S.Amdt.1948 to S.Amdt.1959115th Congress (2017-2018)
Amendment Text: S.Amdt.1948 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
Amendment as Proposed (02/14/2018)
This Amendment appears on page S931 in the following article from the Congressional Record.
[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 29 (Wednesday, February 14, 2018)] [Pages S930-S965] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] BROADER OPTIONS FOR AMERICANS ACT The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the bill. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (H.R. 2579) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Iowa. Amendment No. 1959 (Purpose: In the nature of a substitute.) Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1959. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: The Senator from Iowa [Mr. Grassley] proposes an amendment numbered 1959. Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of Amendments.'') The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader. Amendment No. 1948 to Amendment No. 1959 Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I call up the Toomey amendment No. 1948 to the Grassley amendment No. 1959. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell], for Mr. Toomey, proposes an amendment numbered 1948 to amendment No. 1959. Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. [[Page S931]] The amendment is as follows: (Purpose: To ensure that State and local law enforcement may cooperate with Federal officials to protect our communities from violent criminals and suspected terrorists who are illegally present in the United States) At the appropriate place, insert the following: SEC. __. STOP DANGEROUS SANCTUARY CITIES ACT. (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act''. (b) Ensuring That Local and Federal Law Enforcement Officers May Cooperate to Safeguard Our Communities.-- (1) Authority to cooperate with federal officials.--A State, a political subdivision of a State, or an officer, employee, or agent of such State or political subdivision that complies with a detainer issued by the Department of Homeland Security under section 236 or 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1357)-- (A) shall be deemed to be acting as an agent of the Department of Homeland Security; and (B) with regard to actions taken to comply with the detainer, shall have all authority available to officers and employees of the Department of Homeland Security. (2) Legal proceedings.--In any legal proceeding brought against a State, a political subdivision of a State, or an officer, employee, or agent of such State or political subdivision, which challenges the legality of the seizure or detention of an individual pursuant to a detainer issued by the Department of Homeland Security under section 236 or 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1357)-- (A) no liability shall lie against the State or political subdivision of a State for actions taken in compliance with the detainer; and (B) if the actions of the officer, employee, or agent of the State or political subdivision were taken in compliance with the detainer-- (i) the officer, employee, or agent shall be deemed-- (I) to be an employee of the Federal Government and an investigative or law enforcement officer; and (II) to have been acting within the scope of his or her employment under section 1346(b) and chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code; (ii) section 1346(b) of title 28, United States Code, shall provide the exclusive remedy for the plaintiff; and (iii) the United States shall be substituted as defendant in the proceeding. (3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection may be construed to provide immunity to any person who knowingly violates the civil or constitutional rights of an individual. (c) Sanctuary Jurisdiction Defined.-- (1) In general.--Except as provided under paragraph (2), for purposes of this section the term ``sanctuary jurisdiction'' means any State or political subdivision of a State that has in effect a statute, ordinance, policy, or practice that prohibits or restricts any government entity or official from-- (A) sending, receiving, maintaining, or exchanging with any Federal, State, or local government entity information regarding the citizenship or immigration status (lawful or unlawful) of any individual; or (B) complying with a request lawfully made by the Department of Homeland Security under section 236 or 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1357) to comply with a detainer for, or notify about the release of, an individual. (2) Exception.--A State or political subdivision of a State shall not be deemed a sanctuary jurisdiction based solely on its having a policy whereby its officials will not share information regarding, or comply with a request made by the Department of Homeland Security under section 236 or 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1357) to comply with a detainer regarding, an individual who comes forward as a victim or a witness to a criminal offense. (d) Sanctuary Jurisdictions Ineligible for Certain Federal Funds.-- (1) Economic development administration grants.-- (A) Grants for public works and economic development.-- Section 201(b) of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3141(b)) is amended-- (i) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' at the end; (ii) in paragraph (3)(B), by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and (iii) by adding at the end the following: ``(4) the area in which the project is to be carried out is not a sanctuary jurisdiction (as defined in subsection (c) of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act).''. (B) Grants for planning and administration.--Section 203(a) of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3143(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``A sanctuary jurisdiction (as defined in subsection (c) of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act) may not be deemed an eligible recipient under this subsection.''. (C) Supplementary grants.--Section 205(a) of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3145(a)) is amended-- (i) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' at the end; (ii) in paragraph (3)(B), by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and (iii) by adding at the end the following: ``(4) will be carried out in an area that does not contain a sanctuary jurisdiction (as defined in subsection (c) of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act).''. (D) Grants for training, research, and technical assistance.--Section 207 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3147) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(c) Ineligibility of Sanctuary Jurisdictions.--Grants funds under this section may not be used to provide assistance to a sanctuary jurisdiction (as defined in subsection (c) of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act).''. (2) Community development block grants.--Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) is amended-- (A) in section 102(a) (42 U.S.C. 5302(a)), by adding at the end the following: ``(25) The term `sanctuary jurisdiction' has the meaning provided in subsection (c) of the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act.''. (B) in section 104 (42 U.S.C. 5304)-- (i) in subsection (b)-- (I) in paragraph (5), by striking ``and'' at the end; (II) by redesignating paragraph (6) as paragraph (7); and (III) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following: ``(6) the grantee is not a sanctuary jurisdiction and will not become a sanctuary jurisdiction during the period for which the grantee receives a grant under this title; and''. (ii) by adding at the end the following: ``(n) Protection of Individuals Against Crime.-- ``(1) In general.--No funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title may be obligated or expended for any State or unit of general local government that is a sanctuary jurisdiction. ``(2) Returned amounts.-- ``(A) State.--If a State is a sanctuary jurisdiction during the period for which it receives amounts under this title, the Secretary-- ``(i) shall direct the State to immediately return to the Secretary any such amounts that the State received for that period; and ``(ii) shall reallocate amounts returned under clause (i) for grants under this title to other States that are not sanctuary jurisdictions. ``(B) Unit of general local government.--If a unit of general local government is a sanctuary jurisdiction during the period for which it receives amounts under this title, any such amounts that the unit of general local government received for that period-- ``(i) in the case of a unit of general local government that is not in a nonentitlement area, shall be returned to the Secretary for grants under this title to States and other units of general local government that are not sanctuary jurisdictions; and ``(ii) in the case of a unit of general local government that is in a nonentitlement area, shall be returned to the Governor of the State for grants under this title to other units of general local government in the State that are not sanctuary jurisdictions. ``(C) Reallocation rules.--In reallocating amounts under subparagraphs (A) and (B), the Secretary shall-- ``(i) apply the relevant allocation formula under subsection (b), with all sanctuary jurisdictions excluded; and ``(ii) shall not be subject to the rules for reallocation under subsection (c).''. (3) Effective date.--This subsection and the amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on October 1, 2018. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Democratic leader. Amendment No. 1958 (Purpose: In the nature of a substitute.) Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1958 to the language proposed to be stricken. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: The Senator from New York [Mr. Schumer] proposes an amendment numbered 1958 to the language proposed to be stricken by amendment No. 1959. Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of Amendments.'') The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois. Amendment No. 1955 to Amendment No. 1958 (Purpose: To provide relief from removal and adjustment of status of certain individuals who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States before reaching the age of 18, improve border security, foster United States engagement in Central America, and for other purposes.) Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I call up the Coons amendment No. 1955 to the Schumer amendment No. 1958. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: [[Page S932]] The Senator from Illinois [Mr. Durbin], for Mr. Coons, proposes an amendment numbered 1955 to amendment No. 1958. Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. (The amendment is printed in the Record of Tuesday, February 13, 2018, under ``Text of Amendments.'') Recognition of the Minority Leader The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Democratic leader is recognized. Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, as we enter the second day of the debate on immigration, everyone should be focused on finding a bill to protect the Dreamers and address border security that can get 60 votes. That is the ball game. The majority leader's desire to vote on an unrelated, partisan immigration bill--legislation that is not only silent on Dreamers but is silent on border security as well--is not a productive way to begin debate. Let's get to the crux of the issue. Let Republicans offer whatever they want on DACA and border security, and we will do the same. The leader supports the proposal by Senator Grassley, which is, essentially, the President's plan. Let's vote on that first. We will have several bipartisan bills to offer. We should vote on those too. Democrats are focused like a laser on finding a bipartisan bill that can pass the Senate to protect the Dreamers. Several moderate Republicans are working toward that as well. The one person who seems most intent on not getting a deal is President Trump. President Trump's contribution to this debate has been to put forward a proposal that contains a vast curtailment of legal immigration, far outside the scope of DACA and border security, and has demanded that the Democrats support it. Instead of making a proposal in good faith or working with Democrats on a compromise, President Trump is trying to force his unpopular, hard-line immigration agenda down the throats of the American people by calling it a DACA bill. The President's proposal, now the Grassley bill, is so extreme on legal immigration that several Republicans have been critical of it, including my friends from South Carolina and Arizona. Yet President Trump somehow thinks that Democrats would be to blame for not getting a deal on DACA because we didn't go blindly along with his partisan plan--extreme as it is and with no input from Democrats. That will not happen. Only in a Kafkaesque, 1984 world could the Democrats be blamed for the current predicament on DACA. As much as the President wants to turn the world upside down, as much as he wants everyone to just accept what he is saying, the American people know better. Everyone here knows that President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA from the very beginning. Let's take a quick look at the history. First, it was President Trump who terminated the DACA Program last August, not the Democrats and not the Republicans here. Unilaterally, we are in this pickle--worse than a pickle--in this bad situation because President Trump chose to end the DACA Program last August. That stands out above anything else. Then President Trump turned his back on not one but two bipartisan immigration proposals. I went so far as to put the wall--the President's signature campaign issue--on the table for discussion. That still did not drive him to a deal. Finally, now that we are working hard in the Senate to come up with a bipartisan proposal, President Trump is just trying to gum up the works. According to reports, President Trump may threaten to veto legislation that doesn't match his hard-line demands--``my way or no way'' and with no Democratic input. A statement this morning from the White House said the President would oppose even a short-term bill to protect the Dreamers. So who is intent on kicking out these people who know no country but America, who work in our factories and offices, who go to our schools, who serve in our military? Who is intent on kicking them out? It is not the American people, as 90 percent want to support the Dreamers. It is not any Democrat and not a good number of Republicans on that side of the aisle. It is just the President. On three separate occasions, President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA--a problem he created in the first place. Yet the President is in this dream world. He thinks: Oh, I can blame the Democrats for the impasse. As I said, only in a 1984 world where up is down and black is white could this be true. Only in a 1984 world where up is down and black is white would the American public blame the Democrats for this. They know where Trump stands. They know it. The American people know what is going on. They know that this President not only created the problem but seems to be against every solution that might pass because it is not 100 percent of what he wants. If, at the end of this week, we are unable to find a bill that can pass--I sincerely hope that is not the case, due to the good efforts of so many people on both sides of the aisle--the responsibility will fall on the President's shoulders and on those in this body who went along with him. Bipartisan negotiations are ongoing and are, perhaps, very close to a conclusion. Nothing is ever certain given the contentious nature of this debate, but I am hopeful that Senators can put the President's hard-line demands to the side and come up with a deal that works for both parties. If we want to go beyond border security and the DACA kids, let's do comprehensive reform. We did it once. It worked pretty well in the Senate, but the House blocked it. Let's go back to it. First, the issues at hand are the DACA kids and border security. That is the only thing that can pass this Chamber--the only thing. We need to push through to the finish line. There are only 2 days of debate remaining this week. Everyone has to make a final effort to reach consensus. That doesn't mean adding new demands or drawing lines in the sand. It means being willing to compromise and take yes for an answer. If we pass something, it might not be everything that either the Democrats want or everything that the Republicans want, but it may get the job done for the Dreamers and the overwhelming majority of Americans who would like to see them stay in the country. Republican Tax Bill Mr. President, on another matter--taxes--our Republican friends argued that their massive corporate tax cut was not such a huge giveaway to corporate America. They predicted that corporations would spend the tax savings on benefits for workers. The evidence is already mounting that those predictions were wrong. Since the passage of the Republican tax bill, corporations have been pouring billions of dollars into stock repurchasing programs, not into significant wage increases or other meaningful investments in workers. These stock buybacks--this stock repurchasing--which benefit, primarily, the people at the top have reached a significant milestone. Since the passage of the Republican tax bill, there have been over $100 billion in stock buybacks. As of last week, corporations had announced twice the number of corporate share buybacks as during a similar period last year. Let me repeat that. The number of corporate share buybacks has doubled since the Republican tax bill passed. Why is that so significant? It is that share buybacks don't help the average worker. They inflate the value of a company's stock, which primarily benefits shareholders, not workers. It benefits corporate executives, who are compensated with corporate stock, not workers, who are paid by wages and benefits. The money corporations spend on repurchasing their stock is money that is not being reinvested in worker training, equipment, research, new hires, or higher salaries. According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, companies that were surveyed said they will pass only 13 percent of the Trump tax cut savings on to workers in comparison to 43 percent that they will spend on share buybacks. For manufacturers, it is even worse: 9 percent to go to workers, 47 percent to share buybacks. The Republicans made a conscious decision to give corporations and the wealthiest Americans the lion's share [[Page S933]] of the tax cuts and promised it would trickle down to everyone else. Unfortunately, trickle-down never works, and it is not what is happening now. Corporate America is doing what is best for corporate America, and working America is getting left behind. It goes to show you just who President Trump and the Republicans were working for when they crafted their tax bill. They gave corporations and the wealthiest Americans a huge tax cut and cut out everybody else. I yield the floor. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois. Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, this is immigration week in the U.S. Senate, and we are preparing today's procedural moves to bring bills to the floor for consideration as early as today, perhaps tomorrow at the latest. It is an unusual time when the Senate is focused on such an issue and actual bipartisan amendments and substitutes are being offered. We are at this point at this moment in time because of a decision by President Trump on September 5 of last year when he announced he was ending the DACA Program. DACA was a program created by President Obama by Executive order, which allowed those who had been brought to the United States as children, infants, and toddlers to be able to stay legally in the United States on a temporary visa renewable every 2 years. It was called DACA, and 780,000 young people stepped up and paid the filing fee of almost $500, went through a criminal background check and an interview and received DACA protection. They then went on with their lives, with 90 percent of them going to work or to school, enlisting in the military--undocumented in America, willing to hold up their hands and take an oath that they would die for America. That is how much they love this country. Twenty thousand of them went to work as school teachers across the United States of America. Perhaps they are teaching your children or grandchildren today. They are doing important things in this country. But President Trump announced last September 5 that the program that protects them and allows them to work will end. Then he challenged us. He said to the Senate and the House: Do something about it. Pass a law. Isn't that what you are there for? The President is right. That is our job. This week we are going to try to pass a law to end this crisis, which is going to reach a head on March 5 of this year when the DACA Program officially ends and 1,000 young people a day lose their protection. We have less than 3 weeks. So we are going to move today, I hope, or tomorrow or this week, at some point to consider some alternatives to solve this problem. I am sorry to say that there is no plan in the U.S. House of Representatives to even address the problem--none. I don't understand it. They know that lives hang in the balance, and they know that overwhelmingly the American people want to give DACA and the Dreamers a chance. The numbers come rolling in; 75, 80, 85 percent of Americans agree that these young people should be given a chance to earn their way to legal status and citizenship. Even 60 percent of those who voted for President Trump agree with what I just said. It is a popular political issue on both sides, and it also is the right thing to do. What the President has proposed as his alternative, from my point of view, is unacceptable. Let me tell you why. Two weeks ago the White House released a one-page framework on immigration reform and border security. The White House claimed that this is a compromise because it includes a path to citizenship for Dreamers--some of them. That, of course, as I mentioned, is supported by a majority of Americans. The reality is that the Trump plan would put the administration's entire hard-line immigration agenda on the backs of these young people. These young, DACA-protected people are being held as political hostages for President Trump's hard-line immigration agenda. For example, the White House wants to dramatically reduce legal immigration by prohibiting American citizens from sponsoring their parents, siblings, and children as immigrants. We are talking about literally millions of relatives of American citizens who entered this system legally and are following our immigration laws. Some have been waiting for as long as 20 years to immigrate to the United States. The conservative Cato Institute says the following about President Trump's proposal: In the most likely scenario, the new plan [from the Trump administration] would cut the number of legal immigrants by up to 44 percent or a half million immigrants annually--the largest policy-driven immigration cut since the 1920s. Compared to current law, it would exclude nearly 22 million people from the opportunity to immigrate legally to the United States over the next five decades. You have to go back in history to a time when there was a proposal that passed on the floor of this Chamber that cut as many legal immigrants to the United States. The year was 1924. Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States. We had just seen the end of World War I. There was a growing fear that because of all of the damage that was done in Europe, Europeans would come to the United States. There was also a concern that the wrong people were coming to the United States, in the eyes of some of the Members of Congress. The Immigration Act of 1924 passed, and it set quotas for countries, and it set quotas for people. It was expressly designed to exclude certain people from around the world from entering the United States of America. It was a notorious piece of legislation. Those who were to be excluded from America included people from Italy, Eastern Europe, Japan, Asia, and Jewish people. That was the immigration policy of the United States of America because of that bill in 1924. That is the last time this Chamber has made such a dramatic cut in legal immigration to America. It was a source of embarrassment for decades. The United States established quotas and said: We want America to look a lot different than it would look if other immigrants came to this country. Thankfully, in 1965, it was changed. Thankfully, we gave up the quotas that had been criticized roundly as being insensitive to the realities of the world population and the reality of the population of America. Now the Trump administration wants to cut legal immigration to the United States again, by 44 percent, the biggest cut--as the Cato Institute tells us--since that horrible bill was passed in 1924. Let me tell you what else the Trump immigration proposal would do. It would create an unaccountable slush fund of $25 billion of American taxpayers' money for a border wall that, as I remember correctly, Mexico was supposed to pay for--$25 billion. I have to double check, but I think that is almost the annual appropriation for the National Institutes of Health. The President wants $25 billion and wants no strings attached. He wants to be able to spend it where, when, and how he wants. That is an invitation for fraud and waste. It is an invitation for money to be spent for something other than its purpose. It is an invitation for taxpayers to be the ultimate losers with this slush fund for President Trump's famous Mexican wall. The President's proposal on immigration, in the midst of the worst refugee crisis on record in the world, is now calling for fast-track deportations without due process of women and children fleeing gang and sexual violence. I can't tell you how many times we have had this conversation with members of the Trump administration. They create a scenario. The scenario is of a 6-year-old child who is swooped up in some Central American country. The parents give thousands of dollars, their life savings, to a smuggler who says: I will get this child to the border of the United States. The child is then taken off by the smuggler in a car or truck or bus to the border. The child then comes out of the car, is pointed toward one of our Federal employees with the Border Patrol, and the child walks up and hands a piece of paper to the Border Patrol agent with the name of someone in the United States. That process then unfolds, and the child ultimately, in many cases, ends up with that relative while a decision is made about the status of the child. Is there exploitation in this system? You bet there is. Is there abuse in this system? For sure. Is there actual human trafficking taking place? Yes. [[Page S934]] Are atrocities committed against these children in the course of this journey? All true. Should we be dedicated to cleaning this up? Sign me up, on a bipartisan basis. Let me tell you another scenario, another story that has a different origin than turning over a child to a smuggler. Let me tell you about cases we know of in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala where, because of the rampant crime, gang activity, and violence that takes place, parents, desperate to save their children--some of whom have daughters who have been victims of rape by these gangs--send them to the United States in the hope that they can save their lives. They show up at the border, having lived in fear of this violence in their countries, and they are accepted into the United States to determine whether that fear can be established in a hearing. These are two different cases--a little child being exploited by a smuggler, a young girl escaping violence and perhaps death because her parents have nowhere to turn to save her life. Should we treat them both the same? I don't think so. Historically, we have said that when it comes to asylum seekers, who come to this country with a credible fear for their own lives, the United States has given them a chance to be protected. We have said that over and over again. We said it to the Cubans who were escaping Fidel Castro. We have said it to the Soviet Jews who wanted to have freedom of religion and came to the United States, believing this was the only chance they had in the world. The Trump immigration proposal does not make a clear distinction on those two cases. In fact, what it does is end up with fast-track deportations without due process. Accepting the Trump approach will literally return many of these folks who have come to our border to harm and in some cases death. There are fast-track deportations in the Trump proposal without due process for millions who have overstayed their visas. An estimated 40 percent of the 11 million undocumented fit in this category. So even if they have no criminal record, without considering their legal claims to remain in the United States, they would be deported. It dramatically cuts immigration from sub-Saharan African countries. We have a diversity visa program. It is far from perfect, but it is a program that was created years ago, so countries that do not have an opportunity to send people to the United States for legal immigration would have a chance. Immigrants who come from these countries are limited in number. They have to go through the background checks, criminal background checks, biometric investigations--all of the investigations and interviews that we would expect in order to make sure we do everything humanly possible to cull out those who would be any danger to the United States. They face that same scrutiny, and they should. Many of them are rejected. They can't make the case for their lives and what they have done with them, and they are not given a chance to come. The President wants to eliminate the diversity visa program. For those living in sub-Saharan African countries, huge countries, about 12,000 to 15,000 come to the United States each year through this program. By eliminating this program, the Trump administration sadly is going to deny those immigrants from Africa even a chance to apply for this opportunity. In the past, many Democrats have been willing to support some of the President's proposals, changes in our immigration system, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, but when we made that offer 5 years ago, it was part of comprehensive immigration reform with give and take and compromise that tried to make sense out of senseless immigration laws. In 2013, a Democratic-led Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a strong bipartisan vote of 68 to 32. The bill was a product of months of negotiations, with committee and floor debate. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives refused to even consider the bill. Now we are being asked to accept the administration's proposal with no conditions, no compromise, no give and take; rather, take it or leave it. Democrats have shown they want to comprehensively fix our broken immigration system, but right now we have to fix our focus on the DACA crisis created by President Trump with his announcement of September 5. That has to be our priority. In the next day or two, we expect the so-called Grassley proposal, which is the Trump immigration plan, to come to the floor. I want to say for the record, Democrats support comprehensive immigration reform, but we will not stand by and allow Dreamers to be held political hostage to the administration's entire immigration agenda. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I come to the floor out of great concern for America's Dreamers, whose futures hinge on the ability of this body to keep its word and get something done. I want to be clear whom we are talking about when we talk about Dreamers. We aren't talking about criminals. We aren't talking about terrorists. We aren't talking about ``bad hombres.'' We are talking about kids as American as apple pie. As I often say, the only country they call home is the United States. The only flag they pledge allegiance to is that of the American flag. The only national anthem they know how to sing is the ``Star-Spangled Banner.'' We are talking about 800,000 young people who were brought to this country as children and were able to obtain legal protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, known as DACA. These kids put enormous faith in our government. They came out of the shadows, they passed background checks, and they registered with our government--all to get a 2-year renewable work permit and protection from deportation. Even the Cato Institute, which is a conservative think tank, says that deporting Dreamers--91 percent of whom are gainfully employed-- would hurt America's economy. At the same time, we are also talking about thousands of additional Dreamers who were eligible for DACA but didn't apply. Some couldn't afford the cost and others were still working through the lengthy application process. These are the Dreamers the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called lazy asses. Well, Mr. Kelly, here is what you don't understand: The reason they didn't apply is not because they were lazy. In fact, in many cases, they didn't apply because they were afraid--afraid of people like you. They were afraid that if they came out of the shadows and registered with the government, they would end up on a short list for deportation. What is depressing is that this administration's actions have proven them right. Now DACA recipients and undocumented Dreamers alike fear they have a target on their back, and that is because President Trump put an expiration date on their dreams when he decided to end DACA. Now, let me be clear, DACA was never perfect, and it was never a replacement for truly comprehensive immigration reform. Make no mistake, we still need comprehensive immigration reform, and I am committed as ever to that cause--a cause I have spent the better part of my congressional career trying to achieve. I was a member of the Gang of 8 in the Senate back in 2013 when a bipartisan supermajority in the Senate passed the most historic reforms to our immigration system since the days of President Ronald Reagan, only to die in the House of Representatives without even a vote, but that debate is for another day. That debate is for what President Trump called phase 2. This week, we are not here to debate comprehensive immigration reform. We are not here to debate the numerous types of visas that exist under U.S. law. We are not here to debate how mayors run their cities or how police officers do their jobs. We are here to protect Dreamers. We are here to address a crisis that President Trump started last September when he ended DACA. That is what this week's debate [[Page S935]] is all about--it is about protecting hard-working, upstanding Dreamers across America from being deported to countries they haven't stepped foot in since they were in diapers. Now, many of my colleagues have met Dreamers from their States in recent years, and they know the lion's share of these kids can't even remember coming here--only growing up here. For the Dreamers who do remember arriving here, they certainly didn't arrive through any decision of their own. They were babies, toddlers, and very young children, and I challenge my colleagues to think of any decision of consequence they made when they were babies, toddlers, and very young children. I bet you didn't decide what town you lived in, where your parents worked, or what kind of status you had. When we talk about Dreamers, we are talking about kids who have grown up American in every sense of the word. We are talking about 22,000 New Jerseyans like Parthiv Patel, who came to New Jersey from India when he was 5 years old. He gained DACA status in 2012. He graduated from Drexel Law School in 2016, and he became the first Dreamer admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 2018. We are also talking about students like Christopher Rios Martine, a constituent of mine who came here from Colombia at the age of 2. Today he is a junior at Rutgers University with a 3.74 GPA. He is president of the Management Information Systems Association, and he is interning at Colgate-Palmolive. Christopher said: ``I am proud to be a DACA recipient and I plan on contributing as much to this country as I possibly can.'' As another Dreamer from New Jersey, Sara Mora, recently wrote: Without DACA her life has become ``one big question mark''--the question of whether this Congress will act. Will we protect Dreamers who have become integral to our communities, many who are teaching in our schools, who are treating our patients, who are serving proudly in the military of the United States--many are wearing the uniform of the United States, risking their lives on behalf of our country, and yet we talk about deporting them--and many who are starting families of their own? That is right. Nearly one-quarter of DACA recipients are the parents of U.S.-born American children. That is whom we are talking about this week. We are not talking about criminals. We are not talking about terrorists. We are not talking about gangbangers or drug dealers. We are talking about Dreamers. They are not undocumented immigrants, from my perspective; they are undocumented Americans who have proven themselves worthy of the American dream. Yet the administration slapped an arbitrary expiration date on their dream, creating a crisis that Congress needs to solve. I took President Trump at his word when he said he wanted to treat Dreamers with heart, just as I took Leader McConnell at his word when he said this week would be about protecting them from deportation. Now, as I listen to many of my Republican colleagues on the Senate floor, I am hearing less and less about Dreamers and more and more about spending tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a wall President Trump promised Mexico would pay for. Considering the Trump administration's own report noting that illegal border crossings from Mexico have dropped to their lowest level in nearly 50 years, you have to question the wisdom of a multibillion-dollar wall--a wall between the United States and a country that serves as our second largest export market in the world for American goods and services, as Mexican consumers and businesses buy American goods and services that support jobs created here at home. Likewise, I am hearing a whole lot about politically loaded terms like ``merit-based immigration'' and ``chain migration.'' These aren't terms you find in our laws. They are political catchphrases designed to incite fear and push policies that forever change how legal immigration works in the United States. The more insidious, of course, is the term ``chain migration.'' I am appalled when I hear my colleagues talking about chain migration, just like I am appalled that the media--even the so-called liberal media--has adopted this phrase as if it is actually a legitimate term, and I can't be the only one who thinks the term ``chain migration'' is downright insulting to the millions of Americans whose ancestors were actually brought to this country in chains. Now, I have heard a lot about family values from my Republican colleagues throughout my time in Congress. The Republican Party has long claimed to be the party of so-called family values. Well, ``chain migration'' is a term that dehumanizes families. When we want to dehumanize something, we create an inanimate object, but this chain is about a mother and a father and a son and a daughter. It is not an inanimate object, but it is a dehumanizing term. It is a term designed to make our system of legal immigration and family reunification sound threatening and illogical, but there is nothing threatening about uniting mothers and fathers, and there is nothing more common sense than uniting brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. They are not linked by chains. They are bound by blood and held together by love. Families are the essence of American values in our society. Families are the glue that builds strong communities--the foundation of our country. Yet some of my Republican colleagues act as if the nuclear family is a concept that has an expiration date. Well, I loved my daughter since the day she was born and the day she turned 21 and the day she turned 30, the same as I do my son. I didn't love them less with each passing year. I don't love them any less now that they have gotten married; in fact, I love them more. So Americans need to know that when Republicans speak of ending chain migration, they are talking about ending the legal right of U.S. citizens to legally sponsor family members in our immigration system. It is not chain migration; it is family reunification. That is what America is all about. That is what immigration policy for the past century has been about--keeping families together, not tearing them apart. The reality is, most Americans are, in some ways, the beneficiary of family reunification. Without it, our country would be a very different place. End family reunification, and we would never have seen the leadership of individuals like Colin Powell, a general and Secretary of State. That is right. His parents wouldn't have been able to come here without the big bad chain migration that my colleagues in the majority decry today. End family reunification and suddenly billion-dollar American technology companies like Kingston Technology would have never existed. Before John Tu was a billion-dollar businessman, he was a self- described mediocre student from China. He would have never come to America if it were not for the sponsorship of his U.S. citizen sister. He wasn't skilled when he got here, and yet he built a groundbreaking company. So let's get real. When President Trump professes his support for merit-based immigration, he doesn't have a real plan for allowing a million engineers and inventors from around the world to come to the United States. He is talking about cutting legal immigration by nearly 50 percent. That is a policy with disastrous implications for the future of this country when you consider basic economic facts. Any credible economist will tell you that without steady immigration, America's global competitiveness will suffer, and we will fall far behind much larger countries like China, Pakistan, and India. According to a Forbes magazine article, even President Donald Trump is a product of chain migration. That is right. Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump's grandfather, was able to come to the United States from Germany, with no English-speaking ability and no merit-based skills. Why? Because his sister was already in the United States and claimed him as part of family reunification. You get to be President of the United States because of chain migration. If Republicans were being honest, they would call their term of ``chain migration'' what it really is. They would call it family reunification, but they don't want to call it family reunification because they don't want to own up to their intention, which is to strip U.S. citizens of the right to sponsor their brothers and sisters, mothers [[Page S936]] and fathers, and adult children as immigrants. I ask my colleagues to please give it a rest. If you want to have a debate about the merits of our immigration system, we can have that debate, but that debate over comprehensive immigration reform is not the debate we should have this week. This debate is about whether we will do right by American Dreamers, about whether we will listen to the voices of the American people who overwhelmingly want us to solve this crisis. According to the latest polls out this week from Quinnipiac University, 81 percent of Americans support giving Dreamers a path to citizenship. Yet, week after week, month after month, Dreamers have languished in uncertainty. Republicans didn't let us protect them in September or October or November or December or January. Yet, throughout all this time wasted, I hear my colleagues in the majority say such nice things about Dreamers--how talented they are, how hopeful they are, how important they are. I say to them today that it is getting harder and harder to take your commitment to Dreamers seriously when, at every opportunity you have to do something, you do nothing. Instead, it is beginning to look like President Trump--the person responsible for ending DACA--has enablers in Congress who have been intent on deporting Dreamers from day one. If that is not the case, now is the time to prove it because March 5 is just around the corner. Come March, America's Dreamers will see their dreams extinguished, replaced with deportation orders to nations they have never called home. So far, there are 19,000 already out of status, and after March 5, there will be 1,000 a day. If my colleagues want to have a debate about comprehensive immigration reform, we can have that debate some other time but not today, not this week, not until we protect Dreamers living in fear of deportation due to President Trump's reckless decisions--a President who once said about Dreamers that ``we're going to work something out that is going to make people happy and proud.'' Well, the polls show deporting Dreamers will not make Americans happy and proud. The time for talk is over. The time for kind words is over. The time for excuses is over. So, this week, Congress needs to take action. It is time we let America see who stands with Dreamers and who is complicit in their potential deportation. These young men and women have shown incredible courage and strength in the face of adversity and uncertainty. They were handed a crisis, and they created a movement. They shared their stories and their dreams, and, in doing so, they have captured the hearts of the American people. I urge my colleagues in the Senate not to break America's heart because our hearts are bigger as a country and our future is brighter when Dreamers in this country stay right where they belong. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The Senator from North Carolina. Valentine's Day Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, in a moment, I am going to talk about the immigration debate we are going to have here. Before I do that, though, I want to recognize that this is Valentine's Day. I happen to be several hundred miles away from my sweetheart, but I want to wish my wife a happy Valentine's Day. I made her a little card. I am sure I probably just violated a rule, but I don't think anybody can fire me. I want my wife to know I love her and wish I was with her. Now, Mr. President, I want to talk a little about immigration reform. We just heard a discussion. I tell you, sometimes I think I teleport from this Chamber to the Kennedy Center because there are more theatrics going on here than you can find down there on any given day. Let me give you one example of that. The whole indignant position that the Member from New Jersey just had on ``chain migration'' and somehow that mean Republicans came up with this term because we wanted to make a point. Demographers came up with this term decades ago. People on the other side of the aisle even have references to chain migration in bills they proposed. End the theatrics. Solve this problem. Let's talk about the President's framework. I was presiding just before I got up here. I heard the word ``hard-line'' used--the hard- line demand of President Trump. I don't agree with everything President Trump has done. In fact, I said a year and a half ago--and I got criticized for it--that when you sit down and talk border patrol and talk homeland security, you are going to find out you don't need a large, monolithic wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. After the President was elected and after he got into office, he listened to homeland security and border patrol, and he came up with a plan that isn't a long, monolithic wall across the southern border. It is a strategic plan that actually lets us improve the security of the homeland along the northern and southern borders. It is a plan that tries to confiscate tons of drugs that are poisoning Americans in the tens of thousands of every year. It is a plan that makes sure gang members are more likely to be incarcerated when they cross the border illegally and less likely to go into the very communities that many of the people who immigrate to this country go into. It is a plan to make those communities safer. It is a plan to make sure we know the thousands of people that cross the border illegally are not carrying illicit drugs in a truck or car or a wheel well, the way they do it today, because it is using technology to be able to search more vehicles to make sure our homeland is safe. It is also a plan that shows more compassion than President Obama's DACA plan. Right now, they are saying: Let's keep DACA going. Well, there are 690,000 people who are in DACA. Their future is uncertain because it is an Executive order. It doesn't have the force of law. It could possibly be challenged by the court. The President decided on September 15 of last year, Congress do your job. You have been talking about immigration reform for two decades. We have an arguably illegal Executive order by President Obama that President Trump kept in place for about a year, and then he said: I am going to give you all 6 months to do your job and come up with something that has enduring value. The DACA proposal only provided the illegally present persons who came to this country--through the decisions of an adult--some certainty that they wouldn't be deported. It doesn't give them any certainty in terms of a path to citizenship. People said the President has a hard- line plan. DACA allows 690,000 people who signed up for it to be here and, hopefully, not have that decision thrown out by the courts or have the President rescind it. What we just heard from three or four Members on the other side of the aisle is that the President's hard-line plan is to have nearly three times as many people with a path to citizenship, not a piece of paper that hopefully will be in place for the time you spend in the United States but citizenship. So the President's hard-line plan actually legalizes about two and a half times as many people, not to just let them be here present, to have legal status but have a path to citizenship. That is hard-line? I am not sure the President was there when he was running for office, but he listened. He recognizes he wants to be the President who gets something done, and he is willing to accept the criticism from people on my side of the aisle who may not support a path to citizenship. I do, and the President does. I find it remarkable that somebody would say a President, who has endorsed a bill to provide a path to citizenship to 1.8 million people--two and a half times more than President Obama provided a temporary and passing status to--is hard-line. Border security. Why is border security important? Is it just purely a hard-line deportation force sending people out? No. I already talked about, No. 1, hundreds of millions of doses of heroin, fentanyl, and other illicit drugs come across our border every year. We simply do not have the people, technology, and infrastructure to interdict them. Of the $25 billion, about $18 billion of it would be spent for border security. About 10 percent to 15 percent [[Page S937]] of that is on the northern border. The remainder is on the southern border. Some of that will be spent on wall structures. When all is said and done, less than half of the 2,300 miles will have a wall structure. The rest will be spent on training additional personnel. If you have ever gone to a border crossing, you know the long lines they have there. This is actually creating technology that has low-intensity x rays where you could drive a vehicle through. The Border Patrol folks can identify human smugglers, human traffickers, and drug smugglers without ever having the person get out of the car. That is what the border security plan is focused on as well. There are wall structures where they make sense. They don't make sense along about half of the border. Let me tell you about the humanitarian case for this, which I find remarkable no one on the other side of the aisle will bring up. I went to Texas last year. I went along the southern border. I was on the Rio Grande, on the Border Patrol boats, on horseback, and at night I took ATVs around. I heard a lot of stories by a lot of people, including property owners. Over the last 20 years, 10,000 people have died trying to cross our border on U.S. soil. We have no earthly idea how many tens of thousands of people die just trying to get there. So 10,000 people died over the last 20 years because we didn't know where they were. They were on American soil, but we didn't know where they were. About 1,000 of them were children. If that is not a case for needing to know who is crossing the border and where they are--even if they may get deported if they don't have a legitimate claim to asylum but have this threat to their safety--then I don't know what else is. I don't see how border security is hard-line when you look at the facts--not the theater but the facts. I think that second pillar of the President's proposal is balanced. It is less than what he originally wanted, but it makes sense, and it shows a lot of movement on his part. Again, two and a half times the number of people are actually getting a path to citizenship--more than the DACA Executive order proposed--and it has border security that makes sense and is no longer this idea of a monolithic wall. We heard somebody say there is a dramatic cut to legal immigration; that the promise we made to everybody who is in line because of a family relationship is going to be broken. That is utter nonsense. There is no proposal like that on the table. The fact is, there are about 3.9 million people in the backlog who, if the President's proposal is accepted, will get to this country in half the time it takes today. There are about 3.9 million people waiting to come to this country because of a family relationship who we have proposed--that the President has proposed--should be able to get here sooner. The diversity lottery is also something, I think, people have been misled or they are trying to mislead you. I will leave it to you to decide. The diversity lottery is not ending. This actually comes up with a reasonable way to use those 50,000 green cards in a way that lets us draw down the backlog sooner--instead of having somebody wait 17 years or 20 years to get into the country, maybe 8 or 9, but then it is also with a focus on the underrepresented countries. There are many countries in Africa--about 15,000--that we would like to make sure they have an opportunity every year to come to this country. They are from an underrepresented country. We have already made proposals that said we are open to other proposals to make that be a part of how the diversity lottery gets settled. So 50,000 will continue to come. When we say we are ending the diversity lottery, we are not saying we will end the entry of 50,000 people; we are talking about modernizing it. The last time we did any major immigration bill, I was 5 years old. I think it is about time to look at how the world has changed and maybe open your eyes and open your hearts to a better way to do it that benefits the person trying to come to this country and benefits our country as a result of their entry. I think it can be a win-win. The last thing on chain migration is, I want to go back and find everybody who voted for bills in the past, and they voted for a bill with legislative language in it that referred to chain migration. I am sick of that kind of garbage on the Senate floor. That is just misleading. Chain migration is just a process that has been used in the past--not only by our country but other countries--to kind of link people together. I am absolutely sympathetic with some of the things the gentleman from New Jersey said, but to say that this is some hateful, divisive term is not paying a whole lot of attention to your job. I have only been here 3 years. Many of these people who are here voted for language that had chain migration in it, and now they are saying it is something the hateful folks in our marketing departments created to be divisive. That is just untrue. Now the last thing. When we are talking about legal immigration in this country--we immigrate about 1 million to 1.1 million people a year to this country. I don't have a problem with that number. If I had Members on the other side of the aisle, some of my colleagues, say, ``Thom, we want to try to maintain that same amount of immigration over time,'' I would say that I am open to it. Some of my colleagues I have worked with on this bill may not be. But the way we go about doing it needs to be modernized. How many times have I heard that when we have a foreign national here who graduates with an engineering degree or some degree in STEM, that we should just staple a green card to the back of their diploma--how many times have we heard that?--because we need high-end workers. We need welders. We need carpenters. We need plumbers. We need people to come to this country to fill jobs, or at some point, our economic growth is going to be limited by the number of resources we have for those jobs. Our unemployment is going down. The demand for the workers is there. But we have an immigration system where about three-fourths of everybody who comes to this country comes purely because of a family relationship. I bet that if we dig into it, many of them actually could qualify on the basis of merit, but right now, it is just a random selection that doesn't really tie to our needs as a nation and for our economic growth or for our economic security. I believe that if we get the immigration policy right, over the next 10 years, we will be building a case to have more legal immigration here, more than the 1 million or 1.1 million, but if we don't fix this, we are not going to fix the underlying problem with our immigration system. I actually didn't plan on speaking. I just grabbed a couple of these slides so that I could talk about it. But it is very important to me for us to--I don't like being a part of an organization that talks a lot and doesn't get anything done, and over the last 17 years, that is all these folks have been doing. They say: Reelect me. I promise you that next year, I will get immigration reform done. Next year, I will file the Dream Act, and we will get it done. Well, guess what. It hasn't gotten done under a Republican administration. President Bush was sympathetic to this issue. He couldn't get it done. Congress couldn't get it done. President Obama comes in and says: I am going to fix immigration. President Obama had the votes to pass ObamaCare. There was a time in this Chamber when not a single Republican vote was necessary to pass a bill out of here, right? So if you don't need a single Republican vote in Congress, on the House or the Senate side, why didn't you get it done? Because I don't think you have taken the time to construct something that makes sense, that is compassionate, that is responsible, and that will have the enduring value of law. So now is the time to get it done, and the only way we are going to get it done is with bipartisan cooperation. If you don't like some of the elements of the President's framework and you set a hammer to it, fold your hands, and say: If you will not vote on mine, I will not vote on yours--look at this and tell us how we can improve it. Tell us what we need to do to get a vote. Tell us what we can do to moderate this. To call this a hardline bill is absurd. It is theatrics. It is the kind of stuff that has prevented us from getting things done for the last 17 years. I hope people will have an honest discussion and debate. I hope people will come down here, offer all the amendments they want to, and I hope they [[Page S938]] will be mature enough, if they fail, to move on to the next one because I, for one, want to provide certainty to the DACA population. I say to the Presiding Officer, you know better than I because you are in the Marine Reserves. There are 900 people serving in the military today--that is more than a battalion, right? We have more than 900 DACA recipients serving in the military. I want to file this bill. I want to get this bill to the President's desk and say to them: Welcome to this country. Thank you for your service. I can't wait to go to your ceremony where you swear the oath as an American citizen. That is what we can do this week. But I guarantee you, anybody who sits here and says that the President's proposal is unfair and insincere and hardline is playing politics. It makes me wonder if some of them would just as soon have this be the ``if you elect me next year, I promise I will fix this problem'' campaign speech versus take this off the table, provide them certainty, and do something different for a change. Finally, I started by wishing my wife a happy Valentine's Day. When I get into these speeches--I worked in business most of my career. I haven't been in politics very long. I get very frustrated with the lack of production and with the lack of results. But, Sweetie, I am not mad. I just get a little bit intense when I talk about an issue where the solution is within reach. I am not mad. I am frustrated with the Members of the U.S. Senate who don't see the opportunity to seize this moment and get it done. Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity. I probably went long, and I apologize to anybody else who may be waiting to speak. But this is the week to get it done. This is the Congress to get it done. This is the President who has given us a historic opportunity. I hope we seize the day. Thank you, 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. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Senate is debating the fate of our Nation's Dreamers this week. Everywhere I go, people recognize the uncontestable truth that underpins our discussion: We are all a nation of immigrants. Unless you are Native American, you come from a line of people who come from somewhere else. More than in any other country on Earth, this simple fact is a defining characteristic of our national identity. Throughout our history, immigrant communities have greatly enriched our Nation; their individual stories have become the American story. Out of many, we have become one. My maternal grandparents emigrated from Italy, began a business, hired a lot of people, and were pillars of the community. My wife's parents emigrated from French-speaking Canada and also owned a business. She was born in Vermont. Yesterday, we buried my wife's uncle, an immigrant from Canada who started off as an $8-a-week clerk at a shoe store. He was buried with honors at the age of 100 yesterday, and people talked about the $20 million or $30 million he has given to philanthropic causes in Vermont--this $8-a-week immigrant clerk at a shoe store. I think sometimes we forget who we are. In the late 1800s we passed laws excluding Chinese immigrants. During World War II, we turned away Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust--turned them away at the shores of our country--and many went back to die in the gas chambers. We know today that these were tragic mistakes, fueled by our own ill-informed, xenophobic rhetoric. Mistakes were made, but they must never be repeated. Yet now, in 2018, I am concerned that we are hearing echoes of past mistakes. Anti-immigrant voices, armed with the same shameful fearmongering, are attempting a comeback in our country. In recent months, Dreamers have been regularly disparaged. Some have even suggested that Dreamers pose a risk of terrorism or have links to international drug trafficking. These absurd depictions would be laughable if they weren't so damaging, especially to those of us who remember one of the biggest terrorist attacks on our country, in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh, who was not an immigrant; he grew up there and was born there. Thankfully, most Americans know better. Dreamers are not threats to our national security; not a single one--not a single one--has been suspected of terrorist activities. Nor do Dreamers present a threat to public safety. Far from it. By definition, Dreamers are law-abiding strivers who seek only to contribute to our country. Brought here as children, Dreamers are now our neighbors, our first responders, our teachers, our medical personnel. Nearly 1,000 have served in our Armed Forces, risking their lives to defend the only country they have ever known as home. I will never forget one Dreamer who wrote to me last year. Dr. Juan Conde is a DACA recipient. He is a resident of Vermont. He was born in Mexico and brought to the United States as a young child by his mother. In 2007, tragically, his mother died of cancer. Showing remarkable courage and determination for a young man, Dr. Conde was motivated by this personal tragedy to help cancer patients like his mother. He ultimately obtained a Ph.D. in cancer research from the University of Texas. But as accomplished as he already was, Dr. Conde was not satisfied with just studying cancer. He wanted to treat the people suffering with and battling the disease. Every one of us in this Chamber knows somebody who has suffered from and battled cancer, and many have died. But only after he enrolled in DACA was Dr. Conde able to attend medical school, and he is currently doing that. He is studying oncology at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine. Dr. Conde hopes to spend his life in the United States treating cancer patients and researching to find a cure for the disease. This Vermonter--and I think all Americans would agree--believes that America is a better place with Dr. Conde in it. There are hundreds of thousands of Dreamers just like Dr. Conde, all with the potential to contribute to our communities and to our country. To deny them these opportunities because they were brought here as children would be as senseless as it is cruel. We are better than that. And this week, we have an opportunity to prove it. I am proud of those in the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, who are engaged in good-faith negotiations over proposals to protect our Dreamers and improve our border security. I sincerely believe that we can find a path to 60 votes, and I hope the Republican leadership will let us. The Majority Leader's decision yesterday to seek to open up the debate with a vote on a poison pill amendment about so-called sanctuary cities--which has nothing to do with either Dreamers or border security--was less than a helpful start. These kinds of attempts to score political points stand in stark contrast to the bipartisan search done by leading Republicans and Democrats behind the scenes for a solution. As the most senior Member of this body, it is my hope that all Senators will focus on a bipartisan solution, not on just divisive distractions. I respect this institution as much as anybody. For 43 years, I have been here and I have seen--and I hope contributed to--the good that can be accomplished. I have often said that at its best the Senate can and should serve as the conscience of the Nation. But it can only do so when we put aside our own self-interest, and we work across the aisle in the spirit of compromise. I know we are capable of meeting this challenge today. We have done it before. Five years ago, when I was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we brought together 68 Senators, Democrats and Republicans, and we voted for an immigration bill that provided protection for Dreamers, including an expedited pathway to citizenship. Unfortunately, the House, even though they had the votes to pass it, would not bring it up. Well, it is time now for the Senate to do so again and, this time, for the House to follow suit. President Trump claims he will treat Dreamers with great ``heart.'' If he meant what he said, he will certainly sign our bipartisan compromise that emerges. So let's get to work. The future of Dreamers-- and the fate of the [[Page S939]] American dream itself--lies in our hands. As I left that funeral yesterday in Vermont, I thought of my wife's uncle and her parents coming from Canada to make a better life, my grandparents coming from Italy, and my great grandparents coming from Ireland, all to make such a mark on our little State of Vermont, all for the better. As a member of that family, how proud I am to stand here on the floor of the U.S. Senate, but I want to do more than just stand here. I want to vote for a bill to help more people like those who come to our country and to make our country better. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. CORNYN. 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. CORNYN. Mr. President, today a group led by Chairman Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee formally introduced a bill to address the DACA issue--the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals issue--that we have heard so much about, as well as border security. I think it is a good starting point, and I am proud to be a cosponsor of the legislation, which is called the Secure and Succeed Act. Perhaps the most important thing about this bill is that it actually has a good chance of becoming law. That is because the President supports it. It encompasses the four pillars the President has laid out for us in any solution to the DACA challenge. The Secure and Succeed Act provides legal status and a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 1.8 million people who meet the specific criteria of DACA. This is a far larger number than the number of individuals covered by President Obama's Executive order. The fact is, this President has not only said to the 690,000 DACA recipients ``You are going to have a better, brighter future and a pathway to American citizenship''; this President has also offered all of the young people eligible but who might not have previously signed up that same opportunity. What an extraordinarily generous offer. This bill also provides for a real plan to strengthen border security, utilizing the three things that Border Patrol has always told me are essential: more boots on the ground, better technology, and, yes, some infrastructure in hard-to-control locations, along with enhanced ports of entry. I know there has been some confusion about that. The President likes to talk about the wall. It is true that back in roughly 2006 or 2007, Congress called for something called the Secure Fence Act, which got the support of then-Senator Obama, then-Senator Hillary Clinton, and, of course, current Senator Chuck Schumer. They supported the Secure Fence Act, as did an overwhelming majority of Senators from both parties. When the President has talked about the wall, he has made pretty clear what he is really talking about is a barrier similar to what was supported on a bipartisan basis. He said that the Border Patrol is going to have to be able to see through it. Indeed, as he has conceded, in many places it doesn't make any sense at all to have a physical barrier. That is why technology and boots on the ground are so important. This legislation also reallocates visas from the diversity lottery system in a way that is fair and continues the existing, family-based categories until the current backlog is cleared, which would take, probably, about 10 years. I am proud to cosponsor this commonsense solution. But I know other colleagues have been working hard on their ideas, which I look forward to reviewing as the debate continues. One group I haven't heard from much, though, is our Democratic colleagues, who literally shut down the government to force this debate to occur on their terms and at a time they chose. We are still trying to figure out--OK, you won, in a sense. I think the American people lost when you shut down the government, but you made your point. You wanted a time certain and you wanted a fair process by which to present your ideas, and we have been waiting--here it is Wednesday, with the clock ticking, still waiting--for that Democratic proposal. What is their plan? What is their proposal? Do they even have one? And if they do, why are they leaving the rest of us, as well as the Nation, in the dark? As the majority leader said yesterday, we need to stop trying to score political points and start making law. The way to get this done is to take a proposal like the President's and get started; people can offer amendments to that. Whatever gets 60 votes in the Senate passes the Senate, and then it is up to the House to pass it, and then it is up to the President to decide whether to sign it. He has pretty much given us the outline of what he would find acceptable. Again, insofar as it grants a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people, that is extraordinary in and of itself. The majority leader made a commitment to hold this debate and to hold it this week. He has lived up to his promise, and now we can't let it all go to waste. As each minute and each hour clicks off the clock, it looks as if it is more and more likely to happen--that all of this will go to waste. The country is watching. The DACA recipients in my home State--all 124,000 of them--are watching and worrying, understandably anxious about what their status is going to be when this program ends on March 5. One of those DACA recipients is Julio Ramos, a biology teacher who is getting his master's degree in biomedical informatics. He is from Brownsville, TX, right along the U.S.-Mexico border, and he is a DACA recipient. After his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided he wanted to be a doctor. He has even been accepted to Texas medical schools, but he wasn't sure whether he would be allowed to attend. He is waiting and watching, worried about his future. Then there is Miriam Santamaria from Houston, TX. She graduated from high school in Houston with honors. She paid her way through community college, and she works as a manager at a construction company and owns her own photography business. She sounds like quite an entrepreneur to me. Miriam said: ``I am not looking for any kind of recognition or sympathy, [I'm just] looking to make a difference and inspire others.'' She is also looking to live in peace in the only country that she has ever known and calls home. She came to the United States when she was 4 years old. Finally, there is a man whom I will just call by the first name of Daniel. He, too, lives in Texas. He graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in advertising and contributes productively to society. Daniel came from Mexico at the age of 2, and he said: ``All the choices I make, I made as an American, because that's what I am.'' We need to listen to these stories as we consider this legislation and as people are perhaps tempted into the political grandstanding and gamesmanship that, unfortunately, sometimes overwhelms our best intentions. These are real human lives hanging in the balance. They are important, and they teach us about the real people behind the policy. But their stories are not the only ones we need to listen to. We need to listen to the stories of the men and women who have been waiting patiently for years to come here in a legal way through visas and green cards, waiting patiently to join their families here in the United States, doing it the old-fashioned, legal way. They have had to wait, some for years, some for decades. We should listen to the stories of the border communities, which I am proud to represent in Texas, from men and women, many of whom are of Hispanic origin, who have suffered property damage from illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is a pretty ugly business when you consider that it is in the hands of drug cartels and transnational criminal organizations. Recently, one of the military leaders who is responsible for Southern Command, which is Central America south, said that these transnational criminal organizations or cartels are ``commodity agnostic.'' That is the phrase he used. He said that they don't care whether it is people, drugs, or other contraband. What they are in it for is the money, and they are willing to do [[Page S940]] anything for the money. Unfortunately, victims of human trafficking know exactly what I am talking about. Despite these hardships, businesses in many of the communities, like those along the border, are thriving. But we need to do everything we can to make sure that continues to be the case. Sympathy for DACA recipients is right and good because, in America, we do not punish children for the mistakes of their parents, and we are not going to punish these young people who are now adults and have become part of our communities. But Americans who live along the border in my State realize that illegal immigration has caused real, tangible harm in terms of public safety, property damage, and their way of life. When I talk to people like Manny Padilla, the Border Patrol's sector chief for the Rio Grande Valley, it is hard not to realize just how much is required and how many more resources we need to maintain situational awareness and operational control along the border. I will say this: The Federal Government has failed over the years to live up to its responsibility to maintain the security of our border, so taxpayers in my State have to step up and fill the gap left by the failure of leadership of the Federal Government. But we have an opportunity to fix that in this legislation, following the parameters the President has laid out for us. That is why, during this week's debate, ensuring additional resources for border security is an essential piece of the puzzle. That includes areas other than between our ports of entry. Mexico is one of our largest trading partners. We have legitimate trade and commerce that flows back and forth across the border with Mexico and supports 5 million American jobs. Unfortunately, the cartels have figured out how to exploit that as well. So, because of antiquated infrastructure and technology at our ports of entry, many of them are vulnerable through the importation of poison--literally, drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and the like--that has taken the lives of so many Americans. We need to do more and better when it comes to maintaining those ports of entry--upgrading the infrastructure, improving the technology--so we can interdict more of that. Again, the border is as varied as anyplace in the world, with areas that are flat and open, areas that have mountains and rolling hills, rivers, obviously. Technology, as we have come to see, has transformed our way of life, and technology can increasingly be the answer to supplement the boots on the ground and the infrastructure that the Border Patrol thinks are necessary. There is a big difference between detecting illegal immigration in rural areas and urban ones. In urban areas, the Border Patrol tells us that you might have just a few seconds before someone can cross the border and enter into the United States. In large, open areas, there is more of a lag time, so perhaps a fence or some infrastructure is not as important; technology might be more important, along with the Border Patrol agents themselves. My basic point is that border security is complex. For those who think it is as easy as one, two, three, I encourage you to do as some of my colleagues have done; that is, travel to the border--we will host you--to see firsthand why it is crucial that we strengthen our personnel, technology, and infrastructure. That has to be one of our priorities, and I am grateful to the President for making this one of his requirements as well. We have an opportunity to address not only the anxiety and plight of DACA recipients but also to make our country safer and more secure; to reform our legal immigration system in a way that will help us accelerate the reunification of families out of the backlog of people waiting patiently and legally outside of the country to come into the country through legal immigration; and to address the President's concern about the roll of the dice in the diversity lottery that makes little sense, given our need for people with job-based skills, graduate degrees, and other merit-based criteria that would make them valuable to the United States, in addition to winning the lottery. I hope we will take advantage of this opportunity this week. Time is wasting. It is Wednesday, and we don't have any time to waste at all. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. PERDUE. 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. PERDUE. Madam President, I rise to talk about the topic of the week. Although some of us have been working on this for some time, many of us in this body have actually been addressing this for over the last 20 years or so. I am new to this body, as I have only been here a few years, but, last year I got involved in this. We are dealing with the immigration issue today, not just the DACA issue. Our current immigration system is outdated, threatens our national security, and does not meet the needs of our economy. The issue before the Senate this week is not just about DACA, which is but one manifestation of our broken immigration policies. Rather, President Trump, while offering a generous solution for DACA recipients, has proposed a broader solution to our legal immigration system that will ensure that we are not back here in just a few short years to deal with this same problem again. Over the past 11 years, Congress has failed to fix our broken immigration system three times, primarily because it has attempted to solve the entire situation, the comprehensive problem, which would be the legal situation, the temporary work visa problems, and then the illegal situation. The Secure and Succeed Act only deals with our legal immigration policy. From the onset of these negotiations, President Trump has been consistent with what he has wanted as part of any immigration deal that deals with the legal immigration system. Months ago, he gave us a clean framework. He said that any plan that didn't fit that framework would never become law. The Secure and Succeed Act, which we are dealing with this week, is the only plan that actually fits that framework. It is the only plan the President has said he will sign into law. The framework that has been laid out by President Trump has four parts. First, it provides a solution for the DACA situation and ends the program. It does so in a compassionate, responsible way that every Senator on the other side of the aisle should support and has supported at various times. President Trump went out of his way to reach across the aisle to the Democrats when he expanded the population that was being discussed in the DACA situation, and he actually talked about providing long-term certainty for this population group. Second, this bill secures our borders with additional border security and a wall where required. It puts $25 billion in a trust fund toward border security and a wall system. This money would be spent over the next few years to provide better national security for our country's borders. It ends policies like catch and release, which encourage more illegal immigration. It makes critical changes to the immigration court system to clear out backlogs, expedite court hearings, and give law enforcement the resources it needs to do its job properly. Third, this bill fixes the flaws in the current immigration system that spurred this DACA problem in the first place and incentivized illegal immigration. It protects the immediate family of the primary worker. Seventy-two percent of Americans believe immigration should include the primary workers, their spouses, and their immediate children, which is exactly what this bill does. In addition, two-thirds of Americans actually believe that the solution here for illegal immigration includes the DACA fix, an end to chain migration, border security, and an end to the diversity lottery--two-thirds. That is from a Harvard poll that was put out several weeks ago, and there are others that actually corroborate that. This bill also expedites the backlog, which is something that was not even discussed before we brought this bill forward. This bill ensures that the primary family of immediate citizens-- [[Page S941]] some of them are recent green card recipients and new citizens who are trying to get their families in--will be reunited. But there is a backlog. We have that in this bill and have ensured that the backlog will be taken care of and that these families will be reunited, which is what most Americans want. Fourth, the Secure and Succeed Act ends the archaic visa lottery program. This failed program is dangerous, filled with fraud, and has proven to be an avenue for terrorists to enter our country. We simply must fix these national security flaws and close the loopholes in our current immigration system that incentivize illegal immigration. If we don't deal with these problems that got us here in the first place, we will be right back here in just a few short years. This is the President's objective. If we are going to deal with it, let's deal with it once and for all on the immigration side and then move on to the temporary work visas and solve that as well. I don't think anybody in this body wants to be back here in a few short years. Many on the other side and on our side have been trying to find a common solution to this for decades. I believe we have an historic opportunity right now to do something that people in this body have wanted to do for a long time, and that is to solve our legal immigration system in a very compassionate, fair way that will benefit every American. That is why we have to deal with these issues in a responsible and fair way. Politicians have talked about this for far too long. I have discovered, now having been in this body, that it is easy for some to just kick this down the road. It is a great pandering opportunity for one side or the other to blame this on them. Unfortunately, the American people deserve better than that. We have a clean opportunity here to do what most people in America want us to do. Other than politics, there is no reason for the Secure and Succeed Act not to have widespread, bipartisan support this week in this body. Each part of the Secure and Succeed Act has been supported by many Democrats at various times over the last 30 years. As a matter of fact, in 1994, Barbara Jordan presented the result of her bipartisan immigration commission report to then-President Bill Clinton. The recommendations at that time were to change our immigration system from our current country caps and chain migration system to more of a skills-based system like those seen in Canada and Australia. They knew then the flaws that were included in our immigration law that was written in 1965 that actually incentivized illegal immigration. Unfortunately, it seems that because these ideas are now being put forward by President Donald Trump, the Democrats, all of a sudden, disagree with these principles. President Trump has crafted a deal that is tough but more than generous. Nobody asked him to expand the number or to even talk about certainty in the long term. He has brought that forward because he wants this done. He wants this solved. He wants this ended right now. The Secure and Succeed Act follows the framework that President Trump has crafted. Compromises have been made on both sides of this issue. It deals with the DACA issue, secures the border, and fixes critical flaws in our immigration system that incentivize illegal immigration today. This is to ensure that we are not back here in a few short years to deal with the problem again of a new wave of young people who may be brought here illegally. Again, the President has said repeatedly that the Secure and Succeed Act is the only bill that he will sign into law. Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has also been clear that the only plan it will bring up for a vote in its body is one that will be signed into law. The Secure and Succeed Act is that plan. We don't have many opportunities in this body for common thought and common positions, but we have one here. I have seen what most people in this body have said about these issues, and it impresses me that there is commonality of thought. At the root, this body wants to solve the DACA issue, but it also wants to solve the problems that caused this issue in the first place. This President called for a compassionate compromise when he met with Democrats and Republicans several weeks ago at the White House, and we all agreed it was time to do that for the American people. Yet the American people want to be assured that the borders will be secure. They want to be assured that the policies that are embedded in our immigration system will not create another wave of illegal immigrants. They also want this archaic diversity lottery to end, which has never worked as was originally intended and is nothing but a loophole for terrorists today. I think there is too much talk about this bill cutting immigration. That is not the intent here. The intent is long term. We have a bill in here called the RAISE Act that would actually move us to a merit-based system like those in Canada and Australia. That is not included in the Secure and Succeed Act. What is included here is a first step toward a long-term solution not only on our legal immigration side, but it sets us up to then deal with the temporary work visas and, ultimately, with the illegal population. I believe, as I know the Presiding Officer does, that it is time for those in this body to put our self-interests and our partisan interests aside, as we say so many times, and to do what the American people want us to do, for which we now have hard evidence. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Congratulating Chloe Kim on Winning a Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, let me begin by congratulating Chloe Kim, a first-generation American who won an Olympic Gold Medal for the United States in the women's halfpipe snowboarding event this week. Her father, Jong Jin Kim emigrated from South Korea to the United States in 1982, became a dishwasher at a fast-food restaurant, studied engineering at El Camino College after working those low-skilled jobs, and then became an engineer. He left his engineering job to support his daughter's snowboarding ambitions so he could drive her 5\1/2\ hours to the mountain for training. Congratulations to Chloe and to her entire family. You make the United States proud. Madam President, the whole debate we are now undertaking over immigration and the Dreamers has become somewhat personal for me because it has reminded me, in a very strong way, that I and my brother are first-generation Americans. We are the sons of an immigrant who came to this country at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket, a young man who was a high school dropout, who did not know one word of English, and who had no particular trade. A few years ago, my brother and I and our families went to the small town where he came from, and it just stunned me, the kind of courage he showed and millions of other people show leaving their homeland to come to a very different world, in many cases, without money, without knowledge of the language. My father immigrated to this country because the town where he lived in Poland was incredibly poor. There was no economic opportunity for him. People there struggled to put food on the table for their families. Hunger was a real issue in that area. My father came to this country to avoid the violence and bloodshed of World War I, which came to his part of the world in a ferocious manner, and he came to this country to escape the religious bigotry that existed then because he was Jewish. My father lived in this country until his death in 1962. He never made a lot of money. He was a paint salesman. My father was not a political person, but it turned out that without talking much about it, he was the proudest American you ever saw, and he was so proud of this country because he was deeply grateful that the United States had welcomed him in and allowed him opportunities that would have been absolutely unthinkable from where he came. The truth is, immigration is not just my story. It is not just the story of one [[Page S942]] young man coming from Poland who managed to see two of his kids go to college and one of his sons become a U.S. Senator. It is not just my family's story. It is the story of my wife's family who came from Ireland, and it is the story of tens of millions of American families who came from every single part of this world. In September of 2017, President Trump precipitated the current crisis we are dealing with by revoking President Obama's DACA Executive order. If President Trump believed that Executive order was unconstitutional and it needed legislation, he could have come to Congress for a legislative solution without holding 800,000 young people hostage by revoking their DACA status. President Trump chose not to do that. He chose to provoke the crisis we are experiencing today. That is a crisis we have to deal with in the Senate, and we have to deal with it now. Let us be very clear about the nature of this crisis because some people say: Well, it is really not imminent. It is not something we have to worry about now. Those people are wrong. As a result of Trump's decision, 122 people every day are now losing their legal status, and within a couple of years, hundreds of thousands of these young people will have lost their legal protection and be subject to deportation. The situation we are in right now, as a result of Trump's action, means, if we do not immediately protect the legal status of some 800,000 Dreamers--young people who were brought to this country at the age of 1 or 3 or 6--young people who have known no other home but the United States of America--let us be clear that if we do not act and act soon, these hundreds of thousands of young people could be subject to deportation. That means they could be arrested outside their home, where they have lived for virtually their entire life, and suddenly be placed in a jail. They could be pulled out of a classroom where they are teaching, and there are some 20,000 DACA recipients who are now teaching in schools all over this country. If we do not act and act now, there could be agents going into those schools, pulling those teachers right out and arresting them and subjecting them to deportation. Insane as it may sound, I suppose the 900 DACA recipients who now serve in the U.S. military today could find themselves in the position of being arrested and deported from the country they are putting their lives on the line to defend. Some people say: Well, that is far-fetched. Well, I am not so sure. It could happen. How insane is that? That is where we are today, and that is what could happen if we do not do the right thing and this week pass legislation in the Senate to protect the Dreamers. We have a moral responsibility to stand up for the Dreamers and their families and to prevent what will be an indelible moral stain on our country if we fail to act. I do not want to see what the history books will be saying about this Congress if we allow 800,000 young people to be subjected to deportation, to live in incredible fear and anxiety. Here is the very good news for the Dreamers. It is actually news that a couple of years ago, I would not have believed to be possible. The overwhelming majority of American people--Democrats, Republicans, Independents--absolutely agree we must provide legal protection for the Dreamers and that we should provide them with a path toward citizenship. That is not Bernie Sanders talking, that is what the American people are saying in poll after poll. Just recently, a January 20 CBS News poll found that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans, 87 percent, favor allowing young immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children to remain in the United States--87 percent in Iowa, in Vermont, and in every State in this country. There is strong support for legal status for the Dreamers and a path toward citizenship. On January 11, a Quinnipiac poll found that 86 percent of American voters, including 76 percent of Republicans, say they want the Dreamers to remain in this country. On February 5, in a Monmouth poll, when asked about Dreamers' status, nearly three out of four Americans support allowing these young people to automatically become U.S. citizens as long as they don't have a criminal record. In other words, the votes that are going to be cast hopefully today, maybe tomorrow, are not profiles in courage. They are not Members of the Senate coming up and saying: Against all the odds, I believe I am going to vote for what is right. This is what the overwhelming majority of the American people want. Maybe, just maybe, it might be appropriate to do what the American people want rather than what a handful of xenophobic extremists want. Maybe we should listen to the American people--Democrats, Republicans, and Independents--who understand it would be a morally atrocious thing to allow these young people to be deported. When I think, from a political perspective, about 80, 85, 90 percent of the American people supporting anything in a nation which is as divided as we are today, this is really extraordinary. You can't get 80 percent of the American people to agree on what their favorite ice cream is, but we have 80 percent of the American people who are saying, do not turn your back on these young people who have lived in this country for virtually their entire lives. We have to act and act soon in the Senate, and there is good legislation that would allow us to do that. In the House, the good news is, there is now bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Congressman Hurd and Congressman Aguilar, which will provide protection for Dreamers and a path toward citizenship. My understanding is, bipartisan legislation now has majority support. I urge, in the strongest terms possible, that Speaker Ryan allow democracy to prevail in the House, allow the vote to take place. If you have a majority of Members of the House, in a bipartisan way, who support legislation, allow that legislation to come to the floor. Let the Members vote their will, and if that occurs, I think the Dreamers legislation will prevail. Madam President, we all understand that there is a need for serious debate and legislation regarding comprehensive immigration reform. This is a difficult issue, an issue where there are differences of opinion. There are a whole lot of aspects to it. How do we provide a path toward citizenship for the 11 million people in this country who are currently undocumented but who are working hard, who are raising their kids, who are obeying the law? What should the overall immigration policy of our country be? How many people should be allowed to enter this country every year? Where should they come from? All of this is very, very important and needs to be seriously debated, but that debate and that legislation is not going to be taking place in a 2-day period. It is going to need some serious time, some hearings, some committee work before the Congress is prepared to vote on comprehensive immigration reform, and it will not and cannot happen today, tomorrow, or this week. Our focus now, as a result of Trump's decision in September, must be on protecting the Dreamers and their families and on the issue of border security. There will be important legislation coming to the floor of the Senate today or maybe tomorrow, and I would hope that we could do the right thing, do the moral thing, and do something that history will look back on as very positive legislation. Let's go forward. Let's pass the Dreamers bill. Let's deal with border security, and then, in the near future, let us deal with comprehensive immigration reform. I yield the floor. (The Acting President pro tempore assumed the Chair.) The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). The Senator from Oregon. Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, our Constitution begins with three very simple and very powerful words: ``We the People.'' It is the mission statement for our Nation, for our Constitution. It is a vision in which decisions are made of, by, and for the people, not for the privileged and not for the powerful. Who wrote those words? Well, it happened to be a group of White, wealthy landowners--the powerful and the privileged. They didn't choose to build a nation that would make laws for their benefit but laws that would be designed for the entire populous to thrive. They were descended from immigrants. In our country, unless you are 100 percent Native American, unless you have just arrived as a new immigrant, you are descended from immigrants yourself. It is part of the fabric [[Page S943]] of our Nation. It is what makes us a combination of powerful talents and abilities from around the world. George Washington himself once said: ``America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respected Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions.'' On another occasion, he wrote to a friend: ``I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.'' True to Washington's wishes and to his vision, that is the land we have been. It has been that land of opportunity, that land that welcomes others to our shores and gives them the chance to pursue the vision of opportunity, to help participate in the making of our great Nation, and to do so, each generation brings together a variety of languages and cultures and backgrounds. That is America. That is why, a century after our Nation's founding, the French gave to the United States the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty has stood as a beacon of hope, welcoming those from other lands. Inscribed in the pedestal of that statue are these words: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! Those are the welcoming words for hundreds of thousands arriving here in the United States. As I speak at this moment, 800,000 young men and women right here in America are yearning to breathe free as full participants in the Nation that they have grown up in. These are our Dreamers--Dreamers like this group of Oregonians who visited my office in December, who came to this country as very young children, who went to elementary school here, who went to high school here, who are our neighbors, our community members, who have gone on to college, who have taken jobs, and who are contributing in every possible way to our community, studying in their schools, practicing and working in our industry. They are now young adults who are striving to support their families, building to strengthen this economy, and building a future for themselves. They are paramedics saving lives. If you stand on a street corner in Oregon and look around, there is a pretty good chance you will see a Dreamer. You may not know it because they are full members of our community, and you will see them contributing. But they have overcome a lot of obstacles, which creates a grit of character. It also helps to build the future of our Nation, just as it did for those of our forefathers and foremothers who arrived 1 or 2 or 3 or 10 generations ago. We provided a program, the DACA Program, which struck a deal that said: If you give us all of your information, we will make sure that you are legally protected. President Trump has broken that promise. He has broken that deal, that commitment made by our executive branch to these Dreamers. So it puts them in a terrible spot of uncertainty and stress and limbo. Now it is time to set that right. It could be set right by the President in a moment. Several of the courts have weighed in and said that the President has acted unconstitutionally in attacking our young immigrants, our Dreamers. But let's not wait for the courts to remedy this. Let's take care of it ourselves in this Chamber, the Senate Chamber. After months and months of inaction, after broken promises by President Trump, let's finally protect these men and women who do so much to embody the American spirit. As we move forward in this debate, we must look again to what our Founding Fathers intended for the Nation they created and ensure that the ``golden door'' that the poet Emma Lazarus wrote about in her poem remains an open door, open to all those who dream to become an American and to contribute to this Nation. We must remain, in President Washington's words, ``open to receive not only the Opulent and Respected, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations.'' Yet, looking at the plan that President Trump has put forward and similar plans offered in this Chamber, there is a real interest in slamming the door shut by those who have already arrived as immigrants, who have fled persecution, who have pursued freedom, who have pursued opportunity, and who have escaped from famine to come in and slam the door on everyone else. It is not very American to do that, and it is not a strength to undermine the future success of our economy by draining away the extraordinary talents of our Dreamer community. President Johnson made the point. He said: ``The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples.'' President Ronald Reagan made the point. He said: ``More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands.'' The founding President of our country, a respected Democratic President of our country, and a respected Republican President of our country have said the same thing: The strength of our country is in the contributions that have been made by our immigrants. The Founding Fathers wrote those words, that mission statement, that this would be a nation of, by, and for the people, not one to make laws by and for the powerful and the privileged. That is the vision we need to continue to hold on to--to understand that the strength of this Nation comes from weaving together the many cultural threads of the people of the United States of America. Let's get this Dream Act to this floor. There is a bipartisan understanding around restoring legal status. There is a bipartisan foundation for border security. Let's not give in to those far-right Breitbart voices that are so out of sync with the traditions, the strength, the culture, and the vision of our Nation. Let's restore the legal status for our Dreamers, enhance our border security, and do the work that this Chamber should have done long ago. Thank you. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri. Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I am pleased to come and talk today. This is a week where we had all anticipated a return to the Senate, where ideas are widely debated. I was standing by the majority leader last week when he was talking about this, and he said that we will let a thousand flowers bloom. It didn't sound like something Senator McConnell would normally use as a reference, but he did, and I am thinking, well, that would be a good thing, to see a thousand different ideas widely debated on the Senate floor. So far this week, there has not been any debate because we can't seem to agree on who votes on what first. I think that is a particular level of dysfunction that we should all be concerned about. For the Senate to do its work, we have to be willing to vote and we have to be willing to take some hard votes. My sense of politics today is, whether you have taken the vote or not, someone is going to accuse you of taking that vote. So you might as well not worry about the vote you take; just worry about the work we get done and whatever votes are necessary to be taken to get that done. On this topic, it does seem to me that we have two issues here that should be solved, two issues on which there is broad agreement. I have said for a long time that there are really three questions in the immigration debate that need to be answered: No. 1, how do we secure the border; No. 2, what are the legitimate workforce needs of the country; and No. 3, what do we do with people who came and stayed illegally? As we think about securing the border, by the way, half the people who are in the country illegally came legally and just stayed. So it is not all a border issue, but it clearly is partly and significantly a border issue. One of the things that people expect a government to be able to do is to secure its own borders. Often, when we hear a story of a country somewhere in the world in which the government has disintegrated and is no longer in control of the country, one of the first things that are mentioned by people talking about that dysfunctional government is that they don't control their own borders. It truly is a legitimate expectation of a functioning government that you control your own borders. It is also a legitimate expectation of government that you look at [[Page S944]] your economy and you look at what workforce needs you have that aren't being met and figure out the best way to meet those workforce needs. In this debate, because we haven't controlled our borders and because we haven't kept track of people who legally crossed our borders and as a result, we have some number of people--usually the estimate is about 11 million people in the country--who are not here legally, what do we do with those people? My view has always been that if the government met its primary responsibility, which is an immigration system that works, the American people would be very forward-leaning about those other two issues, because nobody really argues that if we don't have people here to do the work that needs to be done, whether it is highly skilled or not highly skilled, we ought to be thinking about what we need to do to get people here who can do that work. Also, what do we need to do to keep people here who came here to get training to do highly skilled jobs and graduated from colleges and universities or other skill-enhancing things that happened while they were here. If they want to stay, my view is that if they didn't do anything that got them in trouble while they were here, we should almost always want them to stay. If we don't have that skill set in our economy, why wouldn't we come up with ways to reach out and get it? Those who are not here legally, generally, I think if people thought the problem was solved, if they thought that the government had truly met its responsibility to operationally control the borders and that the government had met its responsibility to keep track of who comes in legally and know if they have left or not--I mean, there is no retail store in America that doesn't have a better sense of its inventory than we do of whether people who have legally come into the country and checked in with a Customs officer--we don't know if they have left. We couldn't tell you in weeks, perhaps, whether somebody is still here, even if they did everything exactly the way they were supposed to do it. This debate is largely driven by the most sympathetic of all of those groups: that group of people who came here and were brought here by someone else who entered the country illegally--often by their own parents--but have grown up in America. My first response, and I think the response of most Americans when they think about that, is that kids who grew up here, kids who went to school here, kids who haven't gotten in bad trouble while they were here, kids who have no real memory or connection with the country they were brought from--of course we want them to stay; of course we want them to be part of our economy. Because they are an even younger society than we would be without them, why wouldn't we want that to happen? In some respects, we have two separate issues here. People who were raised here, who have done everything that anybody else would do to acclimate as an American in all ways, who went to school here, who did everything else here--70 or 80 percent of the American people, and I occasionally see a number even higher than that, believe they should be allowed to stay. More and more, as people think about that, they also believe that after they have been here, like any other immigrant who came to the country legally, they would eventually be able to take the test and go through the process to become a citizen. That is a widely accepted premise that this debate should be built on. Another widely accepted premise that this debate should be built on is that 70 percent or so of the American people--and it would be a higher percentage if people really knew the facts--believe the government has not met its responsibility to secure our own borders. Let's assume that number is 70. We have two 70 percent issues. We would assume that a working Congress could take two 70 percent issues and come up with a solution that makes its way to the President's desk and solves both of these problems. We are not going to solve these problems by saying: OK, we are going to solve the problem for people who are already here, but we are not going to do anything to make it harder for others to be brought here illegally by someone who has control of them. We are not going to solve that? Of course that is not going to work. I don't think whether you signed up for DACA should be a determiner, and apparently the President agrees. If you are here and in the category of those who were brought here and grew up here, whether you signed up as a DACA kid, you could still be part of that overall discussion of how to stay, and you still get to stay if we can come up with a solution for you to do that. But we are not going to solve that problem and say: We will have a study of the other problem to see what is wrong. If by now we largely don't know what is wrong with the other problem, we are never going to figure out what is wrong with the other problem. In 1986, long before the Presiding Officer or I came to Congress and maybe long before some of us graduated from high school, we were going to solve this problem. Everybody who was here illegally could stay if they wanted to, and the borders would be made secure. Here we are, over three decades later, still debating the same thing. We need to solve both of these problems. If we can solve other problems while we are doing it, that is fine, too, but we need to come up with a solution. There are a number of ideas out there as to how the Senate should move forward. On the DACA issue, it is important to remember that President Trump said: I am going to give the Congress 6 more months to solve this problem--until March 5. It is also important to know that the courts have allowed people to continue to sign up, so really the deadline is somewhere beyond March 5. But the President said: I am going to give Congress 6 more months. President Obama didn't do anything about this for years--not because he didn't want to, I believe, but because he said he didn't have the ability to. President Obama repeatedly said: The President cannot solve this problem; Congress has to solve the problem. In spite of 6 or 7 years of saying that he couldn't solve this problem on his own, he ultimately decided to try to do it with an Executive order. The truth is, that Executive order was never going to do the job. I think President Obama knew that. When President Trump did his own order, he probably also knew he didn't have the ability to do that any more than President Obama had to do what he did. But both of these Presidents in their own way have tried to drive the Congress toward making a decision that comes up with a plan that works--a plan that works for kids who were brought here with no choice in the matter and a plan for seeing to it that kids can't still be easily brought here with no choice. We need to let young people come here because we need them here as part of our workforce, as part of our country. Legal immigration is what made America great. The rule of law is also what makes our country what it is. We can't continue to let immigration be an area where we have decided there are laws that we will not enforce. The challenge for the Congress right now is to come up with a solution so that this problem is not going to continue to be the same problem it is today, but as far as the problem today, we are going to solve it. We are going to solve it in a way that lets kids who grew up here become part of the solution. I continue to be committed to strengthening our borders. I continue to be committed to stemming the tide of illegal immigration. Frankly, I continue to be committed to the idea of legal immigration as part of continually reinforcing and re-enthusing who we are. But I am also committed to finding a permanent solution for young people in that category who were brought here, grew up here, haven't gotten in trouble while here, and have every reason to want to be part of the American dream and part of the American people whom they have been part of up until now. I hope we can find common ground on a bill that does that. I hope we can pass a bill from the Senate that the House will also pass. If Senators think they have done their job by passing a bill that can't possibly pass the House, that is just kicking the can down the road. We need to find a solution that really resolves this problem, and we solve this problem by putting a bill on the President's desk. To do that, we are going to [[Page S945]] have to vote. We can't do that by just having a quorum call or a vacancy here on the Senate floor. We have to be willing to vote. There are some things that I will enthusiastically vote for and some things I will reluctantly not be able to vote for. But that doesn't mean that I should say: If I can't be for whatever is brought to the Senate floor, then I don't want to vote on it or debate it. We can't continue to tune in to a vacant screen of the Senate floor. This is the week that we have all committed to having a real debate about solving as many problems as we can that relate to kids who were brought here and grew up here and solving that problem so other kids in these numbers are not likely to face that problem in the future. As I yield, I hope the floor is filled over the next couple of days with a vigorous debate about the best way to solve the problem before us in a way that the people we work for will feel good about it and the people who are most impacted by our decision will feel equally the concern, the warmth, and the desire of our country to have a vibrant economy that has people who want to be part of it, able to be part of it, and particularly people who grew up in the United States of America to be part of it. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cotton). The Senator from Wyoming. Tax Reform Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, it seems as though just about every day we get more good news about the tax relief law that Republicans passed. This week, the news is getting even better for a lot of people all across the country. By the end of this month, 90 percent of workers across the country will see more money in their take-home paychecks. It doesn't matter where they are. They can be in Meeteetse, WY, and they will see an increase in their paychecks this week. That is because this Thursday, February 15, is the deadline for employers to start using the new IRS tax withholding tables. The IRS tells employers how much money to withhold from people's paychecks so that their taxes work out pretty close at the end of the year. That is the way it is set up. Well, the IRS looked at the new tax law and saw that people are going to be paying lower taxes at the end of the year, so they put out the new tax tables. They told businesses to adjust how much money to withhold from a person's paycheck and to do it by February 15, tomorrow. For 90 percent of Americans, this tax amount is going to be lower, which means their paychecks are going to be larger. A tax cut is the same as a raise. That is what we are seeing all across the country--people getting a raise in their pay. Some people have already gotten a paycheck with the new, higher wages. Others are going to get it very soon. The website Yahoo Finance crunched the numbers. They found that a typical worker making $60,000 a year will get an extra $112 in their paychecks every month because of the tax law. That is over $1,300 for the year. To me, that is very good news for American workers. I was at home in Wyoming this past weekend, traveling around the State, and I am hearing about it in all the different communities I go to. People are saying: This has been better for me and my family personally. On top of this, a lot of workers are getting special bonuses and raises because of the tax law. So not only are they getting more money because of the fact that the tax rates have been lowered, additionally, they are getting more money because they have gotten a raise or a bonus. It seems there are about 4 million hard-working Americans who are getting bonuses of hundreds or even thousands of dollars as a result of the new tax reform law. They are also getting extra money in their retirement plans. They are getting higher starting wages. We are seeing many places increasing the starting wages, some up to $15 an hour. More than 300 companies have said they are increasing all of these kinds of compensations as a direct result of the tax law. In my home State of Wyoming, people across the State are getting bonuses--bonuses. These are people who work at Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, and other businesses that have familiar names to people across the country. They are also people who are working in smaller businesses, like the Jonah Bank in Wyoming. It has branches in Casper and in Cheyenne. It is not a nationally known bank, but it is very important in our State and in our communities. Every employee of this bank is getting a $1,000 bonus. The bank is also increasing its giving in the communities in which it has branches. Workers benefit, and the community benefits. That is what happens when we change the tax law so Washington gets less and taxpayers get to keep more. That is why I voted for this tax law--to give the kind of tax relief that made these bonuses and these pay raises possible. It is good for Wyoming, and it is good for people all across the country. It is interesting--it is even good for people in States whose Senators voted against the tax law. Ninety percent of people across the country are seeing the benefits no matter which State they are from. There is a business in Grand Rapids, MI, called the Mill Steel Company. They said last week that they are giving an extra $1,000 to their workers because of the tax law that every Republican voted for and every Democrat voted against. Now, 400 people at that company are getting a bonus. Michigan has two Democratic Senators. They both voted against the tax relief law. It still led to $1,000 bonuses for these 400 workers. What do the Senators have to say about it now? Are they proud that they voted against the tax law? Are they glad they said no to these sorts of raises that made it possible for people in their home States to get the bonuses? We know what Nancy Pelosi thinks. She went out and first she talked about how the tax law was Armageddon, and then she said it was the end of the world. Most recently, she said all the benefits people are getting under the tax law, in her words, are just ``crumbs.'' ``Crumbs,'' she said. For her, it may be different, but for a lot of Americans, a $1,000 bonus--certainly for the people in my home State of Wyoming--is much more than crumbs. An extra $1,300--I talked about the worker earlier--in that paycheck is much more than crumbs. For a person with a starting wage of $15 an hour, that is more than crumbs. It is bad enough Democrats tried to keep people from getting the extra money--Democrats voted against it because they didn't want people to get the extra money, it seems to me. It is hard to believe they would continue this way and take pride in voting against it, but they did. Now it seems like Democrats want to insult people by saying what they are seeing and what their benefits are, are resulting in crumbs. It is completely unfair, and I think it is disrespectful to the American people. These are just some of the cash benefits workers are getting from the tax law. Republicans predicted, during the debate over this law, there would be other benefits as well. We said businesses would pay less in taxes, and some of them would be able to additionally cut prices for consumers--let people buy things more cheaply. Americans are starting to see this prediction come true as well. One of the first places they are seeing it is in their utility bills. Gas, electric, and water utilities are cutting their rates because their taxes are going down under the law. In Vermont, the State's only natural gas utility company is cutting rates by more than 5 percent because of the tax law. Both of the Senators from Vermont voted against the law, but it is the law Republicans passed that caused these rates to go down. In fact, people living in at least 23 States and the District of Columbia are going to be paying lower utility bills because of the tax relief law. Another 26 States are looking into cutting rates. Rates are going down in California, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut--States where every Democratic Senator voted against the tax law. What do these Democratic Senators have to say now? Are they proud of the fact they voted against the tax cuts that made it possible for people to have lower utility bills in their States? When people's monthly bills get cut, it is like a pay hike--more money in their own pockets. They have more money to either save or to spend on other things or to invest. [[Page S946]] The owner of a gym in Cincinnati, OH, spoke with his local television station about what tax relief means for him. He said: When people have that extra money to spend, they spend it. Some save it. They go out to eat. They buy gym memberships. And they enjoy themselves. People have that extra money to spend now, today, because of the tax law Republicans passed. They have the extra money despite every Democrat in this body voting against tax relief. Every one of them said no. They all voted no. Democrats who voted no to tax relief for American families essentially voted yes to keep the extra money in Washington so they can decide how to spend it. I have much more faith in people at home in Wyoming deciding how to spend their money than any faith I have in Washington, DC. For so many Americans, every dollar helps, and they are not crumbs. Democrats may not know the difference, but the American families do. People in every State of this country know the difference. The American people understand what Republicans did with this tax law. They are seeing more money in their paychecks, more take-home pay, more money to decide what to spend and what to invest and what to save. They know Republicans promised to cut people's taxes. People know Republicans delivered on the promise. They know the benefits they have gotten already, and they are confident the economy will continue to grow stronger day by day. People across the country also know the fact that every Democrat voted against this law, voted against giving them a tax break, voted against allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. The American people know who took their side, who voted for the American public versus who said no. Hard-working Americans asked us to do a job for them. Republicans are doing the job; Democrats in Washington certainly are not. Republicans are going to keep doing that job for the American people--a job we have promised and a job which we have delivered. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll. Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Ms. HIRONO. Mr. President, it is time for the Senate to do its job as a separate branch of government. This week, we can come together on a bipartisan basis to resolve the crisis Donald Trump created when he canceled DACA. We can provide hundreds of thousands of young people in our country their shot at pursuing the American dream without fear of deportation. Right now, these young people who were brought to this country as children are terrified they will be separated from their families and the lives they have built here, in the only country they know and love. I have met and spoken with so many Dreamers in the Halls of Congress these past months. Their focus, determination, and commitment in this fight continues to be extraordinary and inspiring. Each Dreamer has a different story to tell, but they all share a profoundly simple aspiration--to live, work, and study in the only country they have ever called home. When you sit and listen to their stories, it is not difficult to understand why between 80 and 90 percent of Americans support protecting these Dreamers--people like Karen, Maleni, and Beatrice, who can attend the University of Hawaii because of DACA; people like Victor, from Houston, who aspires to become a counselor for LGBTQ youth like him; and people like Getsi, from Oregon, who works three jobs so she can pursue her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner to care for our seniors. These inspiring young people don't need to hear any more promises. They need Members of Congress to put their votes where their mouths have been and do the right thing. Like many of my colleagues, I strongly support passing a clean Dream Act--legislation that already has bipartisan support--but it is critical that we get to the 60 votes we need to pass a bill. I am open to discussing different provisions, including some funding for border security to help us get there. We can and should have a debate on comprehensive immigration reform but only after we pass legislation this week to protect the Dreamers. We cannot and should not use this debate to provide cover for efforts to dismantle the family-based immigration system or to make massive cuts to legal immigration. The President and a number of colleagues have made it clear they would like to eliminate family-based immigration in favor of a system that is designed only to recruit immigrants with advanced degrees and specialized skills. It is important for the United States to recruit highly skilled immigrants, and we have a number of immigration programs that are designed specifically for this purpose, but when you restrict immigration only to people with highly specialized skills or advanced degrees, you lose out on a lot of human potential that has historically contributed so much to our country. We don't have to look far back into history to prove why this statement is true. Over the past week, the Olympics has captured the excitement and imagination of people across the country--in fact, the world. Many of the people we have been cheering for are either the children of immigrants or are immigrants themselves. Over the weekend, we saw Mirai Nagasu, whose parents emigrated from Japan, become the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics during her appearance in the team figure skating competition. Yesterday, we saw Maame Biney, who immigrated to the United States from Ghana, take to the ice to compete in the short track speed skating. Two nights ago, I watched Chloe Kim throw down a near perfect score in the women's snowboard halfpipe to win the Olympic Gold Medal. After completing her history-making run, the cameras panned to her father Jong Jin Kim, who proudly waved his ``Go Chloe'' sign in the audience. Jong arrived in California in 1982 with $800 in his pocket. He worked for years at minimum wage jobs to save for college. While studying at El Camino College, he worked as a heavy machinery operator at night. Jong encouraged Chloe to begin snowboarding when she was 4. They would jump off the lifts together, but because he didn't know how to snowboard, they would tumble to the ground. Jong bought Chloe her first snowboard on eBay for $25. When Chloe was 8, Jong quit his job as an engineer to support her snowboarding career. He would often wake up at 2 a.m. in the morning to drive Chloe over 300 miles to her practices. After watching his daughter win the Olympic Gold, Jong said in Korean, ``When I came to the United States, this was my American hope. Now, this is my American dream.'' In reflecting on her father's sacrifice, Chloe said, ``My dad has definitely sacrificed a lot for me, and I don't know if I could do it if I was in his shoes, leaving your life behind and chasing your dream because your kid is passionate about this sport. I think today I did it for my family, and I am so grateful to them.'' Chloe's story of winning the Olympic Gold is extraordinary, but her father's story speaks to a deep and abiding foundation of America and to my personal experience as an immigrant. My mom also came to this country--poor and without skills to escape an abusive marriage--to give her three children, of which I am one, a chance at a better life. Like Jong and Chloe, one generation after my mom came to this country, I am standing on the floor of the U.S. Senate, fighting for humane immigration policies. These stories speak to the broader immigrant experience in our country. We work hard and embrace the opportunities this country provides, and we often see the result of this hard work within a single generation. I would ask my colleagues: Do you think the United States would be better off if we prevented immigrants like Jong and me from coming to this country? Targeting immigrants for discriminatory and harsh treatment is denying our country's history. With the exception of our original peoples, everyone came to our country from somewhere else. We are fighting to preserve [[Page S947]] the spirit of our country--that shining city on a hill. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Mr. President, like my colleagues from whom we are hearing today, I also rise to talk about the importance of protecting the Dreamers, not just in the State of Nevada but across this country. I want to talk specifically about a term that I constantly hear during this debate on how we need to protect Dreamers and at the same time address this issue of ``chain migration.'' I call on my colleagues and President Trump to really stop using that term and to abandon the offensive and misleading term of ``chain migration'' because it paints a picture that does not reflect reality. Immigrants cannot sponsor their entire families to come here. Our system of family-based immigration allows American citizens and green card holders to petition for some of their immediate family members to join them in the United States. There are numerous steps families must take to legally immigrate to the United States. It is a long and arduous process that leaves husbands, wives, parents, brothers, and sisters waiting for decades. This system is so broken and slow that many people die before they ever have the chance to be reunited with their loved ones again. So this image of immigrants coming in endless chains across our borders couldn't be further from the truth. For instance, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently processing visa applications for the siblings of U.S. citizens from 1994. That is 24 years ago. This backlog is painful for many American families, like Fely. Fely is an immigrant from the Philippines who arrived in the United States with her husband and her youngest son back in 1989. Her father was a veteran who served in World War II, earned his citizenship, and petitioned to have Fely join him in the U.S. In the almost three decades since then, Fely has worked tirelessly to reunite with her other children. Now at 80 years old, she is still waiting and hoping that three of her children will make it through the backlog to join her at home. Her story shows us that sponsoring even your closest family members is a lengthy and difficult process. Tragically, Fely's struggle is not uncommon. Thousands of Filipino veterans all across this country are in the same situation. As a daughter and granddaughter of veterans, I know firsthand that when someone answers the call of duty, family members make sacrifices too. I support Senator Hirono's Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act, a bill that would expedite the visa process for Filipino World War II veterans' immediate relatives. We should honor the sacrifices that veterans and their families make by passing this bill, not by forcing them to wait in perpetual limbo. Our immigration system reflects our national commitment to the strength and importance of the family unit. Families are support systems. They pull each other up when someone is in need and pull together their resources. Strong families build strong communities. Karl is a 20-year-old Filipino-American community organizer born and raised in North Las Vegas. Karl's whole family is committed to community service. While attending high school, Karl's brother volunteers at an organization that serves the homeless. Karl's mother teaches special education in North Las Vegas to low-income children. Karl's dad is a mechanic and a military veteran, having served this country in multiple branches of the armed services. None of them would be here if not for our family-based, legal immigration system. Some of my Republican colleagues claim to be champions of strong, nuclear families and family values. Yet here we are today, considering a measure that would tear apart families like Karl's, that would leave parents without children, sisters without brothers, and husbands without wives. Why does the party of family values think that is acceptable? The problem is that the party of Donald Trump is not the party of family values. Donald Trump doesn't care about families. He wants to be able to pick and choose which families get to come in and which have to stay out. The White House immigration plan we are considering would cut legal immigration by up to 44 percent. That is half a million more immigrants who would be banned each year. This is one of the largest xenophobic-driven cuts to legal immigration since the 1920s. It would affect nearly 22 million people over the next five decades. What is going on here? What are they so afraid of? I recently sat down with immigrant workers in the Senate and the Pentagon who are about to lose their protections from deportation. One of them told me that she left El Salvador after seeing her husband brutally murdered in front of her and her son. She has been working for the Federal Government for the past two decades, serving the very men and women who are preparing to vote to send her back to the country she fled with her children. I also spoke with a Dreamer who works right here in the Senate cafeteria. She is the sole provider for her three American-citizen children, and she, too, is afraid that under Donald Trump's deportation policy, she is going to be ripped apart from her children and sent back to a country that she fled. These are the people Donald Trump wants to throw out of their homes. They are not asking for special treatment or handouts or giveaways. They just want to be allowed to stay and work hard and provide for their families. They don't want to have to go back to a place where they will have to live every day in fear for their lives and for their children's lives. This President will tell you that immigrants are taking jobs. That is a myth. It is a lie that has been spread about every immigrant group in American history, and it has been repeatedly debunked by economic research. According to the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council, a typical immigrant family will pay an estimated $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in public benefits over their lifetime. Immigrant families bring long-term economic benefits to our country by starting businesses, purchasing property, and supporting the education and achievement of their children. Research shows that immigrants drive growth. They generate new patents at twice the rate of native-born Americans. In 2014, they earned $1.3 trillion and contributed $105 billion in State and local taxes and nearly $224 billion in Federal taxes. Immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than nonimmigrants, and 18 percent of small business owners in the United States are immigrants. They create jobs right here in the United States. Jobs are not the problem here. The problem is the color of immigrants' skin. We have a President of the United States who has wondered out loud why we can't have more Whites come to this country. President Trump denies being a racist. For a nonracist, he has done a shockingly good job of cultivating support among White supremacists. This is not about the color of people's skin, but this is about family. This is about strong nuclear families and family values. I am proud of who I am, where I came from, and I am a descendant of immigrants. But I also learned and believe in strong values and strong family values, and we lead with those values. So our immigration system should reflect our national commitment to the strength and the importance of that family unit and those family values. It makes no sense to me that we are fighting today to protect these kids and keep them in this country and then take their parents and rip them out of their homes and send them back to a country that they do not want to go to, that they do not call home, and where their safety is called into question. I don't understand that as a family value or as an American value. So I ask my colleagues, when we are talking about the immigration system [[Page S948]] and protecting Dreamers, let's implement commonsense immigration reform. Let's make sure that when we are protecting Dreamers, we are also protecting their family unit and those family values. This is not about pitting parents against their kids or having kids decide whether they should stay here or their parents should. No child should have to go to school concerned that when they come home, their parents may not be there. I don't know about you, but I went through the public school system in the State of Nevada, and I was always, always comforted with the thought that when I walked through that door, my mother and father would be there. Any other way to treat these children and their families, to me, is inhumane. They are not values that we stand for as Americans, and they are not values that we lead with when we are talking about commonsense reforms to immigration. So I ask my colleagues: Please, as we go through this debate, remember who we are talking about. There are faces, there are families, there are people behind the very decisions that we make this week. Thank you. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico. Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning business. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, as the Senate takes to the floor to debate a long-overdue, bipartisan solution for Dreamers--young immigrants who came to our country as children--I would like to tell you a story about one Dreamer in my home State of New Mexico to illustrate what is at stake here this week. Immigrants have long helped to write the economic, social, and cultural story of my home State of New Mexico and, for that matter, our entire Nation. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. Over the last centuries, our Nation's foundation and the enduring American spirit were built by the hard work and the dreams of so many striving young immigrants. When President Trump made the outrageous decision last fall to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program--DACA--he threw hundreds of thousands of Dreamers deep into fear and uncertainty. Two weeks ago, I was proud to welcome Ivonne Orozco-Acosta, one of the estimated 7,000 Dreamers from New Mexico, as my guest at the State of the Union Address. Ivonne's family immigrated to the United States when she was 12 years old. She learned English through middle school and graduated from high school in Estancia, NM. It was during these challenging years of learning that Ivonne was encouraged by her teachers to grow and to learn. Ivonne knows the power that educators hold to create positive change in students' perspective of themselves. Ivonne attended the University of New Mexico, where she earned her BA in secondary education with a concentration in Spanish. It is estimated that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 students at the University of New Mexico right now are Dreamers like Ivonne. These are some of our brightest students, and they are our future leaders. Since she graduated from UNM 4 years ago, Ivonne has been teaching Spanish at the Public Academy for Performing Arts, a charter school in Albuquerque, NM. Ivonne told me what DACA has meant for her. DACA allowed her to get a work permit, to follow her passion for education. It made it possible for her to buy a home and her first car. It has also given her an opportunity to impact the lives of her students each day and to contribute to our State's economy as a teacher and as a taxpayer. DACA gave Ivonne, in her words, ``a sliver of hope''--hope that she will finally be able to have a permanent home and a place in the only country that she knows how to call home. Because of her excellent teaching in the classroom and her incredible passion for her students, Ivonne was just selected as the 2018 New Mexico Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Public Education Department. That is right; Ivonne has been recognized as the teacher of the year for our entire State. Ivonne's commitment to education and to giving back to her community is truly inspiring, and it reminds us just how much is at stake for New Mexico and our country in this debate. Our State already struggles to keep schools filled with teachers and has one of the highest teacher turnover rates in the Nation. Dreamers across the country, like Ivonne, are stepping up to serve our communities, to teach our students. Nearly 9,000 of the Dreamers who received temporary legal status and work permits through the DACA Program are teachers like Ivonne. Many more are firefighters; they are police officers; they are scientists; they are doctors; they are members of our military. These inspiring young people are Americans in every sense of the word, except for a piece of paper, and they want nothing more than to be productive members of their communities. But until Congress passes the Dream Act, these young people like Ivonne will continue to worry about whether they will be able to stay in school, keep working, contributing to our economy, or remain even in their homes and their neighborhoods. I have to ask: Why would we even consider threatening to deport the teacher of the year from my State? I simply cannot accept that as living up to all that our Nation stands for. The Santa Fe New Mexican covered Ivonne's visit to Washington. The New Mexican's editorial board said: ``It is no exaggeration to state that as the immigration debate goes, so does her future.'' They went on to call the immigration debate we are engaging here in Congress as a fight ``for the soul of this country, founded and strengthened by immigrants throughout our history.'' I, for one, hope that we can learn from the best and most challenging parts of our Nation's history of immigration and understand that Dreamers like Ivonne are part of the immigration story that has always made our Nation great. Deporting these young people who grew up in America and want to contribute to their Nation is not what the America that I know and love would do. Dreamers deserve commonsense, compassionate, and responsible policy. Two weeks ago, while President Trump was taking cheap shots at immigrants during his State of the Union Address and insinuating that all immigrants and asylum seekers pose an existential danger to our children and our families, I couldn't help but think of the impacts of his words on Ivonne as she sat in the Gallery. There are hundreds of thousands of Dreamers like her. They are truly bright spots and rising stars in our communities and in our country, and the time has come for us to stop playing politics with their lives. Let's stop stirring up fear and division when we should be working to find a real path forward. This week, I believe we have a path forward here in the Senate in this debate, and we must pass a bipartisan immigration bill that includes the Dream Act in the Senate and in the House. I will do everything I can to pass a solution for Dreamers, to create rational border security policies, and to make the investments that our border region and its communities actually need. I will stand with New Mexicans against President Trump's fear-based and un-American views, frankly, on immigration and his offensive and wasteful border wall that have no place in this debate. I hope that each of us in this body recognizes our moral responsibility and our obligation to live up to our Nation's ideals and its values. We must act with a sense of urgency to find a way forward for these Dreamers. Every day that passes without our passing the Dream Act is another day of desperation and limbo for young people like Ivonne who only know America as their home. Now is the time to give these young Americans a permanent place and an earned path to citizenship in our Nation. I will do everything I can every step of the way to make that happen. Thank you, Mr. President. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Toomey). The Senator from Connecticut. South Florida School Shooting Mr. MURPHY. Mr. President, as we speak, there is a horrific scene playing [[Page S949]] out in a high school in South Florida. Turn on your television right now, and you will see scenes of children running for their lives--what looks to be the 19th school shooting in this country, and we have not even hit March. I am coming to the floor to talk about something else, but let me note once again for my colleagues that this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America, this epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for the level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else. As a parent, it scares me to death that this body doesn't take seriously the safety of my children, and it seems as though a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that same question later today. We pray for the families and for the victims. We hope for the best. Mr. President, I came to the floor today to talk about immigration. I want to make a specific case to you today, but before I do, I want to talk a little about process. I heard a lot of my friends on the Republican side of the aisle say on this floor and in the Halls of Congress that President Trump has made an immigration proposal and Democrats have been asking for an immigration proposal, so we should just accept his first and only offer. What is the big deal? President Trump gave you something that says ``immigration'' on it. Why aren't you accepting it? It is a terrible proposal. It is bad for America. To his credit, President Trump does attempt to try to deal with these Dreamer kids, but there are 3 million potentially eligible individuals in this country, and it only allows about 1.8 million of them to get through the process. But that is really not the worst part. The worst part is that it cuts legal immigration by 40 percent. It basically abandons this country's commitment to family-based immigration. I wouldn't be here if we only had skills-based immigration. Most Members of this body wouldn't be here if the only way that your parents or grandparents or great- grandparents could have come here is because of a Ph.D. or a degree or a certificate. Most of the people in this Chamber, I would imagine, are here because their parents or great-grandparents or great-great- grandparents came here because they had friends or family here. Let's not reimagine the history of this country. Democrats aren't obligated to accept the first offer from this President if it is not good for America. Negotiation still has to be part of the legislative process, and I am glad there are Members of the Republican and Democratic caucuses who have been trying to do that. We will see where that goes. The President has put this proposal on the table that dramatically cuts immigration into this country because he sees immigration as a core weakness of this country. He views new entrants to America as an economic drain. That is why he wants to potentially kick out 3 million Dreamer kids next month if we don't act. That is why he wants to dramatically cut down the number of people who are allowed to legally immigrate to America. He views immigrants as a problem that needs to be dealt with. And he is not alone. Many Americans agree. I, frankly, hear from them regularly in Connecticut. Frankly, one could also argue that there is nothing more American than being scared of immigrants. Every single new wave of immigrants to our shores has been met with some degree of fear and derision and prejudice. Like clockwork, every generation or two, American politicians denounce immigrants as a threat to the American-born worker. In the 1850s, growing numbers of Catholic immigrants from Ireland--as the Murphys came--and from Germany led to an anti-immigrant party arising in this country that elected more than 100 Congressmen, eight Governors, and thousands of local politicians. They claimed that Catholics could never be Americans because they owed allegiance to the Pope. Starting in the 1880s, hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants began to immigrate to the west coast, causing a spike in anti-Chinese sentiment that eventually resulted in the passage of something called the Chinese Exclusion Act. Fearing those who are different from us in skin color or religion or national origin or language is an unmistakable facet of American history, but over and over again, we have overcome these base instincts because our better angels prevail but also because of this bright, straight line that connects America's liberal immigration policy with our economic greatness. I want to take just a couple of minutes to make for you a compact but irrefutable case for the correlation between economic power and American immigrants. From 1870 to 1910, it is no coincidence that America's transformation into a global economic powerhouse occurred during a period of massive influx of human capital. During that time, nearly 15 percent of all Americans were foreign-born. That is a share that our country has never reached since then. This period of unprecedented growth forever dispelled the myth that we still labor under today that the number of American jobs is fixed. Immigrants increase demand, and that increased demand creates jobs. Organizations from the National Academy of Sciences to the conservative Cato Institute have done their own studies on this question and have come to the same conclusion. Cato recently said this: Immigrants add jobs, in part by raising consumer demand. So getting rid of immigrants, such as by deporting unauthorized workers, would most likely destroy jobs and raise native unemployment. That makes sense, right? But if you don't believe that immigrants create growth, there is another, even simpler explanation as to why we need robust immigration. At present birth rates, we don't have enough people born here to fill all the jobs that are going to be created in the next 20 years. It is estimated that, accounting for growth, America is going to need 83 million new workers to enter the workforce in the next 20 years. But here is the problem. Only 51 million new workers will be native-born. That leaves us 32 million short. Unless folks start churning out a lot more babies, immigration is the only way to fix that deficit. Not convinced? Well, think about how the Federal budget works. Most of our budget is social insurance--working-age Americans paying into accounts that pay benefits to older, nonworking Americans. You need a balance between the two in order to not go bankrupt. Many of our competitor nations around the world are spiraling toward this demographic cataclysm. By 2030, the median age in Japan, with strict immigration policies, is going to be over 50. It is extraordinary. Do you want to know why Germany is so interested in bringing refugees into their country? Because without them, their median age in 2030 will be 48. Budgets simply can't work with that many retirees and that few workers. Because of America's liberal immigration policy, our average age, which today is 38, will increase in 2030 to just 39. During that time, China--another country that doesn't really allow immigration-- will go from having a median age that is 2 years younger than that of the United States to 3 years older. In 2010, undocumented immigrants and their employers sent $13 billion to Social Security. Without them, the trust fund would be out of money today. You are not there yet? Let's talk jobs. Just ask your farmers in your State how important lower skilled immigration is to keeping their farms afloat. But let's talk about high-skilled jobs. Would it shock you to know that 31 percent of Ph.D. holders in this country are immigrants? It is amazing. And more than one-quarter of all high-quality patents in the United States are being granted to immigrants. How about a study from 3 years ago that Senator Cortez Masto referred to that found that immigrants are twice as likely as native-born Americans to start a business. That is not good enough for you? Here is a mind blower: 43 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the United States were founded or cofounded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant. You know who they are. The founder of eBay came to the United States from France, where he was born to Iranian parents. Google's cofounder, Sergey Brin, emigrated with his family from Russia when he was 6. [[Page S950]] Elon Musk, who started SpaceX, which has 4,000 employees, came from South Africa. Daniel Aaron, who cofounded Comcast, was a refugee of Nazi Germany. Henry Ford was an Irish immigrant. Estee Lauder's family was Hungarian. Herman Hollerith, one of the founders of IBM, had German parents. You don't want Ford or IBM or Google to be part of the American story? Then keep saying immigrants are an economic drain. Margaret Thatcher once marveled of America: ``No other nation has so successfully combined people of different races and nations within a single culture.'' This combination is our definition as a nation, but it is also the story of our economic greatness, of our sprawling leap in under two short centuries from an idea to the biggest, most dynamic economy on the face of the planet. To deny that history or to misremember it would be perhaps an irreversible error. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa. Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, some of what I just heard, I can readily agree to. Certain things, such as that we are a nation of immigrants-- no doubt about that. We need immigrants. We take roughly 800,000 to 1 million legal immigrants a year. They are welcomed. We also, though, are a nation of laws, and as a nation of laws, we want people to come here according to our laws and abide by the laws. We are working with a group of people. If you call them DACAs, it would be about 800,000. If you refer to them as Dreamers, it is maybe 1.8 million. We obviously have sympathy for them because as a baby brought here in diapers by a person or family who crossed our border without papers, hence entering our country illegally--we don't attribute the sin and the unlawfulness of the parent to the baby. A lot of that has happened. There is a general agreement--maybe not everybody in my political party agrees with this, but I think 80 percent of them do--that we need to deal with people who are here through no fault of their own and give them legal status. That is the compassion we are showing for people who broke our laws by their parents doing it but not the kids doing it. I also didn't ever think we would be here today debating this because I went through the 2013 debate on immigration. The Senate passed a bill; the House of Representatives didn't take it up. I was in the minority at that time, both in the caucus that was in the minority as well as in the minority that voted against that bill, because I didn't think it did things the way I would do them. Everything died in the House of Representatives. Then, 2 years later, I became chairman of the Judiciary Committee. We have jurisdiction over immigration legislation. I could have spent 3 months on immigration during 2015 or 2016 and sent a bill to the House of Representatives that probably would have died, but I made up my mind early in my chairmanship that I wanted to do things that we could get passed. So over the period of the last Congress, my committee voted out 31 bills, all bipartisan, and 18 of them got to a Democratic President. In 2015 and 2016, I felt, why go through that process if it is going to die in the House of Representatives? Now, a year later, after the election of a President who campaigned so much against anything dealing with immigration and legalization of people who are here--even young people, whom he has now come to the conclusion we ought to legalize--I didn't think we would be having this debate, and somehow I think Members of the Democratic Party didn't think we would be having this debate. I think they probably were shocked 2 or 3 weeks ago when the government shut down and when the majority leader decided to make an agreement to bring up this issue. But here we are, debating an immigration bill that, quite frankly, I didn't think we would be debating. Here we are. Then, of course, we didn't do anything Monday. We didn't do anything on this issue Tuesday. I don't know whether we are going to have any votes today, but here we are debating immigration. We have a chance to do what Members of the other political party, as advocates for Dreamers and DACA kids--and we have them on this side but maybe not as vocal or as loyal as Democrats are on this issue. Somehow, we are now having a difficult time getting the issue up and getting something passed. I offer to my 99 colleagues something the President said he would sign. Maybe you don't like exactly what is in that proposal. Then get it up and amend it, and let's see what sort of compromise we can accomplish. But we are here because the leader said that we are going to work on this issue. It was something that the minority demanded. We ought to reach a conclusion on it and get something to the President of the United States. Once we knew that this issue was going to come up--and we knew that on September 5 when the President said that he was not going to continue the illegal approach to the DACA kids that President Obama did. We have reason to believe this from court decisions on older people where they ruled that the President didn't have the authority to do what he did with the DACA kids. In fact, at least a dozen times before he made that decision, he was telling the entire country he didn't have the authority to do it, and then he went ahead and did it. So this President comes in, takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this country, and he decides that he can't continue what was considered illegal activity by the previous President. This is a congressional decision that needs to be made, and Congress ought to make it. We were told on September 5 to do something by March 5, and here we are. I heard from the previous speaker--and maybe a lot of speakers--that this is the President's plan. Yes, this is something that the President said that he is going to support and will sign, but I want to say to you that the work that a group of us Senators have put into this issue over a period of the last 3 months, with about 18 meetings, 4 meetings with the President of the United States to discuss the issue--most of what is in the proposal that is put before you are things that a group of Senators put together. I would say that as our group met, we probably had subgroups of three who had different views, and some of them felt strongly about their positions, but everyone came together in a compromise that you see here before us in my amendment. In some of those meetings, we discussed these things with the President, and I want to give the President credit. In a January 9 meeting that he had where he called together 23 of us--bipartisan and bicameral--we were able to dial down all the things that we would be discussing on immigration, and we came to the conclusion that there were four main points that we ought to be dealing with. You have heard of these as the four pillars, but let me repeat them. No. 1 was legalization of these children who were brought here by their parents; No. 2 was border security; No. 3 was chain migration; and No. 4, diversity visa. We discussed these things with the President, and I suppose the President probably emphasized citizenship to a greater extent than maybe we did in our deliberations, but we have something that has been put together by Members of this body who have compromised, with none of us getting everything we wanted. We are fortunate enough to have the President's backing on this. So I hope that you see this, not as we have heard from the other side as the President's plan--as if seven of us who introduced this proposal somehow just took something from the White House and put our names on it, and it is here before the U.S. Senate--because that isn't how it worked. I want to address some of the issues that have been put before us by people on the other side. I want to express--as you probably have seen me expressing already in my remarks so far--my frustration with the current status of the immigration debate here in the U.S. Senate. It amazes me that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle simply aren't ready to have a serious immigration debate. They have been demanding to have this debate for months. They have even shut the government down to get to this point, and now we are actually on this issue that they have been demanding that we debate for months during this Congress--some on the other side of the aisle for [[Page S951]] years--and now when it is time to put up or shut up, they have come up emptyhanded. Despite having weeks to prepare, Senate Democrats are still rushing to put some plan together. Let that sink in. Think about this just for a moment. The Senate Democrats recklessly shut down the Federal Government over immigration, and they did it over plans that they still largely haven't drafted. That should be very frustrating, not only to this Senator but to most of my colleagues, and it is exactly why the American people seem to have less faith in this process in Washington, DC. Even more frustrating is that for 2 valuable days, they have refused to allow the Senate to debate immigration measures. I do understand why the Democrats are afraid to vote on ending sanctuary cities. Those policies of sanctuary cities are massively unpopular with the American people. In other words, the American people feel that when the Constitution says that immigration law is one of the 18 powers of the United States, then no local or State government should be able to interfere with what the Constitution says is the supreme law of the land. I can't understand why, for 2 days, Democrats have refused to allow us a debate on an issue like sanctuary cities. That amendment would help us keep our communities safe from dangerous criminals, besides carrying out the intent of the Constitution that the Federal Government has complete authority over immigration. Who could be against an approach to send a signal that sanctuary cities aren't justified when that is how to protect the American people from the criminal elements that some sanctuary cities protect? Apparently, the Democrats are, since they don't seem to be for outlawing sanctuary cities. I guess another way to say it is that they could do more to protect hard-working Americans from the criminal element that is, albeit, a small part of the immigration community we are talking about, but it still creates havoc for people like the Steinle family, for example, where Kate was murdered by an alien who was a felon who had returned to this country not once but five times. In other words, I have to ask my colleagues whether enforcement issues are legitimately a part of the immigration debate, and that is what the sanctuary city situation is all about. Isn't border security more than just throwing money at infrastructure? Shouldn't we be discussing how to reform our Nation's laws so that dangerous criminal elements can't inflict harm on innocent families? I am pretty sure--I am actually 100 percent confident--the answer to those questions is yes. Those are important issues to the American people. Those issues used to be discussed here. I have already mentioned the name of Kate Steinle, who was murdered by one of these people. I could add the names of Sarah Root and Jamel Shaw. These people all had dreams, too, but they had their lives ended by felons who had been deported but had come back into this country. If my colleagues were actually serious about debating this issue, we would be discussing border enforcement. Sadly, it seems as though the plans that I have seen so far from my colleagues fall short of that goal. Legalizing Dreamers--yes, who is going to argue with that? A little bit of money for border security--there is a lot to argue about there. But not doing something about criminal aliens who are a threat to law enforcement in this country and to the safety of our country--it seems to me that ought to be a part of it. So we get all the people in this room who say they want to do something about border security by throwing money at it; yet they refuse to actually give our law enforcement the legal tools that they need to protect Americans. Just a wall or whatever you want to call it--electric surveillance, more border patrol--it is all border security, but it is more than a wall. It takes more than just those things to protect the American people. I am here to tell you that it is a tragedy that some people in this body just want to legalize some people for 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years and put maybe a little bit of money into border security with no commitment to the future. Then all we have done is kick the can down the road. Worse still, none of my colleagues' proposals are being developed in a way that they can actually become law. Maybe for them, simply passing a partisan bill is enough. Leader Schumer said that this morning, and I was here listening to him. But that is not enough for this Senator. This Senator actually wants to see something passed into law that will provide real protection for DACA kids. That is why I have offered an amendment that could actually pass the House of Representatives, and we know the President would sign it. Polls show that the framework a number of us developed, along with the President's input, is overwhelmingly popular. A Harvard Harris poll showed that 65 percent of the voters agreed with our plan, including 64 percent of Democratic voters. So despite the hyperbole we hear from our colleagues, the plan that the President said he would sign is not only popular, but, again, it is the only plan that has any chance of becoming law. It is time for all of my colleagues to get serious about fixing DACA. It is time to stop posturing, to stop showboating, and to stop simply trying to pass a bill out of the Senate that will not get considered in the other body and will not be signed by the President of the United States. The focus ought to be on making actual law. If all of us here in the Senate, particularly those who are in the Democratic Caucus, focus on those things, then the choice for them will be very clear. They will vote for the amendment that the seven of us have put before the Senate called the Grassley amendment, they will back the President, and they will provide real security and real certainty to the DACA recipients and the American people. In fact, it is so simple for some on the other side who have been promising DACA certainty for years and some for a few months, but, more importantly, really strongly over the last three or four months. It is an opportunity for everything you have told those kids, including that you are going to get them legal and even give them a path to citizenship that you can deliver. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania. Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise to speak about the issue that we are dealing with on the floor, and I am grateful for this opportunity. I wanted to first of all stress the critical urgency that we act to protect America's Dreamers. The United States is a proud Nation of immigrants. Yet in September the administration insulted our values by announcing a decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, which we know by the acronym DACA. Dreamers are young people who have lived in our country since they were children. They are law-abiding residents who have learned English. They have paid taxes, and they have secured jobs to support themselves and their families. Our government promised them that they would be protected if they came forward, and now the administration, at least so far, has broken that promise. Democrats have been fighting for something on the Dream Act since the administration first announced its decision on DACA more than 5 months ago. We have yet to vote on a single piece of bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers. I do, however, commend the bipartisan work of a number of my colleagues in both parties who have come to the table to draft legislation that protects Dreamers and secures our border. With hundreds--soon to be thousands--of Dreamers losing protection every day, it is critical that we come together to pass bipartisan legislation that will provide permanent protections for these remarkable young people. Dreamers are deeply integrated into communities across Pennsylvania, as well as in a lot of other States and across our country, of course. Dreamers work as nurses, caring for our families. They work as teachers, educating our children, and as servicemen and servicewomen in our military, working to keep us safe. Take a young Pennsylvania Dreamer whom I met a few months ago--way back, I guess, in September. She was [[Page S952]] studying to be a nurse. Talking about her own life, she said: All I want to do is heal people. All I want to do is be a nurse. Then she became very upset thinking about whether or not she might have that opportunity because of what had not happened in Washington-- no legislation passed to protect her. Another Dreamer from Lancaster, PA--the Presiding Officer knows that part of our State well--is Audrey Lopez. Audrey was brought to the United States from Peru when she was just 11 years old. Audrey spent most of her childhood in Pennsylvania, and her parents instilled in her the value of hard work and education. Like so many Dreamers, Audrey only learned that she was undocumented when she was applying to college and learned that she did not have a Social Security number. Despite not having access to financial aid, Audrey worked hard, and she graduated from college. After graduation, she took a job in public service working at Church World Services, assisting refugees with resettlement. This past fall, Audrey accepted a nearly full scholarship to American University, where she will obtain a master's degree in international development. Audrey is an American in every way but not on paper. She is continuing to work hard, despite not knowing if she will have a future in the country she calls home. We should be supporting young, hard-working people like Audrey who want to work in the service of others and our Nation. Instead, some, but not all--not all--Republicans are threatening her future--not only her future, but our Nation's future--by making us less safe and, frankly, damaging our economy. Protecting Dreamers is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for the American economy, and it is in our national security interests. DACA has enabled almost 800,000 young people to grow and thrive in America, including about 5,900 in Pennsylvania. As part of the fabric of our community, these impressive young people, like Audrey, provide an enormous contribution to our society, including paying an estimated $2 billion each year in State and local taxes. By contrast, repealing DACA would amount to a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next decade. So if you want to do it by year, it is roughly $46 billion a year for each of the 10 years. In Pennsylvania, ending DACA would result in an annual loss of $357.1 million to the State GDP, according to the Center for American Progress. Currently, about 900 Dreamers are serving in the U.S. military and more than one out of every seven DACA-eligible immigrants has language skills that are currently in short supply in the U.S. military. It makes no sense to remove these Dreamers from a country they call home. I believe it is both wrong and dangerous. The American people overwhelmingly support allowing Dreamers to stay in the United States. It is about time Congress listened to the nearly 80 percent of Americans who want to pass protections for Dreamers, along with increased border security so we can prevent this situation in the future. So it is time for action. We need a real compromise solution that will get 60 votes in the Senate and, of course, 218 votes in the House, and a signature from the President of the United States. While I have advocated in the past for a clean vote on the bipartisan Dream Act, which is what I would prefer, compromise will be critical to ensuring we get something done and sent to the President's desk. In 2013, I and many others--67 other Senators--voted for a bipartisan immigration bill that would have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents. That bill also would have mandated 24-hour surveillance of the border using advanced technology, like drones, and it would have provided a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants. There are a number of bipartisan proposals to pair Dreamer protections with data-driven, sensible border security that focuses on public safety. I look forward to finally voting on these issues, and I hope my Republican colleagues will continue to work with us to secure our border and ensure that Dreamers like Audrey Lopez have a future they can count on. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gardner). Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I want to speak about our immigration debate and my amendment in particular, but first let me say we are going to find out just how serious our colleagues are about granting not just legal status to the Dreamers--people who came to this country or were brought here illegally when they were children and couldn't and shouldn't be held accountable for that action. The proposal that will be available for a vote later this week will not just grant legal status but will actually grant a path to citizenship. It goes well beyond the illegal Executive order President Obama issued, and it will be available to far more people than those who took up President Obama's illegal Executive order. It is really going to be an extraordinary moment. I hope we are able to reach an agreement on this because I think this needs to get done. Mr. President, I want to first address an amendment I have offered that is now up and pending--and I think we will be voting on it at some point this week--which is all about keeping our communities safer by addressing the terrible problem of sanctuary cities. This is a problem that one father in particular knows all too well. On July 1 of 2015, Jim Steinle was walking arm in arm with his daughter Kate on a pier in San Francisco. Suddenly, a gunman sprang out and opened fire, hitting Kate. She pleaded, ``Help me, Dad,'' as she bled to death in her father's arms. Now, any murder is appalling, but one of the things that makes this even more appalling is that the shooter should never have been on the pier that day. The fact is, he was an illegal immigrant who had been convicted of seven felonies and had been deported five times, but even more galling is, 3 months before the day he murdered Kate Steinle, this murderer was in the custody of the San Francisco Police Department. They had him. He was in custody. They had him on an old warrant for a previous crime. When the Department of Homeland Security found out that the San Francisco Police Department had this guy in custody, they immediately reached out and said: Hold this guy until we can get someone there to take him into custody. We know he is dangerous, we know he is here illegally, and we want to get him out of this country, but the San Francisco Police couldn't provide that minimal cooperation. Instead, they released this man back onto the streets from which, 3 months later, he murdered young Kate Steinle. Why would the police of San Francisco do a thing like that? Why in the world would they refuse to provide this minimal cooperation with immigration authorities with respect to a dangerous individual? The reason is because San Francisco is a sanctuary city. That means it has as its explicit legal policy a prohibition that forbids their police from cooperating with Federal immigration officials, even if the police want to. It extends to other law enforcement, like sheriffs and deputy sheriffs. This is the case even when local law enforcement authorities believe the person is dangerous, and the local law enforcement folks wish to cooperate with the Federal authorities because they know this person is a threat to the security of their community, but local politicians override the police and decide this will be a sanctuary city. Such is the case with San Francisco, and so the San Francisco Police had no choice. They were required by local laws to release this man onto the streets. One of the many ironies about sanctuary cities is if Federal officials had called the San Francisco Police about any number of other crimes--robbery, car theft, violating a trademark, counterfeiting--any number of other Federal crimes, then the San Francisco Police would have been allowed to cooperate. They would have been happy [[Page S953]] to cooperate. They would have been able to cooperate, but because the crime was committed by an illegal immigrant, the police's hands were tied. The police were forced to release Kate Steinle's killer. It is just unbelievable to me that we have communities across the country that wish to provide this special privilege--this special protection--for even dangerous criminals because they are here illegally. It is unbelievable, but that is the case. Sadly, the Steinles are not alone. They are not the only family who has been affected this way because, of course, San Francisco is not our Nation's only sanctuary city. Philadelphia--the fifth largest city in America, the largest city in my home State--has an extreme sanctuary city policy, and it has had appalling consequences already. Maybe the most heartbreaking of these is the case of Ramon Aguirre- Ochoa. Ochoa was a Honduran national in the United States illegally. He was deported in 2009, but he illegally reentered the United States, which is itself a felony. He found his way to Philadelphia, and in 2015 the Philadelphia Police arrested him on charges of aggravated assault and various other crimes. When the background check went through, the Department of Homeland Security saw that the Philadelphia Police had this guy. They knew who this guy was. They knew he was here illegally, they knew he had been deported, and they believed him to be the dangerous criminal that he was. So they asked the Philadelphia Police: Could you hold this guy for 24, 48 hours, until we can get an agent there to take him into custody and begin deportation proceedings? We know he is a bad guy. We want him out of the country. Unfortunately, Philadelphia Police had to refuse. Instead, they released him onto the city streets in January 2015. The Philadelphia D.A. didn't feel like he had enough evidence to prosecute the case. He dropped the charges, and rather than cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security, they released Ochoa back onto the streets of Philadelphia. That was January of 2015. In July of 2016, Ochoa was arrested for raping a child under the age of 13. This brutal attack on the child was only possible because Philadelphia is a sanctuary city. It is these appalling cases--like the Steinle case or this case in Philadelphia-- that make it so important that we end these sanctuary cities if it is at all possible to do so. My amendment is a bipartisan amendment. It is identical to a bill I introduced and the Senate voted to consider in 2016. I reintroduced it in 2017. It does two things: It tackles a legal liability for localities that wish to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security, and, with that legal liability problem solved, it imposes penalties on communities that choose nevertheless to be sanctuary cities. We don't have the authority as a Federal Government to dictate the policy that a local community must follow. There is a constitutional separation that gives them the power to do what they will, but we don't have to subsidize their behavior when it endangers all of us, and that is what my legislation goes after. So let me discuss first the legal liability issue. There are now at least two court decisions that have put pressure on municipalities, localities, to be sanctuary cities. Over a dozen Pennsylvania counties have done so. One is a Third Circuit decision; the second is a Federal district court in Oregon. They have held that if the Department of Homeland Security makes a mistake and they make a detainer request--let's say it is a case of wrongful identity. They ask a local police force to hold someone who, in fact, is an American citizen, should be here and is here legally, and so it is therefore an erroneous detention. If that happens and the local law enforcement folks comply with that request, under these court decisions, the local municipality can be held liable for the ensuing litigation on the part of the person who is wrongly detained. My bill addresses this problem by simply saying that when a local law enforcement officer complies with an immigration detainer request from DHS that is a duly issued and bona fide request, then the local officer has the same authority as a DHS official. In a way, the officer would be considered an agent of the Department of Homeland Security for this purpose, and the entity the person would then sue in the event that a person is wrongly detained and their civil rights are violated would be the Federal Government. The responsibility should be on the Federal Government, since it was, after all, a request that initiated with the Federal Government. My legislation does not in any way curb an individual's ability to file a suit if their civil or constitutional rights are violated, whether it is intentional or accidental. There is no curb on an individual's ability to redress that if they were wrongfully detained. It simply transfers the liability from the municipality to the origination of the detainer request, which is the Department of Homeland Security. So that is the first part: solve the legal liability problem which has some municipalities across America--certainly in my State of Pennsylvania--choosing to be sanctuary cities, even though they would rather not be. Now, having addressed that, if our legislation is adopted, and we have thereby solved this legal liability problem, if a community nevertheless decides it is going to endanger all the rest of us by conferring this special protection on somebody just because they came here illegally--despite the fact that they may well be a dangerous criminal--in that case, under my amendment, that community will be deemed a sanctuary city, and under my amendment several types of Federal funding would be withheld from it. Specifically, we would withhold from the sanctuary cities community development block grants and certain grants from the Economic Development Administration. I think this is eminently reasonable. Sanctuary cities impose costs on all of us. They raise the cost to the Federal Government of enforcing immigration law, but by far outweighing that is the cost to the American people of more crime and the unbelievable, staggering cost to families like Jim Steinle and his family, who lost their daughter. I think it is extremely reasonable to have as a policy that if a community chooses to impose those costs on the rest of us, the Federal Government will not be subsidizing it. Let me debunk some of the misinformation that is occasionally disseminated about my amendment. One is that it is somehow anti- immigrant. This is not anti-immigrant at all; this is pro-immigrant. The fact is, the vast, overwhelming majority of immigrants in America, legal and illegal, would never commit these terrible crimes; there is no question about that. It is also obviously the case that any very large number of people will include some criminals among them. There are roughly 11 million people who are here illegally--11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Some of them are certainly violent criminals. It makes no sense to insulate those violent criminals, however few they may be, from capture by law enforcement. It would be absurd to allege that this is somehow anti- immigrant when quite likely some of their victims will be other immigrants. Immigrants want to live in safe communities too. I am positive of that. They don't want dangerous criminals to be able to walk the streets just because they came here illegally. The second point I want to stress is that this amendment does not discourage or punish illegal immigrants for coming forward to report a crime. This is important because folks who want to keep sanctuary cities sometimes charge that if my legislation were passed, victims and witnesses to crimes, if they are here illegally, wouldn't come forward. That is not so. My amendment in this underlying law explicitly states that a locality will not be labeled a sanctuary jurisdiction for this purpose, and therefore will not lose any Federal funds, if it has a policy stating that if a person comes forward as a victim or a witness to a crime, local law enforcement will not share information with DHS. Let me be clear and explicit about this. We have an explicit carve- out in the legislation. If a locality chooses to provide sanctuary status to a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime, such a community would not lose any Federal funds whatsoever. We think that [[Page S954]] makes sense because we do want to encourage victims and witnesses of crimes to come forward. We get it. We don't want to create a worry that there would be deportation consequences for them. A third point which some have alleged and which I want to be very clear about is that the penalties my amendment has for a community that chooses to be a sanctuary city do not include the loss of any funds whatsoever related to law enforcement or security. That is simply not the case. The list of categories that we include in lost funding is economic development in its nature. It is not at all law enforcement. Another point that some on the other side have made is that somehow this legislation, my amendment, would impose an unmanageable burden on law enforcement. One simple fact to consider is, if that is the case, then why has it been endorsed by law enforcement groups? The National Association of Police Organizations has endorsed my amendment. The International Union of Police Associations, a division of AFL-CIO, has endorsed my amendment. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association has endorsed my amendment. Would these groups endorse a bill that imposed an unworkable burden on their own members? I rather doubt it. I think they understand that this amendment encourages local law enforcement to share information with the Department of Homeland Security and in some cases to temporarily and briefly hold people in custody until the Department of Homeland Security can get there. This is a bipartisan amendment. In 2016, when the Senate voted on this very same amendment in the form of a freestanding bill, it received a majority, and it had bipartisan support. Unfortunately, a minority filibustered it and blocked it. But the fact is, it is a bipartisan piece of legislation with majority support. I don't think it should even be controversial. I think we will have a vote on this relatively soon, in the coming days. I hope it will have very broad support. This is common sense. It stands for the principle that the safety of the American people matters, that the lives of Kate Steinle and other victims of violent crime matter, and that all of our communities should be as safe as they can be. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut. Parkland, Florida, School Shooting Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, watching the pictures today as I came to the floor was deeply moving. Even though there is much that we don't know and a lot of information that we lack about what is happening at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the images of emergency vehicles and emergency responders and of young people and children evacuating a school after another tragic incident of gun violence brings back memories that are searing and harrowing. Once again, we feel that churning in our stomach, that sense of gut-punch, and a wrenching of hearts that reminds us of how we felt the day of violence in Newtown. Yet another school is victimized by gun violence. We are waiting to learn more of the details, but certainly our hearts and prayers go to the victims and their loved ones. Our gratitude goes to the courageous first responders who are on the scene now apprehending the shooter and administering to the victims and survivors. My thoughts and prayers are with those students, emergency responders, parents, loved ones, and the community of Parkland. Again, gun violence respects no boundaries. It spares no communities. It victimizes all of us, wherever it happens and whenever, including the gun violence that kills people every day individually, often unpublicized and invisible. My heart breaks to hear that one more school is facing this unthinkable horror, that again this harrowing scene plays before the people of America, literally unfolding in real-time. I know that I and all of the Members of this Chamber share the grief and sympathy and heartbreak that community is experiencing today. Mr. President, I want to talk about the Connecticut Dreamers and share their stories and call for this Chamber to take narrow and focused action to prevent their draconian mass deportation and protect them from that kind of very unfortunate outcome. The Dreamers who would be covered under legislation, which I hope will pass in the next 24 hours, came here as children. They grew up as Americans. This country is the only one they know. English is the only language many of them speak. They go to our schools. They serve in our military. They support our economy. They believe in the American dream. All of us believe in the American dream, but so do they. They work hard and give back. Deporting the Dreamers would be cruel, irrational, and inhumane-- unworthy of a great country. It would break our promise to the Dreamers who came forward when they were told they would be given protected status and would be a violation not only of the American dream but of the promise made by a great nation. Gabriela Valdiglesias came to the United States in 2001 from Lima, Peru. She has lived in Connecticut for 17 years. She works for Connecticut Students for a Dream, advocating for her fellow Dreamers. For those workers, she has been working on securing their right to safety, to higher education, to healthcare, and to live in a country without fear and discrimination. She shared with me some of the difficulties her family had while she was growing up. She and her five siblings are supported by their parents, who work in minimum-wage jobs. She hopes that if the Dream Act passes, she will be able to take on some of the economic burden her parents now carry. She hopes she will be able to make enough money to support herself and her family. She is currently in her first year of college, at a community college, where she has faced many financial challenges. Not being able to get a job at 18 years old is frustrating and sometimes devastating. If the Dream Act is passed, she could finish her 2 years at community college and transfer to a 4-year institution, and she could pursue her dream of working as a lawyer or in the field of law. There are countless other stories of Connecticut Dreamers, some wanting to keep their identities confidential. There is a young man in Bridgeport who was brought to Connecticut at the age of 5. He was educated in the Bridgeport public schools. He majored in chemistry and now attends Fairfield University. He has excelled there. He finished his first degree and was accepted at the University of California, Berkeley's physical chemistry program. He had to live under the threat of deportation because he had no way to apply for permanent lawful status. While he was continuing his studies here, he lived with the threat of deportation. There is a New Britain woman who was born in Mexico and brought to America when she was 6 years old. The journey was terrifying. She could barely understand what was happening. She had no idea at 6 years old that she was entering America in a way that would affect her for the rest of her life. It was not her choice to come here or to come here in that way, but it has affected her. In fact, despite her attending school and then going to college out of State at Bay Path University and earning a great many leadership positions there, she remains in the limbo of uncertainty and anguish and anxiety created by the threat of deportation. She dreams about helping people, making sure that families with low incomes can have access to occupational therapy. She is pursuing a master's degree in occupational therapy. Finally, there is a woman I know who came here from Venezuela. She was brought here when she was 11 years old. She remembers her mother telling her that she was going to America to learn English. When they settled in Norwalk, CT, her mother also told her that she could be successful if she were bilingual. She began to go to school right away. Life was difficult at the beginning, and there was a lot to learn. By the time she was a junior in high school, she stopped trying to get perfect grades because she feared colleges would not accept her, and even if they accepted her, she could not be eligible for financial assistance because she was undocumented. But she persevered, and she attended community college. She went on to Western Connecticut State University, and she overcame obstacles that for many Americans born here would be [[Page S955]] insuperable. Now facing deportation, she fears all of those dreams and all of that work will be for naught. These Dreamers, in fact, have trusted America. They believed in America's promise to them. Coming forward, providing facts about their residence, their family, their job, and Social Security number, they believed in America. It wasn't a dream. America is to be trusted. America is the land of opportunity. America is the greatest Nation in the history of the world. They have a dream that is American, which is that they will have the opportunity to pursue their full potential as human beings to give back, to educate themselves, and to better their lives. That is the American dream. In Dr. Martin Luther King's ``I Have a Dream'' speech, he said: When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note . . . a promise that all men-- And he might have added women-- would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The time has long since come for us to help the Dreamers. The time is today for us to protect them against mass draconian deportation, a violation of a promise that would be unworthy of America. The promissory note of this American dream can be made a reality by this Chamber today and tomorrow. I understand that some of my colleagues may want to change the immigration system. It is truly a broken system in need of comprehensive reform. That task is for another day. Today, we must make sure that we provide these Dreamers with legal status and a path to citizenship. That is our moral obligation. That is our job. Let's get it done. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma. Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, the Senate is probably interested in the status of the debate on immigration. This debate started in September in hallways, committee rooms, and in our offices--opportunities for us to talk about these issues now for months. Several weeks ago, there was a government shutdown demanding that we actually have a vote on immigration right now or that we don't reopen the government. After 3 days of government shutdown, the government was reopened, demanding that we move the immigration debate earlier to make sure we would get this done earlier. Now it is Wednesday of the week that it was supposed to occur, and the proposals are not out on the table. It has been a frustrating journey. I can't even begin to count the number of hours I have spent in bipartisan conversations trying to circle around a simple set of issues. How do we resolve a small group of issues related to immigration? I thought this was resolved in some ways. Back in early January, there was a large bipartisan meeting with the House and Senate to discuss what was widely televised as the scope for immigration and the key issues we were going to address. It came down to four issues, and there was agreement among the leaders, among those in the room, that these are the only four issues we are going to deal with: DACA and those DACA-eligible and how we move them toward citizenship, border security and all the things around border security, diversity visa lottery, and family reunification. All of those have been dealt with in legislation before--in fact, for decades, in one version or another-- except for the issue of DACA. That one is new. That is the only one that hasn't been done with legislation before. The others all have. The Gang of 8 bill in 2013 had border security and all kinds of different issues related to both construction of walls, technology, and legal loopholes. It had diversity lottery. It had chain migration in it. If you want to go back to an immigration study during the Clinton administration, in 1995, there was a proposal put out by Barbara Jordan, the Democratic House Member from Texas, who led that particular study during the Clinton administration dealing with chain migration, dealing with how we transition to merit-based immigration. This has been dealt with literally in hearings for decades, but what I have heard for the past several months is that there is no time to do any of those things. The only time that we have is to deal with DACA. We can't even discuss anything else. Meeting after meeting after meeting since early November, I have heard the same thing: There is no time. There is no time. There is no time. Now we are getting down to the day, and there is still a conversation about how we deal with these four simple issues that we have talked about for months, that the House and Senate have debated for decades, and on which we have had an untold number of hearings for decades to try to actually land them, to get legislation ready, and to get this resolved. Let me just focus on a few things, because a few of us have put out a proposal that covers those four areas that was a middle-ground proposal. It is certainly not everything that I would like to have in border security, and it is certainly not everything that Democrats would like to have, but it is a middle ground between all of those. It is one the White House has already announced that they will certainly sign. It has 1.8 million people moving into naturalization, or citizenship. These are the individuals whose parents brought them illegally, but they were children at the time. Those individuals came into the country. They have now lived here for years. They know no other country, on the whole. Those individuals are offered an opportunity to become citizens of the United States 10 years from now. Why 10 years from now? That gives a time period of 10 years, which is commonly agreed that it will take to be able to secure the border. In that 10-year time period, the border security could be put in place to make sure we have a secure border. It is not an unreasonable thing. In that same 10-year time period, about 2 million people are going to move, actually, into citizenship. How does that affect the rest of our process? Well, let me tell you first how it affects it. Right now we have a 20-year backlog to be able to come into the United States legally--20 years to be able to come through that process. Once we add another 2 million people in that process and all the family that will be connected to them, in all likelihood, that backlog moves from 20 years to 25 years. It is ridiculous at 20 years, and it is even worse at 25. We all know that this issue of family migration and the broad allowance of people coming in, not based on what skills they have but based on being someone's brother-in-law, is not the best way to do immigration, and we are the only country that does it like this. Seventy percent of the people who come into our country legally come through a family connection--being someone's brother, being someone's sister, being a relative in some way that they are able to come into the country. Canada, just to our north, is exactly the opposite. Sixty-three percent of the people who come into Canada legally through their immigration system come because they are bringing a work skill. Now, I don't want to oppose anyone coming from anywhere in the world. There is a uniqueness to the United States and how we handle immigration, and we allow people from all over the world, from every country, to come. That should remain the same, but we should have one simple requirement: They come to bring something to the Nation. I don't think that is too hard of a hill to climb. It is not a matter of who you are related to. You certainly should be able to bring in your spouse and your children, but brothers and sisters and other adults and such that would be in your family, maybe, should come based on their own merit, as well, for them to be able to come and be a part of our great culture, as well, or they are able to come visit and come stay long periods of time but not necessarily come for citizenship, unless you are coming to bring them. Again, that doesn't seem too difficult. The diversity lottery hasn't been the challenging issue. Quite frankly, that has been an issue that was in the 2013 Gang of 8 bill, saying: Why do we have 50,000 visas for individuals from anywhere, from around the world, who can come who don't necessarily bring a skill at all? Why don't we just add a skill requirement or an educational requirement? We could say that you are welcome to come from anywhere, but at least we should know that those who [[Page S956]] are coming from anywhere and everywhere bring something to the American economy. Again, that hasn't been controversial nor partisan in the past, and now, suddenly, it has become that. The border security part of it has been the most confusing part of the debate for me on this thing. Months ago, some of my Democratic colleagues over and over said: The wall will do nothing. There is no benefit in the wall. If you put up a 20-foot wall, there will be a 21- foot ladder. It will do absolutely nothing. Now, the conversation is this: Well, we will give citizenship to DACA, and we will give you some money to build a wall, and we will call it even. That has never been the request, and everyone knows it. The request has been border security, not just a wall. I am very aware that the President has talked about a big beautiful wall a lot. I get that. But it has always been about border security, not just about putting up a wall in certain places. There has never been an emphasis to build 2,000 miles of wall. There isn't a need for a wall in certain urban areas, but what is really needed is border security and everyone knows it. I don't understand why border security has suddenly become a controversial issue. What we have asked for and what we have laid out in a proposal seems to be a very middle-ground proposal. It doesn't do interior enforcement. Quite frankly, our Democratic colleagues have said: Absolutely no additional interior enforcement--we are open to border security, but nothing that secures the interior of the country. So we have said: OK, that will be a future bill dealing with interior enforcement, but we do feel like border security is very important. So they have said: OK, we will give you some money to build a wall in sections. Can I say what they are trying to exclude? Border security, when you lay it out, is also the legal loopholes. So here are just a few of the things that we have laid out, which I don't think should be that controversial, that we have included in our language and said: If we are going to do border security, let's be serious about it. For instance, we have asked for additional penalties for people who do human smuggling. Right now, it is a slap on the wrist if you do human smuggling into the country. So coyotes and others are able to do human smuggling into the country in transit. There are also people who are individuals in our country watching out for Border Patrol agents, radioing other people saying: Hey, Border Patrol is here. Go a different direction. They are actually helping to divert people away. We think we should increase the penalties. Our Democratic colleagues have pushed back and said no on that. It doesn't seem unreasonable to increase the penalties for human smuggling and the same for drug smuggling. To increase the penalties for those who are spying out and redirecting people who are doing drug smuggling doesn't seem too hard to be able to accomplish. We would like to allow an individual State and their National Guard to be able to participate with Border Patrol. Now the National Guard is not law enforcement. What does the National Guard bring, though? They bring helicopters that have infrared technology. They are able to fly over sections of the border to be able to see the area below and to help direct Border Patrol to it. To participate with the National Guard and allow them to bring some of those resources those States already have shouldn't be that difficult. That is just a part of border security, but our Democratic colleagues are pushing back on that. We would like to do an initiative to be able to work with Mexico and provide Mexico some additional funding and support and consultation on their border between Guatemala and Mexico, the southern border of Mexico--what is literally kind of our first border. It is their southern border. We have been pushed back, though, to say that is not border security. It is slowing down people illegally trafficking through Central America into Mexico. We think that is part of it. How about this one? All along the Rio Grande in Texas, there is Carrizo cane that are there--this large cane that grows in the river in that area. In that area, you are able to hide people, drugs--whatever it may be--in this tall cane because you just disappear in it. It is on both sides of the border. We think we should do an eradication of that cane so that you can actually see through it. It hasn't been controversial in the past, but suddenly it is controversial: No, we don't want to eradicate the cane. That cane is only there because it is hiding people and contraband. We think we should be able to do that. We think we should be able to add an electromagnetic spectrum at our border ports of entry so you can look through a vehicle, looking for chemical parts of the spectrum and to be able to see if we can eradicate drugs that are being trafficked into our country. I don't think that should be that controversial. There is getting secure communications so that our individuals and the Border Patrol can talk to each other and can interact with other law enforcement to make sure no one from a transnational criminal organization is listening in. We should have license plate readers at the port of entry to be able to help track that and speed it up. Doing biometrics at the entry and exit is something that has been required since the 9/11 Commission. So we can accelerate that process that as people come in and out of our country we know when they come in legally, but we also know when they depart legally. There is dealing with what is sometimes called catch and release. Individuals who come into the country and cross illegally into the country are held in detention for a short period of time until they get due process, and every individual gets due process. This is not trying to remove due process from anyone. But as they cross into the country illegally, we are able to pick them up, detain them, and make sure they have due process. Some of them make claims for asylum or make claims of credible fear or other things. Instead of doing a hearing on that, we actually give them a piece of paper that is called a notice to appear and release them into the country and say: We will see you in about 2 years for your hearing date--instead of actually doing the hearing right then. Nothing has changed. No facts have changed. No information has changed. Nothing has changed during that time of delay. We just release them because we don't have enough judges or enough courts or enough attorneys or enough advocates to be able to accomplish that. So they are released for years in the country. You may be surprised to know that most of the individuals never show up for that hearing. They are just released into the country. There is also a statement saying: Well, what about unaccompanied minors? Again, you might be interested to know that three-fourths of the unaccompanied minors who cross into the country are actually 14 years old or up. These are not 6-year-olds who are crossing in and 5- year-olds who are crossing in. Most of them are older teenagers. Two- thirds of the people who are coming in as unaccompanied minors are actually teenage boys, and most of them come in to be able to work. So the question is this: How do we handle that? I think we do fair detention. I think we go through the due process and make a decision right then. Again, you will be interested to know that for individuals who actually do show up for their court hearing, which is a small group, about 30 percent of those who go to the court hearing do get asylum once they finally get to the court hearing. But we are not getting to the court hearing for most of those individuals. That shouldn't be that controversial. We should be able to handle how we go through that process in an equitable and fair way. I would like us to be able to deal with the cost, quite frankly, of detention. We have asked for a simple part of this process on border security, to honor the taxpayer, to say that we will not spend more than $500 a night on housing individuals whom we have in detention. Now, I think most Americans--certainly most Oklahomans--would like to stay in a hotel that costs $500 a night. Putting a cap on how much we spend on that per person per night, I think, is a reasonable thing to be able to put into it, but we have had pushback. [[Page S957]] We have asked for emergency immigration judges. Right now there are almost 700,000 people in a backlog in our immigration courts--almost 700,000. We don't think it is unreasonable to ask for emergency judges to come in to help us with the backlog. We are not talking about untrained judges. We are talking about judges who are in the Federal system who are knowledgeable of these issues and to do a surge of judges to help us get caught up. We should be able to do all of these things. None of these issues should be controversial. This is what it means when you start talking about real border security, not just adding a wall in some places, not just adding a couple of additional agents but actually putting the things around them that they need to actually be able to enforce the law. I think people lose track of the fact that ICE folks and Customs and Border Patrol are not enemies of our State. They are American law enforcement. They work for our country to keep us safe and to enforce the laws of our Nation. I am appalled at the way they are spoken of on this floor and treated in conversations. They are American law enforcement enforcing American laws. If there is a problem with what they are enforcing, this body should vote on it and fix the law, not beat up on the people who are enforcing the law and doing what we have asked them to do as a Congress. I hope in the days ahead we can actually get this passed. I hope we can actually move toward citizenship for 1.8 million people, which the President has asked for, and I think it is a reasonable thing to be able to do for those individuals who came into our country as children. But I also hope that this time we don't say that we are going to do citizenship and not do border security. I hope we don't just throw some money and pretend we are doing it. I hope we, as a body, can have a serious conversation and say: Let's actually do border security and help us as a nation to establish a secure border. I hope we actually deal with some of the biggest issues on immigration and can walk through this debate in a reasonable way without the emotion and heat, but thinking this through because this affects the future of our country for a very long time. With that, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lee). The Senator from Delaware. Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I come to the floor to talk about an issue that has occupied this floor, this body, this Congress for some time now: the challenge of how to fix our broken immigration system. As many of us have debated and talked and tried to find common ground and a bipartisan path forward, I wanted to speak about why I have optimism that we can find a bipartisan solution to this challenge. I know I am not alone in my optimism about this. One of my very dearest friends in the Senate, someone I respect and admire deeply, someone who knows more about sacrifice and patriotism than anyone I have ever met, believes the same thing. This friend of mine is not just any Senator. It is Mr. John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona, who also happens to be an American hero and someone who has literally fought for this country and its values throughout his entire life. He is someone whom our mutual friend, former Vice President Joe Biden, calls a ``man of . . . deep conviction, and unmatched character.'' John McCain is exactly the person the Senate and this country needs in times like this, when the way forward is unclear, when our disagreements seem too wide, when our instincts are to argue rather than listen. This Chamber and this country need someone who is able to show us a way forward and lead us out of our stubborn, sometimes too partisan fights--someone like Senator McCain. As this debate has progressed in recent days, I have been reminded of something I heard Senator McCain say late last year when he accepted the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. When speaking about our country and when speaking about the opportunity he has had here, he said: What a privilege it is to serve this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, magnificent country. With all our flaws, all our mistakes, with all the frailties of human nature as much on display as our virtues, with all the rancor and anger of our politics, we are blessed. We are living in the land of the free, the land where anything is possible. The land of the immigrants' dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to an imagined future. What a country, indeed. Beautiful, brave, and magnificent, as John said, but also challenged by occasional frailty, rancor, and anger that we have seen too much of in this sustained debate over immigration. The point Senator McCain made that night in Philadelphia--and the point he has made every day serving our Nation for more than six decades--is that working through our disagreements, our divisions is worth it, not just as Senators but as citizens. The whole point is, we may be boisterous and intemperate, which John has certainly also been accused of being a time or two, but we don't stop striving for our ideals, believing in our future, and respecting one another. That is often difficult--especially here in politics--but it is the challenge that comes with the blessings of living and serving this great country. So I was honored when Senator McCain reached out to me a week ago to say: Let's work together to introduce in the Senate legislation that could help solve our most pressing immigration issues and keep our country moving forward. The bipartisan bill we have introduced--the McCain-Coons bill--in the Senate doesn't solve every immigration issue we face, and it doesn't try to. What our bill does is focus on two issues right in front of us that I believe we can address and resolve. It is an attempt to break through what have been messy and divisive political debates and to address, through a compromise, legitimate, substantive issues in front of us. Our bill would do two things: secure our border and finally give Dreamers the pathway to citizenship they have long awaited for, and they deserve. First, to address border security, our bill would ensure we gain operational control of the border by 2020 with new technology, new resources for Federal, State, and local law enforcement, and new infrastructure. It would reduce the existing immigration case backlogs by funding new judges and new attorneys, while also addressing one of the root causes of migration into our country from Central America. Our legislation would give certainty to 1.8 million Dreamers brought here as children through no fault of their own, who are American in every way but the paperwork. Dreamers who continue to play by the rules by going to school, serving in the military, or being consistently employed can become lawful, permanent residents and, at least 5 years later, U.S. citizens. Senator McCain and I aren't the only ones who think this bipartisan solution makes sense. In fact, the reason we filed it here was because of the strength of its development in the other Chamber, the people's House, the House of Representatives. This bill was crafted by Republican Congressman Will Hurd of El Paso, TX, whose district has more than 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border--more than any district in our country with a U.S.-Mexico border--and his partner, Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar, who is from Southern California. The two of them put this bill together after a lot of consultation and meetings with their colleagues in the House. Today, it enjoys 27 Republican cosponsors and 27 Democratic cosponsors. I often hear we shouldn't take up and consider anything that can't pass the House, but a bill that has 54 bipartisan cosponsors in the House is certainly on the right track. Now, I am clear-eyed about the fact that this McCain-Coons bill is not perfect, and I understand some of my colleagues may want to make changes to it. Some of my Republican friends I have met with and heard from and talked to in recent days have suggested it needs more investments in border security to win their support, and that is fine because our bill is more than just a set of policies. It is a way to provide a framework for us to agree and not let our disagreements prevent us from moving forward. So my message is simple about this bill: We may not be able to fix our entire immigration system this week--in fact, I am certain we can't--but we can, over the next few days, perhaps [[Page S958]] even over the next few hours, take important, even historic steps forward. We can lay the groundwork for securing our border with new investments, new technology, and new manpower. We can help Dreamers succeed in American schools, serve in our American military, and enrich American communities without living in constant fear of imminent deportation. These are tough issues, but the solution can be fairly simple. I think our legislation offers a real solution for right now. There have been developments in recent days. I have been proud to participate in a large bipartisan effort by the Common Sense Coalition, and as it has, as a group, tried to hammer out a bipartisan deal, I have been honored to have started this discussion, this debate, with Senator McCain by filing our bill that we brought over from the House. It is a bipartisan bill that I believe is the most bipartisan bill currently before this Chamber on this issue. If we can make more progress, if we can attract more bipartisan support through some amendments or revisions, I welcome that. I believe this week, this day, this opening on our Senate floor is not only a challenge but an incredible opportunity to do the right thing. We don't have to agree on everything. We just have to agree on some things, and we can find a way forward together. It is an enormous honor to have the opportunity to partner with Senator McCain in this legislative effort. While he is not with us today, I know he is with us in spirit and watching our deliberations, and he is someone who has shown not just courage on the battlefield but courage in American politics--a determined willingness to compromise and to work tirelessly to advance the interests of the American people. I can only hope my colleagues, when we get a chance to vote on this bill--which I hope we will later today--will join me in supporting it in recognition of his lifetime of service to our Nation and his commitment to bipartisanship. It is my hope that as this day and tomorrow unfolds, we will have the open and fair process that has been promised, and that all of us, together, can do what we were sent to do: listen to each other, trust each other, work together, and find a path through compromise that can solve these two most important and pressing issues in the field of immigration. Thank you. I yield the floor. (The Acting President pro tempore assumed the Chair.) Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). Without objection, it is so ordered. Parkland, Florida, School Shooting Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, every day in America we face the devastating reminder of the toll of gun violence. Today, we are watching the horrific scenes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, where yet another school shooting has taken place. It is gut-wrenching. We know that so many families have just had their worlds and lives changed forever by senseless gun violence. Ironically, this is the 10th anniversary of a similar shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Our prayers go out to the victims, to the families, to the first responders, and, of course, to the Parkland community. Honoring Commander Paul Bauer Yesterday, Mr. President, in the city of Chicago, which I am honored to represent, we lost one of our finest, Commander Paul Bauer of the Chicago Police Department. He was shot and killed by a gunman in the Chicago Loop. Commander Bauer was a 31-year veteran of the CPD and the commander of the 18th police district in the Near North Side. He was a pillar of that community. He was well-known in his district. He had been commended by the city council last year for a charity holiday party he helped to host for underprivileged kids. He was a husband to his wife Erin and a father to a 13-year-old daughter named Grace. Commander Bauer was at a training session yesterday in the Loop, but he didn't hesitate to help out his fellow officers when they were pursuing a fleeing suspect. Commander Bauer was shot several times by the suspect, and he died from his wounds. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said this was an extremely difficult day for the Chicago police family. Commander Bauer was a hero in life. He made the ultimate sacrifice to help protect the city he served and the city he loved. His loss is a tragedy. Our prayers go out to the commander's friends, colleagues, his loved ones, and, of course, his family and daughter. 10th Anniversary of Northern Illinois University Shooting As I mentioned, Mr. President, today marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most devastating shootings ever to occur on a college campus in America. On February 14, 2008, a gunman with a history of mental instability walked into a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb and opened fire. His bullets killed five students and wounded 17 more. It was a horrific mass murder, and it shocked the entire Nation. The five young Illinoisans we lost that day all had bright futures ahead of them: Gayle Dubowski, 20 years old, from Carol Stream, who worked as a camp counselor and was a talented singer in her church choir; Catalina Garcia, of Cicero, 20 years old, a smiling, outgoing young woman who planned to be a teacher; Julianna Gehant, of Mendota, 32 years old, who served our country in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve and who went to NIU to study to be a teacher; Ryanne Mace, of Carpentersville, a 19-year-old, who was funny and fun to be with and who aspired to work as a counselor; and Daniel Parmenter, 20 years old, from Westchester, a rugby player, who lost his life because he shielded his girlfriend from the shooter. It is heartbreaking to think what these five young people could have accomplished in the 10 years since that horrible day. We mourn their loss and, again, our hearts go out to their families. We remember and honor the wounded who still bear the scars of that terrible day. We renew our thanks over and over to the law enforcement officers and first responders who headed toward the sound of gunfire that day and who treated the victims as they were wounded. We commend the many members of the NIU community who stepped up in the days that followed, working to persevere through this tragedy, with heavy hearts but unbroken spirits and moving ``forward, together forward,'' in the words of that Northern Illinois University Huskie fight song. It is devastating to think that in this great country, students and educators could be gunned down in our schools. But it happens so often that I am afraid a numbness is setting in. Just in the last few months, we have had fatal shootings of students at Aztec High School in Aztec, NM; Wake Forest University in North Carolina; Marshall County High School in Benton, KY; and then, today, in Florida. Other tragedies have been narrowly averted because of well-trained staff. At Mattoon High School in Illinois, a heroic teacher named Angela McQueen stopped a student gunman from causing a massacre there last September. The threat of shootings in our schools is ever present. According to a tally kept by the group Everytown, there have been at least 18 incidents so far this year where a gun has been fired on a school or college campus. Schools and colleges are doing the best they can to prepare and protect their students. I salute the educators and administrators who are working hard, but is Congress doing all that it can to keep our Nation's students safe from gun violence? Not even close. Of course, there is no single reform that could stop every shooting in America, but we know there are big gaps in our laws that make it easy for criminals, abusers, and mentally unstable people to get their hands on guns that hurt innocent people. Congress has done nothing-- nothing--in recent years to close those gaps and make America safer. Congress hasn't even closed the gun show loophole that the 1999 Columbine, CO, killers used to buy their weapons, and we did nothing in response to the murder of 20 first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In fact, the only vote taken by the Senate on gun laws in this current [[Page S959]] Congress was to weaken gun law safety provisions on the books. That was a vote that Senate Republicans brought up last year that prevented the Social Security Administration from alerting the FBI's gun background check system about people with mental illness. It is likely that before this year is over, the Republican majority will call up more bills to weaken gun safety laws. That is the wrong response to the epidemic of gun violence in America. I am not going to give up on trying to close the loopholes in our gun laws. I am going to keep fighting for universal background checks, tougher straw purchasing laws, and better laws to prevent gun theft. I am not going to give up because of people like Patrick Korellis, who was shot in the head 10 years ago at the tragedy at Northern Illinois University. Luckily, Patrick survived, and since that day, he has been a leader in Illinois, fighting for commonsense gun reform. I have come to know and admire him for his efforts. No one should have to go through what Patrick went through and so many others went through on that day in DeKalb, IL, 10 years ago. We owe it to Patrick, to the other NIU victims and families and community members, and to the hundreds of thousands more across America who have been killed and wounded by guns this past decade to keep trying to reduce the toll of gun violence. Maybe we can't stop every shooting, but if we do our best to keep guns out of dangerous hands, we will save lives. I intend to keep doing my best to achieve that goal. I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. Amendment No. 1958, as Modified Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I modify my amendment No. 1958 with the text at the desk. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has that right. The amendment, as modified, is as follows: In lieu of the matter proposed to be stricken, insert the following: SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Immigration Security and Opportunity Act''. SEC. 2. CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR CERTAIN LONG-TERM RESIDENTS WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN. (a) In General.--Chapter 4 of title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1221 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 244A. CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL FOR CERTAIN LONG-TERM RESIDENTS WHO ENTERED THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN. ``(a) Definitions.--In this section: ``(1) Applicable federal tax liability.--The term `applicable Federal tax liability' means liability for Federal taxes imposed under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, including any penalties and interest on Federal taxes imposed under that Code. ``(2) Armed forces.--The term `Armed Forces' has the meaning given the term `armed forces' in section 101 of title 10, United States Code. ``(3) DACA.--The term `DACA' means the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy described in the memorandum issued by the Secretary dated June 15, 2012 (rescinded on September 5, 2017). ``(4) DACA recipient.--The term `DACA recipient' means an alien who was granted and remained in deferred action status under DACA. ``(5) Disability.--The term `disability' has the meaning given the term in section 3(1) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102(1)). ``(6) Early childhood education program.--The term `early childhood education program' has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003). ``(7) Elementary school.--The term `elementary school' has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801). ``(8) Felony.-- ``(A) In general.--The term `felony' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term that exceeds 1 year. ``(B) Exclusion.--The term `felony' does not include a State or local criminal offense for which an essential element is the immigration status of an alien. ``(9) High school.--The term `high school' has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801). ``(10) Institution of higher education.-- ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term `institution of higher education' has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002). ``(B) Exclusion.--The term `institution of higher education' does not include an institution of higher education outside the United States. ``(11) Misdemeanor.-- ``(A) In general.--The term `misdemeanor' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense for which-- ``(i) the maximum term of imprisonment is-- ``(I) greater than 5 days; and ``(II) not greater than 1 year; and ``(ii) the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less. ``(B) Exclusion.--The term `misdemeanor' does not include a State or local offense for which an essential element is-- ``(i) the immigration status of the alien; ``(ii) a significant misdemeanor; or ``(iii) a minor traffic offense. ``(12) Permanent resident status on a conditional basis.-- The term `permanent resident status on a conditional basis' means status as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis under this section. ``(13) Poverty line.--The term `poverty line' has the meaning given the term in section 673 of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902). ``(14) Secondary school.--The term `secondary school' has the meaning given the term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801). ``(15) Secretary.--The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Homeland Security. ``(16) Significant misdemeanor.-- ``(A) In general.--The term `significant misdemeanor' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense-- ``(i) for which the maximum term of imprisonment is-- ``(I) more than 5 days; and ``(II) not more than 1 year; and ``(ii)(I) that, regardless of the sentence imposed, is-- ``(aa) a crime of domestic violence (as defined in section 237(a)(2)(E)(i)); or ``(bb) an offense of-- ``(AA) sexual abuse or exploitation; ``(BB) burglary; ``(CC) unlawful possession or use of a firearm; ``(DD) drug distribution or trafficking; or ``(EE) driving under the influence, if the applicable State law requires, as elements of the offense, the operation of a motor vehicle and a finding of impairment or a blood alcohol content equal to or greater than .08; or ``(II) that resulted in a sentence of time in custody of more than 90 days. ``(B) Exclusion.--The term `significant misdemeanor' does not include a State or local offense for which an essential element is the immigration status of an alien. ``(17) Uniformed services.--The term `Uniformed Services' has the meaning given the term `uniformed services' in section 101(a) of title 10, United States Code. ``(b) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall cancel the removal of, and adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis, an alien who is inadmissible to, or deportable from, the United States if-- ``(1) the alien is a DACA recipient; or ``(2)(A) the alien has been continuously physically present in the United States since June 15, 2012; ``(B) the alien was younger than 18 years of age on the date on which the alien initially entered the United States; ``(C) subject to subsections (c) and (d), the alien-- ``(i) is not inadmissible under paragraph (2), (3), (6)(E), (6)(G), (8), (10)(A), (10)(C), or (10)(D) of section 212(a); ``(ii) has not ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and ``(iii) has not been convicted of-- ``(I) a felony; ``(II) a significant misdemeanor; or ``(III) 3 or more misdemeanors-- ``(aa) not occurring on the same date; and ``(bb) not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct; ``(D) the alien-- ``(i) has been admitted to an institution of higher education; ``(ii)(I) has earned a high school diploma or a commensurate alternative award from a public or private high school; or ``(II) has obtained-- ``(aa) a general education development certificate recognized under State law; or ``(bb) a high school equivalency diploma in the United States; ``(iii) is enrolled in-- ``(I) secondary school; or ``(II) an education program assisting student in-- ``(aa) obtaining-- ``(AA) a regular high school diploma; or ``(BB) the recognized equivalent of a regular high school diploma; or ``(bb) passing-- ``(AA) a general educational development exam; [[Page S960]] ``(BB) a high school equivalence diploma examination; or ``(CC) any other similar State-authorized exam; or ``(iv)(I) has served, is serving, or has enlisted in the Armed Forces; or ``(II) in the case of an alien who has been discharged from the Armed Forces, has received an honorable discharge; ``(E)(i) the alien has paid any applicable Federal tax liability incurred by the alien during the entire period for which the alien was authorized to work in the United States; or ``(ii) the alien has entered into an agreement to pay, through a payment installment plan approved by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, any applicable Federal tax liability incurred by the alien during the entire period for which the alien was authorized to work in the United States; and ``(F) the alien was under the age of 38 years on June 15, 2012. ``(c) Waiver.-- ``(1) In general.--With respect to any benefit under this section, the Secretary may, on a case-by-case basis, waive a ground of inadmissibility under paragraph (2), (6)(E), (6)(G), or (10)(D) of section 212(a)-- ``(A) for humanitarian purposes; or ``(B) if the waiver is otherwise in the public interest. ``(2) Quarterly report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, and quarterly thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that identifies, for the preceding quarter-- ``(A) the number of waivers requested by aliens under paragraph (1); ``(B) the number of waiver requests granted by the Secretary under that paragraph; and ``(C) the number of waiver requests denied by the Secretary under that paragraph. ``(d) Treatment of Expunged Convictions.-- ``(1) In general.--An expunged conviction shall not automatically be treated as a conviction referred to in subsection (b)(2)(C)(iii), (o)(3)(A)(iii), or (p)(1)(A)(i)(III). ``(2) Case-by-case evaluation.--The Secretary shall evaluate an expunged conviction on a case-by-case basis according to the nature and severity of the offense underlying the expunged conviction, based on the record of conviction, to determine whether, under the particular circumstances, the alien is eligible for cancellation of removal, adjustment to permanent resident status on a conditional basis, or other adjustment of status. ``(e) DACA Recipients.--With respect to a DACA recipient, the Secretary shall cancel the removal of the DACA recipient and adjust the status of the DACA recipient to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis unless, since the date on which the DACA recipient was granted deferred action status under DACA, the DACA recipient has engaged in conduct that would render an alien ineligible for deferred action status under DACA. ``(f) Application Fee.-- ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may require an alien applying for permanent resident status on a conditional basis to pay a reasonable fee that is commensurate with the cost of processing the application. ``(2) Exemption.--An applicant may be exempted from paying the fee required under paragraph (1) only if the alien-- ``(A)(i) is younger than 18 years of age; ``(ii) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line; and ``(iii) is in foster care or otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support; ``(B) is younger than 18 years of age and is homeless; ``(C)(i) cannot care for himself or herself because of a serious, chronic disability; and ``(ii) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line; or ``(D)(i) during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, accumulated $10,000 or more in debt as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by the alien or an immediate family member of the alien; and ``(ii) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line. ``(g) Submission of Biometric and Biographic Data.-- ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may not grant an alien permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section unless the alien submits biometric and biographic data, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. ``(2) Alternative procedure.--The Secretary shall provide an alternative procedure for any alien who is unable to provide the biometric or biographic data referred to in paragraph (1) due to of a physical impairment. ``(h) Background Checks.-- ``(1) Requirement for background checks.--The Secretary shall use biometric, biographic, and other data that the Secretary determines appropriate-- ``(A) to conduct security and law enforcement background checks of an alien seeking permanent resident status on a conditional basis; and ``(B) to determine whether there is any criminal, national security, or other factor that would render the alien ineligible for permanent resident status on a conditional basis. ``(2) Completion of background checks.--The security and law enforcement background checks of an alien required under paragraph (1) shall be completed, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, before the date on which the Secretary grants the alien permanent resident status on a conditional basis. ``(3) Criminal record requests.--With respect to an alien seeking permanent resident status on a conditional basis, the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of State, shall seek to obtain from INTERPOL, EUROPOL, or any other international or national law enforcement agency of the country of nationality, country of citizenship, or country of last habitual residence of the alien information about any criminal activity-- ``(A) in which the alien engaged in the country of nationality, country of citizenship, or country of last habitual residence of the alien; or ``(B) for which the alien was convicted in the country of nationality, country of citizenship, or country of last habitual residence of the alien. ``(i) Medical Examination.-- ``(1) Requirement.--An alien applying for permanent resident status on a conditional basis shall undergo a medical examination. ``(2) Policies and procedures.--The Secretary, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall prescribe policies and procedures for the nature and timing of the examination required under paragraph (1). ``(j) Military Selective Service.--An alien applying for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section shall establish that the alien has registered under the Military Selective Service Act (50 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.), if the alien is subject to registration under that Act. ``(k) Determination of Continuous Presence.-- ``(1) Termination of continuous period.--Any period of continuous physical presence in the United States of an alien who applies for permanent resident status on a conditional basis under this section shall not terminate on the date on which the alien is served a notice to appear under section 239(a). ``(2) Treatment of certain breaks in presence.-- ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), an alien shall be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States if the alien has departed from the United States for any period greater than 90 days or for any periods, in the aggregate, greater than 180 days. ``(B) Extensions for extenuating circumstances.--The Secretary may extend the time periods described in subparagraph (A) for an alien who demonstrates that the failure to timely return to the United States was due to extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the alien, including the serious illness of the alien, or death or serious illness of a parent, grandparent, sibling, or child of the alien. ``(C) Travel authorized by the secretary.--Any period of travel outside of the United States by an alien that was authorized by the Secretary may not be counted toward any period of departure from the United States under subparagraph (A). ``(l) Limitation on Removal of Certain Aliens.-- ``(1) In general.--The Secretary or the Attorney General may not remove an alien who appears prima facie eligible for relief under this section. ``(2) Aliens subject to removal.--With respect to an alien who is in removal proceedings, the subject of a final removal order, or the subject of a voluntary departure order, the Attorney General shall provide the alien with a reasonable opportunity to apply for relief under this section. ``(m) Certain Aliens Enrolled in Elementary or Secondary School.-- ``(1) Stay of removal.--The Attorney General shall stay the removal proceedings of an alien who-- ``(A) meets all the requirements described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of subsection (b)(2), subject to subsections (c) and (d); ``(B) is at least 5 years of age; and ``(C) is enrolled in an elementary school, a secondary school, or an early childhood education program. ``(2) Commencement of removal proceedings.--The Secretary may not commence removal proceedings for an alien described in paragraph (1). ``(3) Employment.--An alien whose removal is stayed pursuant to paragraph (1) or who may not be placed in removal proceedings pursuant to paragraph (2) shall, on application to the Secretary, be granted an employment authorization document. ``(4) Lift of stay.--The Secretary or Attorney General may not lift the stay granted to an alien under paragraph (1) unless the alien ceases to meet the requirements under that paragraph. ``(n) Exemption From Numerical Limitations.--Nothing in this section or in any other law applies a numerical limitation on the number of aliens who may be granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis. [[Page S961]] ``(o) Terms of Permanent Resident Status on a Conditional Basis.-- ``(1) Period of status.-- ``(A) In general.--Permanent resident status on a conditional basis is-- ``(i) subject to subparagraph (B), valid for a period of 7 years; and ``(ii) subject to termination under paragraph (3). ``(B) Extension authorized.--The Secretary may extend the period described in subparagraph (A)(i). ``(2) Notice of requirements.--At the time an alien obtains permanent resident status on a conditional basis, the Secretary shall provide notice to the alien regarding the provisions of this section and the requirements to have the conditional basis of that status removed. ``(3) Termination of status.--The Secretary may terminate the permanent resident status on a conditional basis of an alien only if the Secretary-- ``(A) subject to subsections (c) and (d), determines that the alien-- ``(i) is inadmissible under paragraph (2), (3), (6)(E), (6)(G), (8), (10)(A), (10)(C), or (10)(D) of section 212(a); ``(ii) has ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; or ``(iii) has been convicted of-- ``(I) a felony; ``(II) a significant misdemeanor; or ``(III) 3 or more misdemeanors-- ``(aa) not occurring on the same date; and ``(bb) not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct; and ``(B) prior to the termination, provides the alien-- ``(i) notice of the proposed termination; and ``(ii) the opportunity for a hearing to provide evidence that the alien meets the requirements or otherwise contest the termination. ``(4) Return to previous immigration status.--The immigration status of an alien whose permanent resident status on a conditional basis expires under paragraph (1)(A)(i) or is terminated under paragraph (3) or whose application for permanent resident status on a conditional basis is denied shall return to the immigration status of the alien on the day before the date on which the alien received permanent resident status on a conditional basis or applied for permanent resident status on a conditional basis, as appropriate. ``(p) Removal of Conditional Basis of Permanent Resident Status.-- ``(1) Eligibility for removal of conditional basis.-- ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall remove the conditional basis of the permanent resident status of an alien granted under this section and grant the alien status as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien-- ``(i) subject to subsections (c) and (d)-- ``(I) is not inadmissible under paragraph (2), (3), (6)(E), (6)(G), (8), (10)(A), (10)(C), or (10)(D) of section 212(a); ``(II) has not ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and ``(III) has not been convicted of-- ``(aa) a felony; ``(bb) a significant misdemeanor; or ``(cc) 3 or more misdemeanors-- ``(AA) not occurring on the same date; and ``(BB) not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct; ``(ii) has not abandoned the residence of the alien in the United States; ``(iii)(I) has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education or has completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States; ``(II)(aa) has served in the Uniformed Services for at least 2 years; or ``(bb) in the case of an alien who has been discharged from the Uniformed Services, has received an honorable discharge; or ``(III) has been employed for periods totaling at least 3 years and at least 75 percent of the time that the alien has had a valid employment authorization, except that any period during which the alien is not employed while having a valid employment authorization and is enrolled in an institution of higher education, a secondary school, or an education program described in subsection (b)(2)(D)(iii), shall not count toward the time requirements under this clause; ``(iv)(I) has paid any applicable Federal tax liability incurred by the alien during the entire period for which the alien has been in permanent resident status on a conditional basis; or ``(II) has entered into an agreement to pay the applicable Federal tax liability through a payment installment plan approved by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue; and ``(v) has demonstrated good moral character during the entire period for which the alien has been in permanent resident status on a conditional basis. ``(B) Citizenship requirement.--The conditional basis of the permanent resident status granted to an alien under this section may not be removed unless the alien demonstrates that the alien satisfies the requirements of section 312(a). ``(C) Application fee.-- ``(i) In general.--The Secretary may require an alien applying for lawful permanent resident status under this subsection to pay a reasonable fee that is commensurate with the cost of processing the application. ``(ii) Exemption.--An applicant may be exempted from paying the fee required under clause (i) only if the alien-- ``(I)(aa) is younger than 18 years of age; ``(bb) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line; and ``(cc) is in foster care or otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support; ``(II) is younger than 18 years of age and is homeless; ``(III)(aa) cannot care for himself or herself because of a serious, chronic disability; and ``(bb) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line; or ``(IV)(aa) during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, the alien accumulated $10,000 or more in debt as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by the alien or an immediate family member of the alien; and ``(bb) received total income, during the 1-year period immediately preceding the date on which the alien files an application under this section, that is less than 150 percent of the poverty line. ``(D) Submission of biometric and biographic data.-- ``(i) In general.--The Secretary may not remove the conditional basis of the permanent resident status of an alien unless the alien submits biometric and biographic data, in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary. ``(ii) Alternative procedure.--The Secretary shall provide an alternative procedure for any applicant who is unable to provide the biometric or biographic data referred to in clause (i) due to physical impairment. ``(E) Background checks.-- ``(i) Requirement for background checks.--The Secretary shall use biometric, biographic, and other data that the Secretary determines to be appropriate-- ``(I) to conduct security and law enforcement background checks of an alien applying for removal of the conditional basis of the permanent resident status of the alien; and ``(II) to determine whether there is any criminal, national security, or other factor that would render the alien ineligible for removal of the conditional basis of the permanent resident status of the alien. ``(ii) Completion of background checks.--The security and law enforcement background checks of an alien required under clause (i) shall be completed, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, before the date on which the Secretary removes the conditional basis of the permanent resident status of the alien. ``(2) Naturalization.-- ``(A) In general.--For purposes of title III, an alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis shall be considered to have been admitted to the United States, and to be present in the United States, as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. ``(B) Limitations on application for naturalization.-- ``(i) In general.--An alien shall not be naturalized-- ``(I) on any date on which the alien is in permanent resident status on a conditional basis; or ``(II) subject to clause (iii), before the date that is 12 years after the date on which the alien was granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis. ``(ii) Advanced filing date.--Subject to clause (iii), with respect to an alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis, the alien may file an application for naturalization not more than 90 days before the date that is 12 years after the date on which the alien was granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis. ``(iii) Reduction in period.-- ``(I) In general.--Subject to subclause (II), the 12-year period referred to in clause (i)(II) and clause (ii) may be reduced by the number of days on which the alien was a DACA recipient, if applicable. ``(II) Limitation.--Notwithstanding subclause (I), the reduction in the 12-year period referred to in clause (i)(II) and clause (ii) shall be not more than 2 years. ``(3) Limitation on certain parents.--An alien shall not be eligible to adjust status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence based on a petition filed by a child or a son or daughter of the alien if-- ``(A) the child or son or daughter was granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis; and ``(B) the alien knowingly assisted the child or son or daughter to enter the United States unlawfully. ``(q) Documentation Requirements.-- ``(1) Documents establishing identity.--An alien's application for permanent resident status on a conditional basis may include, as proof of identity-- ``(A) a passport or national identity document from the alien's country of origin that includes the alien's name and the alien's photograph or fingerprint; ``(B) the alien's birth certificate and an identity card that includes the alien's name and photograph; [[Page S962]] ``(C) a school identification card that includes the alien's name and photograph, and school records showing the alien's name and that the alien is or was enrolled at the school; ``(D) a Uniformed Services identification card issued by the Department of Defense; ``(E) any immigration or other document issued by the United States Government bearing the alien's name and photograph; or ``(F) a State-issued identification card bearing the alien's name and photograph. ``(2) Documents establishing continuous physical presence in the united states.--To establish that an alien has been continuously physically present in the United States, as required under subsection (b)(2)(A), or to establish that an alien has not abandoned residence in the United States, as required under subsection (p)(1)(A)(ii), the alien may submit documents to the Secretary, including-- ``(A) employment records that include the employer's name and contact information; ``(B) records from any educational institution the alien has attended in the United States; ``(C) records of service from the Uniformed Services; ``(D) official records from a religious entity confirming the alien's participation in a religious ceremony; ``(E) passport entries; ``(F) a birth certificate for a child of the alien who was born in the United States; ``(G) automobile license receipts or registration; ``(H) deeds, mortgages, or rental agreement contracts; ``(I) tax receipts; ``(J) insurance policies; ``(K) remittance records; ``(L) rent receipts or utility bills bearing the alien's name or the name of an immediate family member of the alien, and the alien's address; ``(M) copies of money order receipts for money sent in or out of the United States; ``(N) dated bank transactions; or ``(O) 2 or more sworn affidavits from individuals who are not related to the alien who have direct knowledge of the alien's continuous physical presence in the United States, that contain-- ``(i) the name, address, and telephone number of the affiant; and ``(ii) the nature and duration of the relationship between the affiant and the alien. ``(3) Documents establishing initial entry into the united states.--To establish under subsection (b)(2)(B) that an alien was younger than 18 years of age on the date on which the alien initially entered the United States, an alien may submit documents to the Secretary, including-- ``(A) an admission stamp on the alien's passport; ``(B) records from any educational institution the alien has attended in the United States; ``(C) any document from the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security stating the alien's date of entry into the United States; ``(D) hospital or medical records showing medical treatment or hospitalization, the name of the medical facility or physician, and the date of the treatment or hospitalization; ``(E) rent receipts or utility bills bearing the alien's name or the name of an immediate family member of the alien, and the alien's address; ``(F) employment records that include the employer's name and contact information; ``(G) official records from a religious entity confirming the alien's participation in a religious ceremony; ``(H) a birth certificate for a child of the alien who was born in the United States; ``(I) automobile license receipts or registration; ``(J) deeds, mortgages, or rental agreement contracts; ``(K) tax receipts; ``(L) travel records; ``(M) copies of money order receipts sent in or out of the country; ``(N) dated bank transactions; ``(O) remittance records; or ``(P) insurance policies. ``(4) Documents establishing admission to an institution of higher education.--To establish that an alien has been admitted to an institution of higher education, the alien shall submit to the Secretary a document from the institution of higher education certifying that the alien-- ``(A) has been admitted to the institution; or ``(B) is currently enrolled in the institution as a student. ``(5) Documents establishing receipt of a degree from an institution of higher education.--To establish that an alien has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States, the alien shall submit to the Secretary a diploma or other document from the institution stating that the alien has received such a degree. ``(6) Documents establishing receipt of high school diploma, general educational development certificate, or a recognized equivalent.--To establish that an alien has earned a high school diploma or a commensurate alternative award from a public or private high school, or has obtained a general educational development certificate recognized under State law or a high school equivalency diploma in the United States, the alien shall submit to the Secretary-- ``(A) a high school diploma, certificate of completion, or other alternate award; ``(B) a high school equivalency diploma or certificate recognized under State law; or ``(C) evidence that the alien passed a State-authorized exam, including the general educational development exam, in the United States. ``(7) Documents establishing enrollment in an educational program.--To establish that an alien is enrolled in any school or education program described in subsection (b)(2)(D)(iii), (m)(1)(C), or (p)(1)(A)(iii)(III), the alien shall submit school records from the United States school that the alien is currently attending that include-- ``(A) the name of the school; and ``(B) the alien's name, periods of attendance, and current grade or educational level. ``(8) Documents establishing exemption from application fees.--To establish that an alien is exempt from an application fee under subsection (f)(2) or (p)(1)(C)(ii), the alien shall submit to the Secretary the following relevant documents: ``(A) Documents to establish age.--To establish that an alien meets an age requirement, the alien shall provide proof of identity, as described in paragraph (1), that establishes that the alien is younger than 18 years of age. ``(B) Documents to establish income.--To establish the alien's income, the alien shall provide-- ``(i) employment records that have been maintained by the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or any other Federal, State, or local government agency; ``(ii) bank records; or ``(iii) at least 2 sworn affidavits from individuals who are not related to the alien and who have direct knowledge of the alien's work and income that contain-- ``(I) the name, address, and telephone number of the affiant; and ``(II) the nature and duration of the relationship between the affiant and the alien. ``(C) Documents to establish foster care, lack of familial support, homelessness, or serious, chronic disability.--To establish that the alien was in foster care, lacks parental or familial support, is homeless, or has a serious, chronic disability, the alien shall provide at least 2 sworn affidavits from individuals who are not related to the alien and who have direct knowledge of the circumstances that contain-- ``(i) a statement that the alien is in foster care, otherwise lacks any parental or other familiar support, is homeless, or has a serious, chronic disability, as appropriate; ``(ii) the name, address, and telephone number of the affiant; and ``(iii) the nature and duration of the relationship between the affiant and the alien. ``(D) Documents to establish unpaid medical expense.--To establish that the alien has debt as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses, the alien shall provide receipts or other documentation from a medical provider that-- ``(i) bear the provider's name and address; ``(ii) bear the name of the individual receiving treatment; and ``(iii) document that the alien has accumulated $10,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by the alien or an immediate family member of the alien. ``(9) Documents establishing service in the uniformed services.--To establish that an alien has served in the Uniformed Services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, received an honorable discharge, the alien shall submit to the Secretary-- ``(A) a Department of Defense form DD-214; ``(B) a National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service form 22; ``(C) personnel records for such service from the appropriate Uniformed Service; or ``(D) health records from the appropriate Uniformed Service. ``(10) Documents establishing employment.-- ``(A) In general.--An alien may satisfy the employment requirement under section (p)(1)(A)(iii)(III) by submitting records that-- ``(i) establish compliance with such employment requirement; and ``(ii) have been maintained by the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or any other Federal, State, or local government agency. ``(B) Other documents.--An alien who is unable to submit the records described in subparagraph (A) may satisfy the employment requirement by submitting at least 2 types of reliable documents that provide evidence of employment, including-- ``(i) bank records; ``(ii) business records; ``(iii) employer records; ``(iv) records of a labor union, day labor center, or organization that assists workers in employment; ``(v) sworn affidavits from individuals who are not related to the alien and who have direct knowledge of the alien's work, that contain-- ``(I) the name, address, and telephone number of the affiant; and ``(II) the nature and duration of the relationship between the affiant and the alien; and ``(vi) remittance records. ``(11) Authority to prohibit use of certain documents.--If the Secretary determines, after publication in the Federal Register and an opportunity for public comment, that any document or class of documents [[Page S963]] does not reliably establish identity or that permanent resident status on a conditional basis is being obtained fraudulently to an unacceptable degree, the Secretary may prohibit or restrict the use of such document or class of documents. ``(r) Rulemaking.-- ``(1) Initial publication.-- ``(A) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register regulations implementing this section. ``(B) Affirmative application.--The regulations published under subparagraph (A) shall allow any eligible individual to immediately apply affirmatively for the relief available under subsection (b) without being placed in removal proceedings. ``(2) Interim regulations.--Notwithstanding section 553 of title 5, United States Code, the regulations published pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) shall be effective, on an interim basis, immediately on publication in the Federal Register, but may be subject to change and revision after public notice and opportunity for a period of public comment. ``(3) Final regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date on which interim regulations are published under this subsection, the Secretary shall publish final regulations implementing this section. ``(4) Paperwork reduction act.--The requirements under chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, (commonly known as the `Paperwork Reduction Act') shall not apply to any action to implement this subsection. ``(s) Confidentiality of Information.-- ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may not disclose or use for the purpose of immigration enforcement any information provided in-- ``(A) an application filed under this section; or ``(B) a request for deferred action status under DACA. ``(2) Referrals prohibited.--The Secretary may not refer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or any designee of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection any individual who-- ``(A) has been granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis; or ``(B) was granted deferred action status under DACA. ``(3) Limited exception.--Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), information provided in an application for permanent resident status on a conditional basis or a request for deferred action status under DACA may be shared with a Federal security or law enforcement agency-- ``(A) for assistance in the consideration of an application for permanent resident status on a conditional basis; ``(B) to identify or prevent fraudulent claims; ``(C) for national security purposes; or ``(D) for the investigation or prosecution of any felony not related to immigration status. ``(4) Penalty.--Any person who knowingly uses, publishes, or permits information to be examined in violation of this subsection shall be fined not more than $10,000.''. (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of contents of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 note) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 244 the following: ``Sec. 244A. Cancellation of removal for certain long-term residents who entered the United States as children.''. SEC. 3. REDUCTION OF FAMILY-SPONSORED IMMIGRANT VISAS. (a) Prohibition Against the Sponsor of Unmarried Children Older Than 21 Years of Age by Lawful Permanent Residents.-- Section 203(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)) is amended by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following: ``(2) Spouses and children of aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence.-- ``(A) In general.--Qualified immigrants who are the spouse or child of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence shall be allocated visas in a number not to exceed the sum of-- ``(i) 114,200; ``(ii) the number (if any) by which such worldwide level exceeds 226,000; and ``(iii) the number of visas not required for the class described in paragraph (1). ``(B) Transition period.-- ``(i) In general.--The Secretary of State shall not allocate a visa based on a petition filed by an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on behalf of an unmarried son or daughter under subparagraph (B) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) after December 31, 2018. ``(ii) Savings clause.--The Secretary of State shall allocate a visa to a principal or derivative beneficiary of an approved petition filed by an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence on behalf of a spouse or an unmarried son or daughter under subparagraph (B) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) before January 1, 2019, in accordance with that subparagraph (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act), if the principal or derivative beneficiary is otherwise eligible for the visa. ``(C) Retention of priority date.--In the case of an alien child who is the principal or derivative beneficiary of a petition filed under subparagraph (A) who turns 21 years old before the date on which a visa becomes available, the alien may retain the priority date assigned to the alien under that subparagraph for a petition filed under this subsection.''. (b) Conforming Amendments.--The Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) is amended-- (1) in section 101(a)(15)(V) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(V)), by striking ``section 203(a)(2)(A)'' each place such term appears and inserting ``section 203(a)(2)''; (2) in section 201(f)(2) (8 U.S.C. 1151(f)(2)), by striking ``section 203(a)(2)(A)'' and inserting ``section 203(a)(2)''; (3) in section 202-- (A) in subsection (a)(8 U.S.C. 1152(a))-- (i) in paragraph (2), by striking ``(3), (4), and (5)'' and inserting ``(3) and (4)'' (ii) by striking paragraph (4); and (iii) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (4); and (B) in subsection (e), by striking ``, or as limiting the number of visas that may be issued under section 203(a)(2)(A) pursuant to subsection (a)(4)(A)''; (4) in section 203(h)-- (A) in paragraph (3), by striking ``subsections (a)(2)(A) and (d)'' and inserting ``subsection (d)''; and (B) by striking ``(a)(2)(A)'' each place such term appears and inserting ``(a)(2)''; (5) in section 204-- (A) in subsection (a)(1)(B)-- (i) in clause (ii)-- (I) in subclause (I), by striking ``if such a child has not been classified under clause (iii) of section 203(a)(2)(A) and''; and (II) in subclause (II)(cc), by striking ``section 203(a)(2)(A)'' and inserting ``section 203(a)(2)''; and (ii) in clause (iii), by striking ``section 203(a)(2)(A)'' and inserting ``section 203(a)(2)''; and (B) in subsection (k)(1)-- (i) by striking ``alien unmarried son or daughter's classification as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 203(a)(2)(B)'' and inserting ``alien child's classification as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 203(a)(2)''; (ii) by striking ``son or daughter'' and inserting ``child''; and (iii) by striking ``unmarried son or daughter as a family- sponsored immigrant under section 203(a)(1)'' and inserting ``child as an immediate relative under section 201(b)(2)''; and (6) in section 214(q)(1)(B)(i), by striking ``(a)(2)(A)'' each place such term appears and inserting ``(a)(2)''. (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date on which-- (1) the Secretary of Homeland Security has adjudicated each petition that is filed under section 203(a)(2)(B) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) before January 1, 2019; and (2) the Secretary of State has allocated to each eligible alien a visa based on a petition described in paragraph (1). SEC. 4. BORDER SECURITY. (a) Definition of Secretary.--In this section, the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Homeland Security. (b) Appropriations for Border Security.--The following sum is appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, namely $25,000,000,000 for-- (1) the construction of physical barriers; (2) border security technologies; (3) tactical infrastructure; (4) marine vessels; (5) aircraft; (6) unmanned aerial systems; (7) facilities; and (8) equipment. (c) Availability for Fiscal Year 2018.--Of the amount appropriated by subsection (b), amounts shall be available for fiscal year 2018 as follows: (1) For impedance and denial, $1,571,000,000. (2) For domain awareness, $658,000,000. (3) For access and mobility, $143,000,000. (4) For the retention, recruitment, and relocation of officers of Border Patrol Agents, Customs Officers, and Air and Marine personnel, $148,000,000, including for not fewer than 615 officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (5) To hire 615 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers for deployment to ports of entry, $75,000,000. (d) Availability for Fiscal Years 2019 Through 2027.-- (1) In general.--Subject to subsection (f), of the amount appropriated by subsection (b), the amount available for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2027 shall be $2,500,000,000. (2) Limitation.--Amounts appropriated under subsection (b) for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 115- 31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety. (e) Report on Plan for Improvement of Border Security.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Committees of jurisdiction of the Senate and the House of Representatives a risk-based plan [[Page S964]] for improving security along the borders of the United States, including the use of personnel, fencing, other forms of tactical infrastructure, and technology. (2) Elements.--The report required by this subsection shall include the following: (A) A statement of goals, objectives, activities, and milestones for the plan. (B) A detailed implementation schedule for the plan with estimates for the planned obligation of funds for fiscal years 2019 through 2027 that are linked to the milestone- based delivery of specific-- (i) capabilities and services; (ii) mission benefits and outcomes; (iii) program management capabilities; and (iv) lifecycle cost estimates. (C) A description of the manner in which specific projects under the plan will enhance border security goals and objectives and address the highest priority border security needs. (D) An identification of the planned locations, quantities, and types of resources, such as fencing, other physical barriers, or other tactical infrastructure and technology, under the plan. (E) A description of the methodology and analyses used to select specific resources for deployment to particular locations under the plan that includes-- (i) analyses of alternatives, including comparative costs and benefits; (ii) an assessment of effects on communities and property owners near areas of infrastructure deployment; and (iii) a description of other factors critical to the decision-making process. (F) An identification of staffing requirements under the plan, including full-time equivalents, contractors, and detailed personnel, by activity. (G) A description of performance metrics for the plan for assessing and reporting on the contributions of border security capabilities realized from current and future investments. (H) A description of the status of the actions of the Department of Homeland Security to address open recommendations by the Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office relating to border security, including plans, schedules, and associated milestones for fully addressing such recommendations. (I) A comprehensive plan to consult State and local elected officials on the eminent domain and construction process relating to physical barriers; (J) A comprehensive analysis, following consultation with the Secretary of Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, of the environmental impacts of the construction and placement of physical barriers planned along the Southwest border, including barriers in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge; (K) Certifications by the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management, including all documents, memoranda, and a description of the investment review and information technology management oversight and processes supporting such certifications, that-- (i) the plan has been reviewed and approved in accordance with an acquisition review management process that complies with capital planning and investment control and review requirements established by the Office of Management and Budget, including as provided in Circular A-11, part 7; and (ii) all activities under the plan comply with Federal acquisition rules, requirements, guidelines, and practices. (f) Limitation on Availability for Fiscal Years 2019 Through 2027.-- (1) Limitation.--The amount specified in subsection (d) for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2027 shall not be available for such fiscal year unless-- (A) the Secretary submits to Congress, not later than 60 days before the beginning of such fiscal year, a report setting forth-- (i) a description of every planned expenditure in such fiscal year under the plan required by subsection (e) in an amount in excess of $50,000,000; (ii) a description of the total number of miles of security fencing or barriers that will be constructed in such fiscal year under the plan; (iii) a statement of the number of new U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers to be hired in such fiscal year under the plan and the intended location of deployment; (iv) a description of the new roads to be installed in such fiscal year under the plan; (v) a description of the land to be acquired in such fiscal year under the plan, including-- (I) all necessary land acquisitions; (II) the total number of necessary condemnation actions; and (III) the precise number of landowners that will be affected by the construction of such physical barriers; (vi) a description of the amount and types of technology to be acquired for each of the northern border and the southern border in such fiscal year under the plan; and (vii) a statement of the percentage of each of the northern border and the southern border for which the Department of Homeland Security will obtain full situational awareness in such fiscal year under the plan; and (B) not later than October 1 of such fiscal year, the Secretary certifies to Congress that the Department of Homeland achieved not less than 75 percent of the goals of the Department under the plan (other than for land acquisition) for the prior fiscal year. (2) Availability without certification.--If the Secretary is unable to make the certification described in paragraph (1)(B) with respect to a fiscal year as of October 1 of the succeeding fiscal year, the amount specified in subsection (d) for such succeeding fiscal year shall not be available except pursuant to an Act of Congress specifically making such amount available for such succeeding fiscal year that is enacted into law in such succeeding fiscal year. (g) Availability.--If amounts described in subsection (d) are available for a fiscal year, such amounts shall remain available for 5 years. (h) Limitation.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the amounts appropriated under this section may be reprogrammed for or transferred to any other component of the Department of Homeland Security. (i) Budget Request.--An expenditure plan for amounts made available pursuant to subsection (b)-- (1) shall be included in each budget for a fiscal year submitted by the President under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code; and (2) shall describe planned obligations by program, project, and activity in the receiving account at the same level of detail provided for in the request for other appropriations in that account. (j) Budgetary Effects.-- (1) In general.--The budgetary effects of this section shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained pursuant to section 4(d) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. (2) Senate paygo scorecards.--The budgetary effects of this section shall not be entered on any PAYGO scorecard maintained for purposes of section 4106 of H.Con.Res. 71 (115th Congress). (k) Point of Order.-- (1) Definition.--In this subsection, the term ``covered appropriation amount'' means the amount appropriated for border security for a fiscal year under subsection (b). (2) Point of order in the senate.-- (A) Point of order.-- (i) In general.--In the Senate, it shall not be in order to consider a provision in a bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that would reduce the covered appropriation amount for a fiscal year. (ii) Point of order sustained.--If a point of order is made by a Senator against a provision described in clause (i), and the point of order is sustained by the Chair, that provision shall be stricken from the measure and may not be offered as an amendment from the floor. (B) Form of the point of order.--A point of order under subparagraph (A) may be raised by a Senator as provided in section 313(e) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 644(e)). (C) Conference reports.--When the Senate is considering a conference report on, or an amendment between the Houses in relation to, a bill or joint resolution, upon a point of order being made by any Senator pursuant to subparagraph (A), and such point of order being sustained, such material contained in such conference report or House amendment shall be stricken, and the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether the Senate shall recede from its amendment and concur with a further amendment, or concur in the House amendment with a further amendment, as the case may be, which further amendment shall consist of only that portion of the conference report or House amendment, as the case may be, not so stricken. Any such motion in the Senate shall be debatable. In any case in which such point of order is sustained against a conference report (or Senate amendment derived from such conference report by operation of this subsection), no further amendment shall be in order. (D) Supermajority waiver and appeal.--In the Senate, this paragraph may be waived or suspended only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative vote of three-fifths of Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this paragraph. (l) Enforcement Priorities.-- (1) Definitions.--In this subsection: (A) Felony.-- (i) In general.--The term ``felony'' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term that exceeds 1 year. (ii) Exclusion.--The term ``felony'' does not include a State or local criminal offense for which an essential element is the immigration status of an alien. (B) Misdemeanor.-- (i) In general.--The term ``misdemeanor'' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense for which-- (I) the maximum term of imprisonment is-- (aa) greater than 5 days; and (bb) not greater than 1 year; and (II) the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less. (ii) Exclusion.--The term ``misdemeanor'' does not include a State or local offense for which an essential element is-- (I) the immigration status of the alien; (II) a significant misdemeanor; or (III) a minor traffic offense. (C) Significant misdemeanor.-- (i) In general.--The term ``significant misdemeanor'' means a Federal, State, or local criminal offense-- [[Page S965]] (I) for which the maximum term of imprisonment is-- (aa) more than 5 days; and (bb) not more than 1 year; and (II)(aa) that, regardless of the sentence imposed, is-- (AA) a crime of domestic violence (as defined in section 237(a)(2)(E)(i)) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(E)(i)); or (BB) an offense of-- (CC) sexual abuse or exploitation; (DD) burglary; (EE) unlawful possession or use of a firearm; (FF) drug distribution or trafficking; or (GG) driving under the influence, if the applicable State law requires, as elements of the offense, the operation of a motor vehicle and a finding of impairment or a blood alcohol content equal to or greater than .08; or (bb) that resulted in a sentence of time in custody of more than 90 days. (ii) Exclusion.--The term ``significant misdemeanor'' does not include a State or local offense for which an essential element is the immigration status of an alien. (2) Priorities.--In carrying out immigration enforcement activities, the Secretary shall prioritize available immigration enforcement resources to aliens who-- (A) have been convicted of-- (i) a felony; (ii) a significant misdemeanor; or (iii) 3 or more misdemeanor offenses; (B) pose a threat to national security or public safety; or (C)(i) are unlawfully present in the United States; and (ii) arrived in the United States after June 30, 2018. SEC. 5. OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Not later than September 30, 2021, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall hire, train, and assign sufficient special agents at the Office of Professional Responsibility. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader. Cloture Motion Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for amendment No. 1955. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on amendment No. 1955 to H.R. 2579, an act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage. Angus S. King, Jr., Christopher A. Coons, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Tim Kaine, Mark R. Warner, Sheldon Whitehouse, Debbie Stabenow, Margaret Wood Hassan, Jeanne Shaheen, Jack Reed, Tammy Baldwin, Patty Murray, Edward J. Markey, Amy Klobuchar, Richard J. Durbin, Brian Schatz, Charles E. Schumer. Cloture Motion Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for amendment No. 1948. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment No. 1948 to H.R. 2579, an act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage. Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, David Perdue, John Thune, Cory Gardner, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, James Lankford, John Hoeven, Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander, Steve Daines, Shelley Moore Capito, Dan Sullivan. Cloture Motion Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk for amendment No. 1958, as modified. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment No. 1958, as modified, to H.R. 2579, an act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage. Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, David Perdue, John Thune, Cory Gardner, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, James Lankford, Lisa Murkowski, John Hoeven, Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander, Steve Daines, Shelley Moore Capito. CLOTURE MOTION Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture amendment to the desk for amendment No. 1959. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: Cloture Motion We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on Senate amendment No. 1959 to H.R. 2579, an act to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized COBRA continuation coverage. Mitch McConnell, Thom Tillis, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, David Perdue, John Thune, Cory Gardner, Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, James Lankford, John Hoeven, Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander, Steve Daines, Shelley Moore Capito, Dan Sullivan. Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum calls for the cloture motions be waived. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. ____________________