look forward to further debate, if people have that. I 
really appreciate your taking the time to allow us to fit in tonight.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senator from 
Florida is recognized for 10 minutes.


                    Amendment No. 3998, as Modified

  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, since I seem to be the only 
thing in between now and the Senate adjourning, I will not take the 10 
minutes and will make it very short at the request of the chairman.
  I call up amendment No. 3998, with a modification which is at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Florida [Mr. Nelson] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 3998, as modified.

  Mr. NELSON of Florida. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 3998), as modified, is as follows:

       On page 178, line 24, before ``20 detention facilities'', 
     insert ``at least''.
       On page 179, line 1, strike ``10,000'' and insert 
     ``20,000''.
       On page 179, line 4, after ``United States'', insert 
     ``subject to available appropriations.''
       Beginning on page 179, strike lines 5 through 23 and insert 
     the following:
       (b) Construction of or Acquisition of Detention 
     Facilities.--
       (1) Requirement to construct or acquire.--The Secretary 
     shall construct or acquire additional detention facilities in 
     the United States to accommodate the detention beds required 
     by section 5204(a) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism 
     Protection Act of 2004, as amended by subsection (a), subject 
     to available appropriations.
       (2) Use of alternate detention facilities.--Subject to the 
     availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall fully 
     utilize all possible options to cost effectively increase 
     available detention capacities, and shall utilize detention 
     facilities that are owned and operated by the Federal 
     Government if the use of such facilities is cost effective.
       (3) Use of installations under base closure laws.--In 
     acquiring additional detention facilities under this 
     subsection, the Secretary shall consider the transfer of 
     appropriate portions of military installations approved for 
     closure or realignment under the Defense Base Closure and 
     Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 
     101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) for use in accordance with 
     subsection (a).
       (4) Determination of location.--The location of any 
     detention facility constructed or acquired in accordance with 
     this subsection shall be determined, with the concurrence of 
     the Secretary, by the senior officer responsible for 
     Detention and Removal Operations

[[Page 8617]]

     in the Department. The detention facilities shall be located 
     so as to enable the officers and employees of the Department 
     to increase to the maximum extent practicable the annual rate 
     and level of removals of illegal aliens from the United 
     States.
       (c) Annual Report to Congress.--Not later than 1 year after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually 
     thereafter, in consultation with the heads of other 
     appropriate Federal agencies, the Secretary shall submit to 
     Congress an assessment of the additional detention facilities 
     and bed space needed to detain unlawful aliens apprehended at 
     the United States ports of entry or along the international 
     land borders of the United States.

  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, this amendment addresses the 
problem that, when our Border Patrol apprehends illegal aliens, they 
have no place in which to process them, no detention beds, so 90 
percent in some parts of this country are released. Guess what. They 
never appear for their formal appearance and they melt into the economy 
and add to the existing problem.
  The chairman has addressed this already. Whereas the current law adds 
8,000 of these detention beds per year, and that is on top of a base of 
only 20,000 detention beds nationwide--the chairman's bill adds a one-
time additional 10,000 new beds over and above the 8,000 beds per year. 
This amendment will double that by adding a one-time 20,000 new beds 
above the 8,000 beds per year. It is very simple. That is it.
  I thank the chairman of the committee for being willing to accept 
this amendment.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, it is an excellent amendment which is 
accepted.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there is no further debate, the question is 
on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 3998), as modified, was agreed to.
  Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. DURBIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.


                           Amendment No. 4009

  Mr. CHAMBLISS. I call up amendment No. 4009.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Georgia [Mr. Chambliss], for himself, Mr. 
     Isakson, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. Bond, proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4009.

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

(Purpose: To modify the wage requirements for employers seeking to hire 
                H-2A and blue card agricultural workers)

       On page 452, strike line 1 and all that follows through 
     page 459, line 10, and insert the following:
       ``(A) In general.--An employer applying to hire H-2A 
     workers under section 218(a), or utilizing alien workers 
     under blue card program established under section 613 of the 
     Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, shall offer to 
     pay, and shall pay, all workers in the occupation for which 
     the employer has applied for alien workers, not less than 
     (and is not required to pay more than) the greater of--
       ``(i) the prevailing wage in the occupation in the area of 
     intended employment; or
       ``(ii) the applicable State minimum wage.
       ``(B) Prevailing wage defined.--In this paragraph, the term 
     `prevailing wage' means the wage rate that includes the 51st 
     percentile of employees with similar experience and 
     qualifications in the agricultural occupation in the area of 
     intended employment, expressed in terms of the prevailing 
     rate of pay for the occupation in the area of intended 
     employment.''.

  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senators 
Alexander and Bond be added as original cosponsors to the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I have said it before and I say it 
again today that I think the approach taken in this legislation we are 
considering today is contrary to the best interests of agriculture. By 
ignoring proper enforcement of our immigration laws for many years, the 
Federal Government has been sending the wrong message to farmers and 
ranchers across the United States: that it pays to break the law. Quite 
literally, it has. For those who have flouted rule of law by refusing 
to utilize the temporary worker program for agriculture--the H-2A 
program--have gained a tremendous economic advantage over their 
counterparts who have adhered to the laws on the books today.
  I will be the first to admit that some farmers have had little choice 
but to utilize an illegal workforce--for the H-2A program, as presently 
written has its limitations--for instance, farmers with jobs that are 
not seasonal are not able to utilize it. However, changes can be made 
to the H-2A program to make it more responsive to the needs of 
agriculture and more user-friendly for farmers.
  That is what the focus of immigration reform should be. Instead, the 
bill we are considering today is putting in statute what has only been 
implied previously by the Federal Government's blind eye about illegal 
workers: it pays to break the law.
  This statement is truest in the agricultural section of this bill 
than anywhere else. The amendment I have introduced is one of a series 
that I will file that will attempt to eliminate some of the hardships 
this bill levies on those agricultural employers who have been and will 
continue to utilize the legal program we have in place for temporary 
agricultural workers.
  Currently, agricultural employers who utilize the H-2A program must 
pay all workers in the occupation in which they utilize H-2A workers 
the higher of the applicable minimum wage rate, the prevailing wage 
rate, or the adverse effect wage rate. In almost every instance, the 
adverse effect wage rate is the highest of these options.
  Conversely, those agricultural employers who utilize an illegal 
workforce and, are often competitors of those using the H-2A program, 
are governed by no wage floor and generally end up paying around the 
Federal minimum wage rate, sometimes less. Obviously those who utilize 
an illegal workforce have a significant competitive advantage over 
their H-2A user counterparts based on overhead costs due to wage rates 
alone. And those illegal workers are subject to abusive payment 
practices by some employers.
  Historically, approval of an employer's use of non-immigrant visa-
holding foreign workers was predicated on two things: No. 1, No U.S. 
workers were available to fill the specific job, and No. 2, wages for 
that occupation would not be depressed by the hiring of foreign 
workers.
  The obvious solution was the imposition of a prevailing wage 
requirement for specific occupations. The prevailing wage, determined 
by surveys conducted by States, insured that available U.S. workers 
would not be discouraged from applying for the job because it paid 
lower than usual wages. It also guaranteed that all workers, both 
foreign and domestic, would be paid a wage that was competitive in the 
local area, thus avoiding depressing wages for that occupation or 
making the use of foreign workers more attractive than hiring U.S. 
workers.
  At the present time, prevailing wages are required for H-1B, H-2B, 
and permanent work-related visas. However, H-2A, the agricultural 
version of temporary, non-immigrant work visas, is required to pay a 
different wage rate--the adverse effect wage rate.
  Unlike prevailing wages, which are established for a local area for 
specific jobs, and determined by the level of experience, skill, and 
education they require, the adverse effect wage rate is an average of 
all wages including incentive pay, bonuses, and seniority for all farm 
jobs in a multi-State region.
  So an H-2A employer in Indiana must guarantee an H-2A worker with no 
experience who is working on a dairy farm the same minimum wage as a 
farm employee in Ohio with 5 years of experience operating a combine to 
harvest soybeans. Likewise, an inexperienced employee who is harvesting 
lettuce in Arizona must be guaranteed the same minimum wage as an 
experienced greenhouse worker in New Mexico. It just doesn't make 
sense.

[[Page 8618]]

  Prevailing wages are determined by the U.S. Department of Labor 
through its State partners, using a methodology designed to capture a 
fair wage that reflects the local standards specific to a particular 
occupation. This is currently done for H-1B and H-2B visas.
  I might add that the new H-2C program that has been approved as part 
of this particular underlying bill and was accepted as the prevailing 
wage for that work was accepted by unanimous consent yesterday.
  Conversely, the adverse effect wage rate is determined by a survey 
conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its larger 
National Agricultural Statistics surveys. Officials in the Department 
of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service readily admit 
that the wage survey used for adverse effect wage rate was never 
designed to set specific wages--only to describe them in general. As 
such, the National Agricultural Statistics Service's survey creates an 
artificial, multi-state wage floor--one that significantly increases 
annually, regardless of the economy, the agricultural market, and 
competitive factors within a product line or local area.
  Supporters of maintaining an adverse effect wage rate for H-2A 
workers will tell you that it is necessary to prevent the presence of 
foreign workers from adversely affecting the wage rates of U.S. farm 
workers. These are generally the same folks who advocate for greater 
protections for farm workers.
  So you can imagine my surprise when reading this bill when I found 
that there is no mandated wage floor for those workers who are now 
illegal working in agriculture once they get on a blue card or once 
they adjust to permanent resident status--assuming they stay in 
agriculture.
  So while a farmer who utilizes H-2A workers in an occupation will 
have to pay all workers in that occupation the adverse effect wage 
rate, those farmers who have been using an illegal workforce and are 
allowed to continue to use that same workforce, which is legalized 
through this bill, will only be bound by the applicable minimum wage.
  This does not make the least bit of sense.
  To give you some examples: a farmer who uses the H-2A program in 
Oklahoma will have to pay his workers $8.32 per hour, while a farmer in 
the same place who uses a newly legalized blue card worker will have to 
pay only $5.15 per hour to his employees.
  In Louisiana, an H-2A employer will have to pay $7.58 an hour to his 
workers while a farmer who employs blue card workers will only have to 
pay $5.15 per hour.
  In Maryland, an H-2A employer must pay $8.95 an hour while a blue 
card employer only has to pay $5.15 an hour.
  In Nebraska, an H-2A employer must pay $9.23 an hour while an 
employer of legalized blue card workers must pay only $5.15 an hour.
  In Arkansas, H-2A employers must pay $7.58 an hour to their workers, 
while those who continue to use the previously illegal workforce pay 
only $5.15 an hour.
  In Arizona, H-2A employers must pay $8.00 an hour while blue card 
employers pay only $5.15 an hour for the same work.
  In Kansas, H-2A employers will have to pay $9.23 an hour, while 
employers of blue card workers must pay only $5.15 an hour.
  In Montana, H-2A employers must pay $8.47 an hour while blue card 
employers must pay $5.15 per hour.
  You might be asking--well what about those states that have minimum 
wages higher than the federal minimum wage? The adverse effect wage 
rate is still higher--for example, an H-2A employer in New York will 
have to pay his workers $9.16 an hour while an employer who uses blue 
card workers will only have to pay $6.75 an hour. And in Connecticut, 
an H-2A employer will be mandated to pay $9.16 an hour while the farmer 
who uses blue card workers will pay $7.40 an hour. This is not fair to 
the farmers and it is not fair to the workers.
  This bill systematically rewards law-breakers and punishes those who 
have, with some difficulty, been obeying the laws on the books today. 
This amendment is not just about parity, though I would argue strongly 
that it is needed--for not only will H-2A employers be mandated to pay 
higher wages than their counterparts who use the newly legalized 
workforce, H-2A employers will also continue to be responsible for 
providing to their employees free housing and utilities, reimbursement 
of transportation costs, and payment of visa, consular, and border 
crossing fees. This amendment is about what is right for agriculture, 
both for the farmer as well as the migrant worker.
  We know from past experience that once farm workers are legalized 
through an amnesty, they leave farm work. This means that the farmers 
who use an illegal workforce today and plan to legalize their workers 
with the blue card program in this bill will be faced with the reality 
that the H-2A program will be the only avenue for legal workers when 
they cannot find others to do the jobs they need in the near future. 
The failure of the H-2A program in the past to meet the needs of 
agriculture across the nation has been based, in part, on provisions 
such as the adverse effect wage rate. H-2A employers simply can't 
compete with the illegal workforce and they won't be able to compete 
with employers of blue card workers.
  This amendment will require that all workers in agriculture be paid 
the higher of the applicable minimum wage and the prevailing wage rate, 
as determined by the Department of Labor.
  This will allow the mandated wages to reflect geographic location, 
occupation, and skill level, unlike under current law and in this bill. 
In addition, it will provide much-needed additional worker protections 
to those workers who adjust status under this bill by ensuring that 
they are guaranteed the same wage as an H-2A worker in the same 
occupation.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Let's put parity in agriculture in a temporary worker program that 
has been on the books for decades and will work--if we can streamline 
it, if we can make it fairer for the employer, more attractive to the 
employer to use, and at the same time fair to the employee.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Idaho is recognized.
  Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, the hour is late. I know those at the desk, 
including the Chair, would like to dim the lights and say good evening. 
I will do that in just a few moments.
  We are going to have an opportunity to debate in detail what the 
Senator from Georgia has put before the Senate as it relates to a wage 
rate for agricultural workers that is embodied within the bill that is 
before us in comprehensive immigration reform.
  I must tell you that after having worked on the agriculture portion 
of this bill for nearly 5 years, and as a farmer and rancher, I totally 
agree with the Senator from Georgia, that those who were under the H-2A 
program and those who weren't were very different, and those who 
weren't were placing the farmer-producer who had adhered to the H-2A 
program at a true competitive disadvantage because of the adverse 
effect wage rate that the Senator spoke to.
  As we work to reform and change the character of the H-2A program, 
and for those Senators who aren't quite aware of that--that is the 
agricultural portion--we recognize that the adverse affect wage was out 
of step. It was skewed in large part by comparative and competitive 
disadvantaged margins that the Senator speaks to. The Senator has 
proposed moving to a prevailing wage, which, in my opinion, is in 
itself a minimum wage.
  Let me make those points. What the Senator from Georgia has failed to 
suggest is after an examination of the adverse effect wage rate and 
recognizing the problems, we changed it dramatically. We said let's 
freeze it at the 2003 level, January 1, which is actually the 2002 
level, and keep it flat for 3 years while we adjust the agricultural 
workplace into a true prevailing wage.
  That is what the bill does. Let me show you what I believe the 
effects are. I will go into those in more detail on

[[Page 8619]]

Monday because they are significant, and in many instances what the 
bill does for American agriculture is better than what the Senator from 
Georgia is proposing. It causes us to focus on what is appropriate and 
right in bringing about equity and balance in the agricultural 
workforce and in that wage rate.
  In 2006, the adverse effect wage rate was $8.63 an hour. This bill 
drops it to $8.19. In 2010, $10.25 and drops it to $9.06, and many 
examples on a State-by-State basis drop it more than that. But more 
than dropping the wage rate down and bringing equity in it, we bring 
equity in a sense by going in and looking at it and making sure that we 
effectively change the indices, immediately upon the enactment of the 
agriculture portion known as AgJOBS of this bill.
  In California, the wage rate will drop by 11 percent; in New 
Hampshire, 13 percent; South Carolina, 13 percent; Montana, 12 percent; 
Pennsylvania, 16 percent.
  I wish the Senator would check his numbers. The numbers he talks 
about tonight are not prevailing wage. That is minimum wage. And 
minimum wage will not stand. That is something we are all going to have 
to look at as we focus on the Chambliss amendment to see if those 
numbers are truly accurate. I am not in any way suggesting the Senator 
is wrong, but I am suggesting those who did the research used the 
Nation's lowest indices possible. I challenge those numbers. It is 
appropriate to do so.
  By 2016, the average farm wage is projected to be $12.81 but the 
projected adverse effect wage is $10 or down 17.5 percent below the 
average farm wage if we look at those kinds of indices. It is important 
we understand we are proposing significant changes in the wage rate and 
in the market.
  The Senator is suggesting, and appropriately so, embodied within 
adverse effected wage were a variety of other things that agricultural 
producers had to supply, in some instances, housing, or housing 
certificates, and other types of amenities at the workplace. That will 
still happen, whether it is a transitional blue card employment force 
or an H2-A force because, clearly, once we have transitioned the 
modified and reformed H2-A program embodied within the bill before the 
Senate, will be the effective guest worker law portion of it dealing 
specifically with agriculture.
  Agriculture is a different workforce. And it is a different wage 
scale. We know that.
  Had the Senator embodied within it the advantage of piecework, the 
adverse effect wage rate does that. Do you know some workers who are 
getting $7 an hour, if they work piecework, get $12 an hour? It is 
their advantage to do is. There is a higher level of productivity when 
you bring them all to a common denominator that goes away. There are a 
variety of things that are critically important to look at.
  I do not mean to suggest in any way that the numbers offered were 
offered in an untruthful way but the numbers that were provided to the 
offeror are the lowest common denominator at a minimum wage rate and 
not the 50th medium talked about by the Department of Labor in their 
analysis and in the establishment of an appropriate wage rate that 
would be a true prevailing wage rate.
  I want a prevailing wage rate. That is what the bill proposes, a 
transitional pattern of time, a 3-year pattern of time with a frozen 
adverse effect wage rate, to move us to prevailing. The Farm Bureau 
asserts that the prevailing crop wage in Ohio ranges from $5.85 to 
$7.13 an hour. They compare this to the wage rate of $8.38 per hour 
which would apply during the AgJOBS wage freeze. Those are the kind of 
numbers that were being offered this evening. However, the medium 
hourly wage, which would be the prevailing wage under the amendment 
before the Senate, was $8.57 for crop workers in Ohio in the data 
sourced by the Farm Bureau.
  I am still digging into the numbers because I cannot quite understand 
it. There is a disparity that is troublesome if we are to arrive at a 
fair, responsible, and accurate measurement to establish an effective 
prevailing wage that is fair to the worker, but more importantly, and 
as importantly, fair to the producer so that we get out of this 
competitive disadvantage the Senator from Georgia has recognized and 
sees as critically important.
  In other words, if this data source represented agriculture 
prevailing wage, which in my opinion it does not, the prevailing crop 
rates I mentioned for Ohio would be at least 19 cents an hour higher 
than the AgJOBS minimum wage even in 2006 before we tamp it down in the 
law. The projected Ohio prevailing crop wage in 2010, based on the data 
source, would be $10.33 per hour compared to the AgJOBS minimum wage of 
$9.29.
  In all sincerity, I offer to the Senator from Georgia a time for us 
to look at numbers and do some comparisons. There is a disparity. I 
know what the bill does because the bill is accurately and effectively 
represented in these charts because we knew what the effected adverse 
wage was going to be, and there is a very clear projection line. What 
we do not know are the indices given and provided as it relates to the 
Chambliss amendment.
  I will spend the weekend looking at it and looking at those numbers. 
They do concern me. It is important we get it right, not that we want 
to treat anyone in a disadvantaged way, but what we do has to be 
accurate, it has to create stability, it has to take away the 
competitive disadvantage the Senator from Georgia is talking about, 
that is real today in this disparity between those H-2A workers and, if 
you will, the undocumented workers out there in the American workforce 
that the provision of the bill that deals with agriculture attempts to 
get its arms around and legalize through the blue card transition 
period the Senator and I have spoken to.
  It is a very important part of the bill. Both the Senator from 
Georgia and I have been concerned for some time and have compared 
numbers about an American agricultural work base built on a faulty 
employment base. You cannot be working 75 percent undocumented workers 
and be wholly dependent upon them to bring the perishable crop to the 
market and then have them swept out from under you.
  Yet we also know that when there is 1.2 to 1.5 million people in the 
American agricultural workforce that are foreign nationals, yet 
annually, the H-2A as a program only effectively identifies 42,000 to 
45,000, something was and is dramatically wrong. That is why the 
Senator is here with his amendment. That is why I am here with a major 
reform package within the bill. We both agree that the wage part of 
this is skewed. That is why we rolled it back dramatically and we are 
proposing establishing a prevailing wage. And he has proposed a 
prevailing wage.
  We have to get the numbers right. I disagree with his numbers. It is 
important that in the effort to bring stability and equity we get them 
right.
  I hope the Senate would get the Chambliss amendment, stay with the 
freeze that is actually the 2002 wage scale for 3 years, while we get 
the numbers right as it relates to the effective establishment of a 
prevailing wage.
  In the end, I would argue that during that period of time we have 
substantially lessened the competitive disadvantage and improved the 
overall wage base for agricultural workers in a sense of equity and 
balance.
  We will be back to this amendment, I understand, Monday afternoon to 
debate it before a vote on Monday evening at 5:30. It is a challenge 
for all of us. More than one Senator over the course of the last week 
has said this is a very complicated bill. And the area that Senator 
Chambliss and I have ventured into is a very complicated portion of the 
bill.
  I know what the bill does because I helped write it and spent a good 
number of years attempting to negotiate it. I am yet to clearly 
understand what I believe the Senator from Georgia is attempting to do 
as to the accuracy of his numbers and what they would mean on a State-
by-State basis based on the indices he proposes to be used if this were 
to become law.
  I yield the floor.

[[Page 8620]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I do not intend to take but a few 
seconds to not necessarily respond to my friend from Idaho, who 
correctly states we have been working together in trying to solve a 
very difficult problem relative to reform of the H-2A program. He has 
been at it for a long time. My first vote on this was 11 years ago as a 
Member of the House of Representatives. That is how long I have been 
working on this issue. And we have yet to get the H-2A program 
reformed.
  I am very hopeful, as we go through this, we will have an opportunity 
to look at the numbers. I did not even mention prevailing wage numbers 
for Ohio or any other State. Obviously, I am happy to look at those. 
But the numbers are what they are. And the Senator from Idaho, I 
assume, agrees with me and is going to vote with me because he said he 
wants a prevailing wage, and I am seeking to amend this bill to get a 
prevailing wage in a bill that has an adverse effect wage rate in it.
  But seriously, the numbers are what they are. I think we can agree 
that the prevailing wage rate is higher than the minimum wage, and it 
is less than the adverse effect wage rate today virtually in every 
State and in every location in the country. Our farmers are very much 
at a disadvantage today, and it is not like they are not willing to pay 
a fair wage.
  You are right, most of our employees work on a piece rate. They cut a 
bucket of squash, they take it to the wagon, and they get a chip. And 
that chip may be worth $2 or it may be worth $5. That is the way most 
agricultural workers are paid: on a piece-rate basis. But there has to 
be a floor. They have to be paid a certain amount per hour under the 
law, and that is the way it should be. And that is what we are going to 
be talking about.
  But the numbers are what they are. And the numbers speak for 
themselves. We look forward to debating in much more detail on Monday. 
Our purpose today on both ends was simply to get the amendment laid 
down. We will be back Monday to engage in more extensive debate.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5:30 on Monday, May 
22, the Senate proceed to a vote in relation to the Chambliss amendment 
No. 4009; provided further that the time from 5 to 5:30 be equally 
divided between Senator Chambliss and the Democratic manager or his 
designee. I further ask consent that following that vote, the Senate 
proceed immediately to a vote in relation to the Ensign amendment No. 
4076, as modified. Finally, I ask consent that no second degrees be in 
order to either amendment prior to the votes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________