MORTGAGE CHOICE ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 24
(House of Representatives - February 07, 2018)

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                      MORTGAGE CHOICE ACT OF 2017

  Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 725, I 
call up the bill (H.R. 1153) to amend the Truth in Lending Act to 
improve upon the definitions provided for points and fees in connection 
with a mortgage transaction, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.

[[Page H907]]

  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1153

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Mortgage Choice Act of 


       (a) Amendment to Section 103 of TILA.--Section 103(bb)(4) 
     of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1602(bb)(4)) is 
       (1) by striking ``paragraph (1)(B)'' and inserting 
     ``paragraph (1)(A) and section 129C'';
       (2) in subparagraph (C)--
       (A) by inserting ``and insurance'' after ``taxes'';
       (B) in clause (ii), by inserting ``, except as retained by 
     a creditor or its affiliate as a result of their 
     participation in an affiliated business arrangement (as 
     defined in section 2(7) of the Real Estate Settlement 
     Procedures Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 2602(7))'' after 
     ``compensation''; and
       (C) by striking clause (iii) and inserting the following:
       ``(iii) the charge is--
       ``(I) a bona fide third-party charge not retained by the 
     mortgage originator, creditor, or an affiliate of the 
     creditor or mortgage originator; or
       ``(II) a charge set forth in section 106(e)(1);''; and
       (3) in subparagraph (D)--
       (A) by striking ``accident,''; and
       (B) by striking ``or any payments'' and inserting ``and any 
       (b) Amendment to Section 129C of TILA.--Section 129C of the 
     Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1639c) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)(5)(C), by striking ``103'' and all 
     that follows through ``or mortgage originator'' and inserting 
     ``103(bb)(4)''; and
       (2) in subsection (b)(2)(C)(i), by striking ``103'' and all 
     that follows through ``or mortgage originator)'' and 
     inserting ``103(bb)(4)''.


       Not later than the end of the 90-day period beginning on 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the Bureau of Consumer 
     Financial Protection shall issue final regulations to carry 
     out the amendments made by this Act, and such regulations 
     shall be effective upon issuance.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen). Pursuant to House 
Resolution 725, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hensarling) and the 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas.

                             General Leave

  Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend 
their remarks and submit extraneous material on H.R. 1153, currently 
under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  0915

  Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1153, the Mortgage 
Choice Act of 2017.
  I would like to start out thanking my colleague, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Huizenga) for his tireless leadership on this issue, 
having ushered this very same legislation through our committee in 
three different Congresses.
  The purpose of H.R. 1153 is simple: to provide much-needed regulatory 
red tape relief to our community financial institutions so they can 
serve their customers; so they can provide them more mortgages. This is 
a straightforward piece of legislation. It is practical, it is 
necessary, and, Madam Speaker, it is bipartisan.
  Now, you may hear today, Madam Speaker, from some of our Democratic 
colleagues that ``we oppose the bill.'' We heard that claim in the 
Rules Committee earlier this week. But I do find it interesting that no 
amendments were offered during committee markup, nor were any 
amendments offered at the Rules Committee. I remind all on the House 
floor, Madam Speaker, that the Financial Services Committee favorably 
reported this bill to the House with a strong bipartisan vote of 46-13, 
which means almost half of the Democrats on our committee supported 
this bill; and in the 113th Congress, Madam Speaker, this bill passed 
by voice vote--not a single objection.
  Madam Speaker, this bill would help make homeownership more 
affordable for working Americans and would promote access to affordable 
mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income families and first-time 
home buyers. It does this while continuing to protect consumers.
  The Mortgage Choice Act is needed because the CFPB wrote a flawed and 
problematic definition that grossly miscalculates points and fees. The 
result is that many mortgage loans, particularly those for low- and 
moderate-income borrowers, would not meet the standards of a qualified 
mortgage and thus not get made.
  Currently, CFPB rules include affiliated title charges under a 3 
percent cap when determining whether a mortgage is a qualified 
mortgage, but it doesn't include unaffiliated. This does not make 
sense. The CFPB rules are detrimental, again, to low- and moderate-
income borrowers and first-time home buyers since they are more likely 
to have smaller loan amounts and, therefore, more easily trigger the 3 
percent cap.
  That means under the current definition, many mortgage applicants 
will be denied homeownership opportunities simply because they do not 
fit into the government box; or the only mortgages in the alternative 
available to them might be at far higher interest rates, making them 
unaffordable for many. In other words, the CFPB's defective definition 
has ended up protecting many consumers right out of their opportunity 
to buy a home.
  H.R. 1153, from the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Huizenga), would 
change the way points and fees are calculated by excluding fees paid 
for affiliated title charges and escrow charges for insurance and 
taxes. That would, therefore, Madam Speaker, increase homeownership 
opportunities for borrowers by allowing more loans to meet the QM 
  Let's not just listen to me, Madam Speaker. Let's listen to our 
community financial institutions that we expect to help our 
constituents. A credit union from Washington explained how this was 
affecting everyday Americans.
  They wrote: ``A member at our credit union wanted to buy down his 
rate on his mortgage with cash out of pocket at closing in order to 
lower the payments for his retirement. However, doing so would have 
made his total points and fees higher than allowed under ATR/QM, and 
there was no allowable way around the problem.''
  From my native Texas, a community banker wrote in and said: ``The 
greatest frustration our customers have is our bank's inability to now 
make home loans. For years we made loans to people for the purchase of 
their homes. We would do about one every other week. So it was not a 
large volume. It was a good service. We always made these loans to keep 
in our loan portfolio. We never sold any home loans, but with the new 
requirements for home loans, it has driven us out of this kind of 
business. It has also taken us out of the construction lending on homes 
because we cannot risk the risk of a takeout commitment failing. The 
consumer is the loser.''
  Indeed, that is true, Madam Speaker. As I mentioned earlier, Mr. 
Huizenga has worked on this bill for the past two Congresses again. In 
the 113th Congress, it passed by voice vote. It passed by an 
overwhelming majority of 286-140 in the 114th Congress. I trust the 
third time will be the charm.
  I urge all of my colleagues to do what is right for our constituents 
and to pass H.R. 1153 to provide open access for Americans to purchase 
a home.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1153, the so-called 
Mortgage Choice Act of 2017.
  Unfortunately, this bill is yet another attempt to undermine the 
strong consumer protections Democrats established under the Dodd-Frank 
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, taking us back to the 
days of the subprime bubble.
  While some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have 
forgotten those days, I haven't. I remember how predatory lenders 
targeted unsuspecting home buyers by hiding fees and obscuring loan 
costs, tricking them into exploding mortgages and locking them into 
loans that they really couldn't afford.
  Millions of home buyers were steered into high-cost, subprime loans 

[[Page H908]]

when they qualified for prime mortgages, and lenders didn't even bother 
to verify whether or not borrowers had the ability to repay their 
mortgages. They weren't required to do that, so they didn't. The end 
result was rampant fraud on a massive scale to millions of foreclosures 
and a tremendous loss of generational wealth, particularly for 
Black homeowners. Some of my constituents are still struggling and 
trying to recover from the financial devastation that occurred during 
this financial crisis.

  The last thing Congress should do is to open the door to a return to 
these fraudulent and harmful policies, yet that is exactly what H.R. 
1153 would do. This bill seems like a technical fix to allow affiliated 
title insurance and settlement services firms to be excluded from the 
qualified mortgage rule's 3 percent cap on upfront points and fees paid 
by borrowers. But make no mistake, there is nothing technical about 
this. In fact, this bill would allow title insurance companies to jack 
up prices on borrowers and allow lenders to receive what would 
otherwise be illegal kickbacks.
  Under this bill, lenders, including repeat offender megabanks, like 
Wells Fargo, would have new opportunities to reap huge financial 
profits at their customers' expense by steering them into costly title 
insurance policies that have no cap on fees whatsoever.
  Prior to the enactment of Dodd-Frank, lenders were able to earn 
tremendous profits through lucrative kickbacks paid by their 
affiliates. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, 
prohibits giving a fee kickback or thing of value in exchange for a 
referral of business related to a real estate settlement service. But 
this kickback prohibition does not apply to affiliated companies of 
lenders, like a title insurance firm. To avail themselves of this 
kickback loophole, some lenders have bought or created businesses to 
enable them to profit directly from the relationship.
  So Dodd-Frank established the responsible underwriting practice of 
requiring lenders to verify a borrower's ability to repay when they 
originate a loan. Dodd-Frank also enabled lenders to obtain some legal 
protections when making residential mortgages if those loans are 
considered a qualified mortgage or QM.
  To be considered QM, a loan must have terms and conditions that are 
understandable to borrowers and not contain predatory features 
considered to be unfair or deceptive. QM loans, for example, can't be 
interest-only loans, longer than 30 years, or have balloon payments. 
Specific to the bill we are considering today, the amount of upfront 
points and fees on QM loans cannot exceed 3 percent of the total amount 
of the loan.
  In short, QM loans are supposed to be low risk, prudently 
underwritten, and free from the type of features associated with those 
predatory mortgages that trapped borrowers in loans they couldn't 
afford and that led to the financial crisis.
  The points and fees cap included under the QM definition includes, 
among other things, real estate-related fees paid to affiliates of the 
lender for services, such as property appraisals, settlement services, 
and title insurance. Fees paid to affiliates of the lender pose greater 
risks to borrowers since lenders cannot steer borrowers directly to 
their affiliates without open competition, and higher prices charged by 
affiliates directly benefit the lenders.
  Affiliate title insurance is especially problematic. The title 
insurance industry is notoriously opaque. Due to a lack of competition 
and readily available information on terms and pricing, consumers do 
not shop around for title insurance as they might for other products 
and services. Megabanks, like Wells Fargo, have used title insurance to 
take advantage of consumers through illegal kickbacks schemes.
  The Consumer Bureau took an enforcement action in 2015 against Wells 
Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, ordering those megabanks to pay more than $24 
million in civil penalties and more than $11 million to consumers 
harmed by their kickback schemes with Genuine Title, a now defunct 
title company.
  At the time, Director Cordray said: ``These banks allowed their loan 
officers to focus on their own illegal financial gain rather than on 
treating consumers fairly. Our action today to address these practices 
should serve as a warning for all those in the mortgage market.''
  Madam Speaker, these kickback schemes continue despite Congress' 
efforts to shut them down, and would likely increase if H.R. 1153 is 
enacted. Because H.R. 1153 would remove fees that are charged by a 
lender's affiliate title insurance company from the QM fee cap, the 
bill directly encourages lenders to, once again, steer borrowers to 
their affiliates so they can extract even more money from them.
  Now, supporters of the bill argue that, because individual States 
provide adequate regulation over the title insurance industry, it is 
unnecessary, they say, to have additional safeguards related to 
affiliated title companies and the fees they charge. However, research 
from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that 
State laws do not, by themselves, offer robust protection to consumers 
with title insurance. More than half of all States don't even collect 
data from title agents. Some States have ``no particular standard'' for 
determining whether title insurance rates are adequate, and even a 
couple, like Illinois and Arkansas, do not regulate title insurance 
rates at all.

  Congress should be strengthening prohibitions on kickbacks, not 
weakening them. We should enable borrowers to get the best price, 
terms, and conditions on mortgage loans instead of creating more ways 
for these megabanks, like Wells Fargo, to gouge American consumers.
  When Congress considered this same measure last term, the Obama 
administration issued a veto threat, stating that the bill ``risked 
eroding consumer protections and returning the mortgage market to the 
days of careless lending focused on short-term profits.''
  Madam Speaker, buying a home is likely the largest purchase most 
consumers will ever make. For this reason alone, Congress should 
absolutely reject proposals like H.R. 1153 that would permit 
residential mortgage lenders to take advantage of borrowers trying to 
achieve the American Dream.
  Finally, a long list of groups, including civil rights groups, such 
as the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 
as well as consumer groups at the National, State, and local level, 
like Americans for Financial Reform, National Consumer Law Center, and 
the Center for Responsible Lending, all oppose this so-called Mortgage 
Choice Act.
  So for all of these reasons, I strongly urge my colleagues to join me 
in opposing H.R. 1153.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Speaker, I yield myself 10 seconds to say that, 
if the ranking member would read section 8(a) of RESPA, she would 
realize everything she said was false because it prevents any fee, 
kickback, or thing of value.
  Second of all, what she describes as a harmful and fraudulent policy 
was supported by half of her Democrats, including her vice ranking 
member, Mr. Kildee from Michigan.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 6 minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Huizenga), who is the sponsor of the legislation and the chairman of 
the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and 

                              {time}  0930

  Mr. HUIZENGA. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1153.
  As someone who worked in the housing industry, in fact, for the third 
generation, this is a very important issue to me and, more importantly, 
to all of our constituents across the country.
  The qualified mortgage/ability-to-repay rule, as mandated by the 
Dodd-Frank Act, went into effect in January 2014. This QM rule is the 
primary means for mortgage lenders to satisfy its ability-to-repay 
requirements. Additionally, Dodd-Frank provides that a QM may not have 
points and fees in excess of 3 percent of the loan amount.
  So far, so good.
  As currently defined, however, points and fees include, among other 
charges: salaries paid to loan officers; loan level price adjustments, 
as the chairman was talking about, which are traditionally known as 
points; payments by lenders to correspondent banks, credit unions,

[[Page H909]]

and mortgage brokers in wholesale transactions; and, as has been 
discussed, fees paid to affiliated, but not unaffiliated, title 
companies; and--this is the one that is most bizarre of all--amounts of 
insurance and taxes held in escrow. That counts towards that 3 percent.
  As a result of this confusing and problematic definition, many 
affiliated loans, particularly those made to low- and moderate-income 
borrowers, would not qualify as QMs. Without that designation, it is 
unlikely the loan would be made. And if it were, it would only be 
available at higher rates, due to the heightened liability risks. 
Consumers would lose the ability to take advantage of the convenience 
and market efficiencies offered by one-stop shopping.
  Hardworking Americans utilize one-stop shopping every day. They 
partake in it. For example, in west Michigan, we have the headquarters 
of Meijer. It is a great regional supermarket chain, and it is where 
families across the Midwest go to buy groceries, pick up clothes for 
the kids, and pick up auto parts. It is one-stop shopping that allows 
you to get just about everything you need for your home.
  Well, purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions a 
family makes. Why shouldn't they have the same ability to take 
advantage of that same cost-effective convenience of one-stop shopping 
when buying a home?
  I, along with Representative Gregory Meeks, reintroduced H.R. 1153, 
bipartisan legislation to modify and clarify the way points and fees 
are calculated and help families across America to one-stop shop.
  This legislation is narrowly focused to promote access to affordable 
mortgage credit without overturning the important consumer protections 
and sound underwriting required under Dodd-Frank's ability-to-repay 
provisions. As the chairman pointed out, also. The RESPA provisions 
that are Federal law stay in place.
  Very similar legislation overwhelmingly passed the House of 
Representatives last Congress as well as in the 113th.
  I think it is important to note that when we first introduced this 
bill in 2012, it looked substantially different. However, working with 
my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, we worked together to 
improve the legislation. The result has been a truly bipartisan effort 
at every step of the way in the legislative debate.
  Specifically, H.R. 1153 would do a couple of things. It would provide 
equal treatment for affiliated versus unaffiliated title fees. It 
doesn't change the 44 States that have a regulated title insurance cost 
structure. It doesn't change any of those costs that a homeowner would 
have. It just allows them to actually go lower, rather than higher.
  It also clarifies the treatment of insurance held in escrow. These 
two simple, commonsense changes will promote access to affordable 
mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income families and, indeed, all 
families, especially first-time home buyers, by ensuring that safe, 
properly underwritten mortgages pass the QM test.
  Whether or not you supported Dodd-Frank, it is clear that the law is 
going to require some tweaks to ensure qualified borrowers aren't 
locked out of home ownership and the beneficial features of a qualified 
  The QM represents the best mortgage on the market. It is the gold 
standard. And it should be the gold standard. We should want more 
responsible people getting QMs, not fewer.
  Quite frankly, this is something we should all agree on. In fact, we 
did last year. Our bill doesn't touch any of the CFPB's strict 
underwriting criteria. It doesn't, in any way, suspend a lender's legal 
requirement to determine that a borrower has the ability to repay that 
  The ranking member points out a real problem that happened in the 
industry and that, frankly, many of us in the industry warned of, but 
this does nothing that allows State regulated title insurance to be 
violated or any of those Federal steps regarding the qualified 
mortgage. It, in no way, sidesteps RESPA or QM requirements.
  Mr. Speaker, I must admit that I am completely baffled by the ranking 
member's new opposition to this bill. This bill was very carefully 
negotiated in order to receive bipartisan support, which the ranking 
member voted for previously. In fact, she was so supportive that she, 
along with 11 other Democrats from the committee, sent a letter, dated 
August 1, 2014, to the Senate urging them to ``quickly adopt the 
Mortgage Choice Act.''
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record the letter of August 1, 2014.

                                     House of Representatives,

                                   Washington, DC, August 1, 2014.
       Dear Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Johnson and Members of 
     the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: 
     On June 9, the House passed the Mortgage Choice Act (H.R. 
     3211), on the suspension calendar without objection. Senators 
     Manchin and Johanns introduced a companion bill, S. 1577 in 
     October, but it has not yet been considered. We support the 
     Mortgage Choice Act because of our concern about lower-income 
     consumers' access to credit and their ability to select the 
     mortgage and title insurance providers of their choice.
       Passage of H.R. 3211 represents the fourth time that the 
     House has approved virtually identical legislation without 
     objection. In 2007 and 2009, a Democratic House majority 
     passed essentially the same provision in the Miller-Watt-
     Frank anti-predatory lending legislation, and then a third 
     time as part of the House's version of the Dodd-Frank Wall 
     Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.
       The Mortgage Choice Act simply excludes the cost of title 
     insurance from the definition of points and fees under the 
     Truth in Lending Act regardless of whether a title insurance 
     agent is affiliated with a mortgage lender or not. It also 
     clarifies that funds held in escrow for the payment of 
     property insurance do not count as ``points and fees.'' The 
     legislation is needed to ensure that smaller loans to 
     creditworthy low and moderate-income consumers can select the 
     mortgage lender and title insurance provider of their choice 
     and obtain a ``qualified mortgage,'' the gold standard for 
     all mortgages.
       The bill authorizes the Consumer Financial Protection 
     Bureau to implement rules governing the exclusion of 
     reasonable title insurance charges from ``points and fees.'' 
     It preserves the Bureau's strong enforcement authority to 
     require transparency and disclosure of affiliations and 
     charges under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act 
     (RESPA). In fact, the CFPB has been vigorous in its pursuit 
     of RESPA violations, ranging from minor disclosure errors to 
     kick-backs for referrals by an unaffiliated title company.
       We urge you and the entire Senate to quickly adopt the 
     Mortgage Choice Act to improve access to credit, enhance 
     competition among title insurance providers, and reinforce 
     the CFPB's authority to define what title insurance costs 
     qualify as excludable ``points and fees.''
         David Scott; Maxine Waters; Emanuel Cleaver; Henry 
           Cuellar; Daniel T. Kildee; Jim McDermott; Patrick 
           Murphy; Gerald E. Connolly; Michael F. Doyle; Betty 
           McCollum; Gregory W. Meeks; Gary C. Peters.

  Mr. HUIZENGA. In the letter, she stated that the bill would ``improve 
access to credit'' and ``enhance competition among title insurance 
providers.'' Well, I couldn't agree more with the ranking member.
  She talks now of kickbacks. I am confused as to how an affiliated 
title structure, pricing structure, versus an unaffiliated title 
purchase is somehow a kickback.
  I am confused at how an escrow, money that is ours that is put into a 
holding account to be used later to pay off debt, is a kickback.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Donovan). The time of the gentleman has 
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from Michigan an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. HUIZENGA. Mr. Speaker, I wish I had time to yield to the 
gentlewoman to hear that answer.
  She is talking about megabanks. This is, frankly, just a red herring 
in this whole thing.
  Congress has the opportunity to help more Americans realize a portion 
of the American Dream, not by some grandiose law or decree, but by 
simply reforming a burdensome regulation. Home ownership has been a 
pillar in American life for generations. Today, we can reaffirm that 
pillar and reassert that home ownership can and should be an attainable 
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, Representative Meeks, and many 
others who have worked so tirelessly on this to fix this flawed 
provision, and I encourage all of my colleagues to vote for H.R. 1153.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the chairman.

[[Page H910]]

  He said that RESPA prohibits kickbacks. While RESPA prohibits paying 
kickbacks to third-party title agencies, the law does not prohibit 
payments to affiliated title firms. This incentivizes a title agency to 
be affiliated so it can gain the payment option without violating 
RESPA, including affiliated title insurance fees in the QM defines 
points and fees caps, provides important market pressure to control 
costs for consumers, and supports access to credits.
  By the way, when we talk about RESPA, we are talking about the real 
estate settlement procedures that define all of this.
  So let's be clear again that, while RESPA prohibits paying kickbacks 
to third-party title agents, the law does not prohibit payments to 
affiliated title firms.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Luetkemeyer), chairman of the Financial Services 
Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
  Mr. LEUTKEMEYER. Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking the 
gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Huizenga). He has worked on this bill for 
some time, and I appreciate his commitment to the issue of access to 
mortgage credit. His background is such that he understands this issue, 
being in the real estate business and the retail development business. 
So this is something he is passionate about and really has an in-depth 
knowledge of.
  I know Mr. Huizenga has seen in Michigan what I have seen in Missouri 
and around the Nation: the regulatory regime governing the mortgage 
market is growing overly complex and becoming, as a result, 
inaccessible for far too many borrowers.
  In a Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing held earlier this 
year, we had a situation where a credit union executive came in and had 
a huge file about 3-inches thick. I asked him: Can you tell me how many 
pages are in that file? He said: Congressman, we no longer measure by 
the page; we measure by the pound. That is how out of whack our system 
has become with regard to trying to make home mortgage loans.
  These regulatory burdens associated with making home loans have 
forced many institutions completely out of the market altogether. I 
have a number of banks in my area that no longer make home loans 
because of these overly burdensome rules and regulations and costs that 
have to be passed onto the consumers.
  The CFPB's qualified mortgage rule has had particular success in 
limiting access to mortgage credit for many consumers who may otherwise 
be deemed to be qualified borrowers. The Mortgage Choice Act seeks to 
change some of this by increasing competition in the mortgage and title 
insurance markets. This bipartisan legislation does so by clarifying 
and recalibrating the points and fees limitations included in the Dodd-
Frank qualified mortgage framework.
  The current situation doesn't make sense, Mr. Speaker. If a consumer 
chooses an unaffiliated title insurance provider, the transaction 
doesn't count towards points and fees. But if that consumer chooses to 
work with an affiliated provider, it does.
  Despite what you may hear, this arbitrary stipulation in the points 
and fees definition doesn't protect consumers. It punishes them by 
limiting and, in some cases, eliminating mortgage and housing options, 
pushing more and more loans farther and farther away from QM status. 
Like too many of the rules handed out by the CFPB, it is the consumer 
that loses.
  Simply put, the goal of H.R. 1153 is to help low-and middle-income 
borrowers as well as prospective first-time buyers realize the American 
Dream: owning their own home.
  I thank the gentleman from Michigan for his leadership on this issue. 
I urge strong support for the legislation.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Missouri (Mrs. Wagner), the chair of the Committee on Armed 
Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1153, the Mortgage Choice Act, 
provides needed clarity to the calculation of points and fees for 
qualified mortgages, or QM, especially for those companies affiliated 
with real estate brokers.
  Established under the ability-to-repay/QM section of the Truth in 
Lending Act, H.R. 1153 would amend the definition of points and fees 
and allow more loans to qualify, thus increasing choices for all 

  Chairman Huizenga's bipartisan legislation does not create a QM 
loophole like some would argue. Instead, H.R. 1153 rightly attempts to 
level the playing field, regardless of whether the lender is affiliated 
with a title agency or not.
  In addition, H.R. 1153 does not allow high-cost loans to qualify as 
QMs. By allowing loans with the same points and fees to be treated 
equally under the law, Chairman Huizenga's bill corrects one of the 
many flaws of the post-Dodd-Frank era.
  Thanks to the Mortgage Choice Act, it will now be easier for low- and 
moderate-income Americans to buy a home. I commend my colleague, 
Chairman Huizenga, for his bipartisan work on this issue, and I urge 
all Members to support this legislation.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, for the life of me, I cannot understand why my 
colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle would be in support of 
anything that would cause a home buyer to have to pay more money in 
fees when they are taking out a mortgage.
  On a $400,000 mortgage, you are talking about you want to go beyond a 
$12,000 cap, which is 3 percent? Why would you want to do that to a 
  What we are saying is, under QM and what we worked so hard to 
establish, was to put a cap on all of these fees so that the 
homeowners, the home buyers, would not be paying more than 3 percent of 
that mortgage.
  We think that is fair.
  Now you want to open up the flood gates so that these title companies 
can increase the amount of that they are charging and go beyond the 3 
  How much higher do you want it to go? Do you want them to be able to 
go up to 4 percent or 5 percent with these homeowners who are paying 
downpayments and who are trying to get into homes? Why is it you want 
to expand beyond a 3 percent cap on the average hardworking home buyer 
in this country?
  I don't get it. I don't understand it.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus), the vice chairman of the Financial Services 
Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

                              {time}  0945

  Mr. ROTHFUS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my support for H.R. 
1153, the Mortgage Choice Act. As a cosponsor of the bill and the vice 
chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit 
Subcommittee, I strongly encourage my colleagues to support its 
  As we all know, community financial institutions continue to close or 
merge at an alarming rate. We just saw an article the other day that 
about 1,700 branches across the country have closed, and to go through 
some of the towns in western Pennsylvania where you see the only branch 
closed is striking.
  As we all know, community financial institutions continue to close or 
merge at an alarming rate. Bit by bit, families across America are 
losing access to vital financial products like home mortgages. 
Regulations like the qualified mortgage, or QM rule, make it even 
harder for Americans to get a mortgage and realize the dream of 
  For small mortgages, points and fees can often exceed 3 percent, 
which leads these mortgages to be designated as higher priced non-QM 
loans. This discourages financial institutions from lending to 
Americans with moderate incomes and first-time home buyers; that is 
why, because loans aren't there.
  Chairman Huizenga's bill wisely addresses this issue by excluding 
several items from the calculation of QM

[[Page H911]]

points and fees. The bill excludes charges paid to an affiliate of the 
lender for title examination or title insurance services and insurance 
premiums held in escrow.
  By excluding these items from the calculation, the bill will allow 
more loans to qualify as QM, opening up more credit to potential home 
buyers, and it will facilitate one-stop shopping. This is good for the 
community financial institutions that many Americans rely on for their 
financial service products. It will help our constituents back home 
access the funds they need to accomplish the dream of homeownership.
  Chairman Huizenga's legislation provides smart, targeted relief from 
the unintended consequences of burdensome regulations. Again, banks 
aren't making loans. We want to encourage those first-time home buyers, 
the moderate-income home buyers to be able to have access to mortgages. 
That is why I support this bill, and I again urge my colleagues to vote 
for the Mortgage Choice Act.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  I don't think I heard my colleague correctly when he said that this 
bill had something to do with encouraging first-time home buyers. It 
has nothing to do with encouraging first-time home buyers.
  As a matter of fact, if we proceed with this bill that is before us 
today that they are supporting, it will discourage first-time home 
buyers and home buyers in general because what they are doing is they 
are increasing the possibility for more points and fees that have to be 
paid when we have a cap now at 3 percent, which any reasonable person 
would know makes good sense.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Trott), a member of the Financial Services Committee.
  Mr. TROTT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bipartisan, 
commonsense Mortgage Choice Act, sponsored by the Congressman from 
Michigan (Mr. Huizenga). Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a cosponsor of 
this legislation, which will make mortgages more affordable for low- 
and moderate-income families.
  In the wake of the financial crisis, Congress directed the CFPB, the 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to create a definition for so-
called qualified mortgages. Congress wanted to ensure that consumers 
were not sold predatory loans and that good faith investors were not 
buying mortgages designed to fail.
  Unfortunately, the Bureau's rulemaking drove originators from the 
industry and made loans more expensive in the process. This burden will 
fall mostly on low- and middle-income families, the very people the 
CFPB was created to help.
  The rule promulgated by the CFPB czar limits consumer options, causes 
consumers to pay more, and does nothing to make mortgages any safer. It 
is this sort of illogical rulemaking that makes Michiganders more and 
more frustrated by what they see in Washington. We need to ensure that 
our government prosecutes fraud, predatory lending, and unethical 
practices, but it should not be in the business of undermining an 
industry that plays such a critical role in the dream of homeownership.
  You know, when mortgages become more expensive, it is America's low- 
and middle-income families that suffer the most. Homeownership is the 
cornerstone of the American Dream. It builds communities, provides 
families with stability, and, hopefully, creates equity for retirement. 
The government should be helping this dream, not creating silly, 
illogical obstacles.
  Over the past several years, I have worked with my colleagues to 
refocus the Bureau on its core mission of protecting consumers. I am 
glad that Acting Director Mulvaney has begun to do so, and I am 
encouraged that Congress is doing its part to rein in this rogue 
  This bill does nothing to threaten the underlying safety of the QM 
rule and does not erode vital consumer protections. It simply helps 
ensure that consumers have choices to reduce their mortgage costs along 
the way.
  Now, the ranking member opposes this bill, as she believes it will 
usher in a new era of fraudulent subprime, dangerous loans riddled with 
kickbacks and inflated title fees. I am not sure how money held in 
escrow would ever be a kickback, and her description of the title 
industry is completely incorrect. It is a highly regulated industry in 
most States, and the State that she mentioned, Illinois, is extremely 
competitive and extremely regulated.
  I am not sure what bill the ranking member believes we are debating 
today, but the Mortgage Choice Act will not result in any of the 
problems she describes--all great scare tactics, great theater, a great 
political sound bite, but, unfortunately, all fiction, all inaccurate. 
Her flip-flop on this bill is at least, at the minimum, very puzzling; 
but, if everything she says is correct, I certainly feel bad for all 
the Democrats.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. TROTT. Mr. Speaker, I feel bad, if everything she says is true, 
for all the Democrats who unanimously passed this bill in the 113th 
  Mr. Speaker, the American people deserve better than a partisan 
discussion about something that is nothing more than a technical 
correction of an unintended consequence.
  Again, I thank my friend, Mr. Huizenga, for his leadership, and I 
encourage all of my colleagues to join in supporting this bipartisan 
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  My friends on the opposite side of the aisle just dislike qualified 
mortgage. They dislike QM. And a lot of the arguments that you have 
heard had nothing to do, really, with this bill, itself, but more with 
the fact that they have always wanted to dismantle the Consumer 
Financial Protection Bureau, who has the responsibility of implementing 
  So they will talk about everything from access to credit to you name 
it, but it has nothing to do with the fact that they are here with a 
bill that is trying to open up opportunities for affiliated title 
companies to be able to charge home buyers more money than would be 
allowed under QM.
  The fact of the matter is we have a 3 percent cap on all points and 
fees in the legislation that we created to protect homeowners--3 
percent. Why is it they want to open it up so that home buyers have to 
pay more than 3 percent on all of these points and fees?
  As a matter of fact, I get questions all the time, particularly from 
first-time home buyers asking me: What are all these points and fees 
that I have to pay? Do you mean to tell me that on a $400,000 loan, 
they are going to rip off $12,000 on points and fees or more? And we 
have to explain that we have kept it to 3 percent.
  But now they want to open up the floodgates, and they want to say 
that these affiliated companies can charge more on points and fees as 
it relates to title insurance. So I am opposed to it.
  And for those who did not understand, who may have voted because of 
the way that is oftentimes presented by the opposite side of the 
aisle--and, as a matter of fact, it is obscured in the way that they 
present it in talking about trying to help homeowners, trying to 
protect homeowners, trying to open up opportunities. It has nothing to 
do with any of that.
  This is because the title insurance people who have wielded their 
influence have come here to change the law so that they can raise those 
rates and charge more money and have kickbacks, et cetera, et cetera. 
This is what this is all about.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Davidson), a hardworking member of the Financial Services 
  Mr. DAVIDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my support for H.R. 
1153, the Mortgage Choice Act. This bill is another example of a 
rollback of the burdensome regulations of Dodd-Frank and, many would 
say, unintended consequences.
  The 113th Congress, as Mr. Huizenga reported out--apparently, the 
Member opposed feels that her colleagues were

[[Page H912]]

confused in the 113th Congress when they unanimously supported this 
very same procedure, this same change to Dodd-Frank. Apparently, all of 
President Obama's supporters were also confused into forgetting to make 
the big investments they have made as a reaction to the Tax Cuts and 
Jobs Act that was recently enacted. So confusion must be rampant, but 
let me clarify what this does.
  It doesn't do the things that the Member opposed accuses it of doing. 
Frankly, the market prevails here, not price controls from Washington, 
D.C., nor a substitute that would say a nonaffiliated company could 
offer the exact same product that the one-stop shop is barred from 
  So rather than have a simple procedure where a borrower could work 
with one lending institution, they are forced to this array that 
resembles the healthcare industry, where, instead of getting one bill 
from one visit, you show up to do a mortgage and you get a bill from 
five or six different entities, and it makes it more confusing.
  The market lets people shop and say, ``Hey, maybe I could get this 
product from someone else,'' but, unfortunately, without this change, 
it blocks hardworking families from working with one relationship to 
close on their mortgage. It adds one more piece in the web of 
documentation required, and it adds one more thing to negotiate in the 
relationship that is necessary to close on a mortgage.

  The QM rule should not stand for ``quitting mortgages.'' It should 
stand for ``qualified mortgages.'' The application of this has resulted 
in small and community banks quitting the mortgage market for certain 
types of loans, and this is hurting the families that the Member 
opposed says she seeks to help.
  I urge all of my colleagues to unite and support this rational, 
limited modification that lets the market work the way the market can 
work for the hardworking families of America.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Try as they may, they cannot explain to anyone why it is they want to 
open up the opportunity for these affiliated companies to charge more 
on these title loans.
  As a matter of fact, again, I am going to keep reminding everyone who 
is listening that, under Dodd-Frank, under the work of the Consumer 
Financial Protection Bureau, under the qualified mortgage rule, all of 
the work that was done after this country found itself in a position of 
where we were in a recession, almost a depression because of what we 
had allowed to happen in this country from some of the biggest banks 
and financial institutions in the world, we discovered that there were 
all kind of exotic loans, all kind of different kinds of loans that 
were put together to entice consumers and home buyers to take out these 
  We heard about all of them: no-documentation loans where they didn't 
even know where the consumer, the homeowner was going to get their 
money from; they did not vet them, they did not know their employment 
history, and on and on and on.
  So the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is absolutely carrying 
out the work of what Dodd-Frank was intended to do, and that is to 
reform all of this and to make sure that consumers are treated fairly, 
to make sure that consumers are not ripped off, to make sure that 
consumers don't have a whole list of these fees and points before they 
can even get their downpayments, incredibly, and have to pay over 3 
percent and more in these points and fees as they are trying to access 
a mortgage.

                              {time}  1000

  This is all about keeping the cap on the 3 percent for all of those 
points and fees. If you do what this bill is intended to do, you are 
saying that you are opening up the opportunity for these points and 
fees to be increased because of these affiliated companies that want to 
take the cap off. I don't know how better to explain that.
  My friends on the opposite side of the aisle would charge consumers 
more with this bill. We on this side of the aisle are opposed with 
that. We are saying that it is not fair to consumers. What you need to 
do is let Dodd-Frank reforms work so that we can protect our consumers 
and not have them gouged and increase the amount of money they have to 
pay in these points and fees.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased now to yield 3 minutes 
to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Norman), a cosponsor of the 
legislation and a great friend of the Financial Services Committee.
  Mr. NORMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favor of H.R. 1153, 
the Mortgage Choice Act of 2017.
  This bipartisan legislation is essential to help low- and middle-
income families gain access to qualified mortgages. I commend Chairman 
Hensarling and Congressman Huizenga for their work on shepherding this 
bill through the legislative process.
  Policymaking is complex, and Congress and Federal regulators do not 
always get it right. We need to sometimes make changes to address new 
issues and unintended consequences that arise.
  As we have seen for the past few years, the Dodd-Frank Act--and let 
me add that there are many of us in the real estate business and on 
bank boards who saw the effects of Dodd-Frank not allowing banks to go 
into the communities that need them the most--contains certain 
provisions that fit one or both of these categories and must be changed 
through legislative action.
  One of these policies is the CFPB's qualified mortgage, or QM, rule. 
The QM rule is intended to protect lenders from legal liability and 
provide compliance certainty for mortgage loans that are low risk and 
meet certain criteria. One of those criterion requires a mortgage 
loan's total points and fees not to be in excess of 3 percent of the 
loan's value.
  Unfortunately, the points and fees rule often depends on who is 
making the loan and how title insurance is obtained, which is confusing 
for both consumers and businesses providing these services. Also, as 
has been mentioned, insurance premiums held in escrow are considered 
points and fees under the QM rule, which is ridiculous. That is like 
saying that a parent who puts money in for a 529 savings plan for his 
children's education is a car payment or a mortgage payment. It doesn't 
make sense, but it discourages consumers from using this important 
financial management tool.
  H.R. 1153 would address these unintended consequences and provide 
clarity for borrowers and businesses. I am also confident that the 
CFPB, under the leadership of Mick Mulvaney, will ensure that this 
clarification is effectively implemented if this bill is enacted into 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense fix so 
that we can get the policy right and address the unintended 
consequences arising from the future rule.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Pelosi), the Democratic leader.
  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and I 
congratulate her on her extraordinary leadership as the ranking 
Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. She has been a champion 
for America's working families, protecting consumers, protecting the 
taxpayer, and doing so in a very balanced way, sensitive to the needs 
of all parties concerned. I am so proud of her leadership and her 
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the bad bill for hardworking 
Americans that is on the floor today. The cynically named Mortgage 
Choice Act provides anything but choice. Instead, it raises costs on 
consumers who have few alternatives. This is yet another attempt to 
stack the deck even further against working families.
  Mr. Speaker, this debate is another waste of time. Every day, 
courageous, patriotic DREAMers lose their status, and, every day, the 
American dream slips further out of reach. As Members of Congress, we 
have a moral responsibility to act now to protect DREAMers, who are the 
pride of our Nation and are American in every way but on paper.
  I use this occasion as opposing this bill to speak further about 
social justice in America. The American people want Congress to pass a 
Dream Act:
  Eighty-four percent of Americans support a path to citizenship for

[[Page H913]]

DREAMers or permanent status; 88 percent of Independents back the path 
of citizenship or permanent status; and 70 percent of Republicans back 
either citizenship or permanent status.
  The three Bs--business; badges, our law enforcement community; and 
Bibles--are imploring Congress to pass a Dream Act.
  Earlier this month, I stood with evangelical leaders to call on the 
Speaker to bring the Dream Act to a vote for the sake of family 
fairness and respect for the spark of divinity within every person.
  There is nothing partisan or political about protecting DREAMers. If 
a Dream Act were brought to the floor, it would pass immediately with 
strong, bipartisan support. I commend my Republican colleagues for 
their courage in speaking out on this, yet our DREAMers hang in limbo 
with a cruel cloud of fear and uncertainty above them.
  The Republican moral cowardice must end. Members of Congress are 
trustees of the people and of our Nation.
  Why are we here if not to protect the patriotic young people who are 
determined to contribute and to strengthen America?
  So I am going to go on as long as my leadership minute allows.

  I would like to speak to the Bible in Luke 10:25-37, the parable of 
the Good Samaritan.

       On one occasion, an expert of the law stood up to test 
       ``Teacher,'' he asked, ``what must I do to inherit eternal 
       ``What is written in the law,'' Jesus replied, ``How do you 
     read it?''
       The lawyer answered: ``Love the Lord, your God, with all 
     your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with 
     all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.''
       Jesus responded: ``You have answered correctly. Do this and 
     you will live.''
       But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus: ``And 
     who is my neighbor?''
       In reply, Jesus said: ``A man going down from Jerusalem to 
     Jericho. When he was attacked by robbers, they stripped him 
     of his clothes, beat him, and went away, leaving him half 
     dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and 
     when he saw the man, he passed on to the other side of the 
     road. So, too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw 
     him, passed on to the other side. But a Samaritan, as he 
     traveled, came where the man was, and when he saw him, he 
     took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, 
     pouring oil and wine. And then he put the man on his own 
     donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next 
     day, he took out two Denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. 
     Look after him, and when I return, I will reimburse you for 
     any extra expense you may have. Which of these three do you 
     think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of 
       The expert of the law replied: ``The man who had mercy on 
       Jesus told him: ``Go and do likewise.''

  The parable of the Good Samaritan is one that has been used over and 
over again to welcome strangers. Samaritans were not friends to the 
person that the Samaritan saved, but he was a man of justice.
  We all know how proud we are of America, as a land of opportunity and 
the land of the American Dream, which, for decades and centuries, 
really, has attracted people to our shores, to make the future better 
for their families. In doing so, they subscribe to the vows of our 
Founders. ``A new order of the ages,'' it says, on the great seal of 
the United States, a new order, ``Novus Ordo Seclorum.'' That meant 
that it was predicated on the idea that every generation would take 
responsibility to make the future better for the next.
  It became known as the American Dream and people flocked to our 
shores, bringing their determination, their optimism, their hope, and 
their courage, to make the future better for their families. In doing 
so, as I said, they subscribed to the values of our Founders to make 
the future better. That is why our country would be a new order for the 
  How proud we are to have the Statue of Liberty welcoming people to 
our shores. In the words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the statue, it 

     Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
     With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
     Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
     A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
     Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
     Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
     Glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command. . . .

  Words that are music to the ears of everyone who loves freedom.

     ``Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!'' cries she
     With silent lips. ``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!''

  With those words, America has been a beacon to the world, and how 
proud it has made us. America is great, some say, because America is 
good; and this manifestation of our goodness is one that is historic.
  In responding to the call of our Statue of Liberty--who must, by now, 
have tears in her eyes, having heard some of the debate on 
immigration--I want to read about some of the DREAMers, who came to our 
shores, maybe through land or by sea.
  I want to talk about Luis Galvan. Luis came to the United States when 
he was 5 years old and grew up in poverty. Today, he is an agriculture 
ambassador at College of the Sequoias and is working to help students 
improve their grades. Following the repeal of DACA, Luis constantly 
worries about his ability to continue working in order to afford his 
education. He is one of four siblings also attending college, who are 
also DACA recipients.
  Jacqueline Romo's DACA expires this month. Jacqueline was raised in 
the city of Chicago. She is an undocumented American aspiring to earn a 
bachelor's degree in graphic design. Her education is her priority ever 
since she was in elementary school. Throughout high school, she had 
serious doubts about her future, due to her status, but it never 
stopped her from pursuing higher education. Jacqueline went on to 
community college, working a part-time job and earning a few 
scholarships that eventually added up to affordable tuition. Her 
mother, a single mother, would not be able to contribute to 
Jacqueline's education after high school, so it was Jacqueline's choice 
and responsibility to work her way financially through college. Thanks 
to scholarships like the Illinois Dream Fund, TheDream.US, and other 
community scholarships, Jacqueline was lucky to follow through higher 
education, something that most of her undocumented peers would not have 
the chance to do. Jacqueline's dreams are the same dreams of other 
undocumented Americans to persevere in this great country.
  Hector Rivera Suarez is a DACA recipient from Greensboro, North 
Carolina. He has been a DACA recipient for the past 6 years. This came 
to an end on January 21. He is currently on track to graduate in May, 
with a degree in philosophy and education. As a student body president 
and honor scholar at Guilford College, it is part of his curriculum to 
serve in the local community. He has served as an afterschool tutor at 
a local community center that services predominantly the Latino 
community, as well as assisting in classrooms at a newcomer school. His 
plan after graduation is to enroll in Teach for America, since it is 
his only opportunity to be a teacher while being a DACA recipient. Once 
DACA was rescinded in September, these plans had to be delayed. Without 
DACA, he will not have the opportunity to keep serving the community in 
greater ways.

                              {time}  1015

  Hector's DACA expires 5 days before the Teach For America January 
deadline; this is why he needs there to be a resolution as soon as 
possible so he can move forward with his plans of mentoring the future 
leaders of America.
  Mr. Speaker, I bring this up because, as you know, the discussions 
and negotiations on the caps bill, the budget bill, are making progress 
and, perhaps, soon to be coming to an end. And on that score, I would 
say so far as what I know of it, the budget caps agreement, which will 
be announced today, includes many Democratic priorities, actually 
bipartisan priorities.
  But with the disaster recovery package and dollar-for-dollar 
increases in the defense and nondefense budget, Democrats have secured 
hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in communities across 
America. There will be billions in funding to fight opioids, to 
strengthen our veterans and the NIH, to build job-creating rural 
infrastructure and broadband, and to fund access

[[Page H914]]

to child care and quality higher education. That is something that has 
been negotiated with our input between Leader Mitch McConnell and 
Leader Chuck Schumer.
  But Mitch McConnell also made a commitment to his Members that he 
would bring up a dream bill to the floor of the Senate in an appointed 
time. So why can't we have some kind of a commitment on this side of 
the aisle that enabled the discussion to take place on a values-based 
  Here, we asked the Speaker would he bring up the Hurd-Aguilar bill, 
which is bipartisan, would win if brought to the House, has a 
sufficient number of Republican cosponsors, thank them for their 
courage to be public, but others who have said they would vote for it, 
and we would like a commitment from the Speaker to bring it and any 
other bills that he believes should be considered on the floor as well.
  We could do it under a ``Queen of the Hill'' where the bill with the 
most votes becomes the most prevailing bill to either support what the 
Senate has done or to reconcile what the Senate has done.
  That is a simple request. That is a simple request that the House 
Democrats and, in a bipartisan way, others have joined in asking the 
Speaker to bring a bill to the floor to give us that commitment.
  Why should we, in the House, be treated in such a humiliating way, 
when the Republican Senate leader has given that opportunity, in a 
bipartisan way, to his membership?
  What is wrong? There is something wrong with this picture. That is 
why, this morning, when we took a measure of our caucus on support for 
the package--well, we have to see all the particulars of it yet, but 
there are good things in it--that it does nothing to even advance, even 
with a commitment, without having passed the legislation first, to 
advance bipartisan legislation to protect DREAMers in this House.
  Without that commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the 
commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my 
support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of 
our caucus.
  So then I go on to some other--I always am reminded in all of these 
debates about our commitment to faith. In God We Trust, it says there 
right over the Speaker's chair.
  The Gospel of Matthew has been an inspiration to many of us on both 
sides of the aisle in terms of what our values are and how we make 
choices. And when, in the Gospel of Matthew, he writes: ``When the Son 
of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on 
His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and 
He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates 
the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the 
goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, `Come, 
you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom 
prepared for you since the creation of the world.''
  Then Christ goes on to say:
  ``For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty 
and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me 
in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked 
after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.
  ``Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see you 
hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?' ''
  And the Lord says, when you see us--what did you see, a stranger and 
invite him in or need clothing and clothing you, he's asking the Lord. 
And when did you see sick and in prison, and did I visit you?
  ``The King will reply, `Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of 
the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' ''
  That is always important. Everybody knows that, the least of my 
brethren speech.
  However, the King does go on: ``Then he will say to those on his 
left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire 
prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me 
nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a 
stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not 
clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
  ``They also will answer, `Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty 
or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help 
  ``He will reply, `Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one 
of the least of these, you did not do for me.' ''
  It is not only positive of what you did, you did for me; it is what 
you did not do. When I was a stranger, you did not help.
  Then it will go into eternal punishment. The righteous will go into 
eternal life.
  So anyway, more stories about our DREAMers and why they honor the 
vows of our Founders, why they deserve our support. We are just talking 
about this discrete group of people, how they command the support of 
the American people.
  Itzel Verduzco Rojas is from Ponca City, Oklahoma. Itzel is working 
as a medical assistant for a pediatric dermatologist and in school full 
time trying to pursue a career in nursing. In addition to her job and 
school, Itzel volunteers with CASA, City Rescue Mission, and Rebuilding 
Together Oklahoma City to address issues of poverty and homelessness in 
her city.
  With DACA, Itzel was able to apply for a driver's license and work 
legally. However, because her renewal application was caught up in 
postal delays, Itzel has not yet received her renewal, and her current 
DACA expired on January 20. Because of this, she will now have to take 
a semester off from school, and she is facing severe disruption in her 
life and the ability to support herself.
  This is really important to note because the people--some of the 
people in the White House have been saying nobody is being deported. 
Well, we will see about that. But they are saying these people are 
  They are not protected. And you heard the characterization that the 
President's Chief of Staff made about some of these people, about being 
lazy or whatever it was.
  I think, in our discussions on the economy, in a separate context, we 
have seen how few Americans would be able to rise to the occasion 
immediately if they had a $500 unsuspected bill that had come their 
way; whether the water heater broke or whatever it is, it would be 
challenging, it would be disruptive to their lives. It would be hard 
for them to have an expendable, immediately expendable, $500. But that 
is what it takes to sign up to what the President--the sign up that was 
required by the President after his September announcement.
  So it is not about being lazy. Or yes, it is probably about fear, 
too. Mr. Kelly, General Kelly, mentions that. But it is about not 
understanding the situation of fear and of contribution, the beautiful 
contribution that people make, that the DREAMers make to our country.
  Itzel came to the U.S. legally at age 7. She came legally and 
attempted to adjust her status along with family. She aged out of 
eligibility when she turned 21. She was able to apply for DACA during 
her senior year of high school, which opened the doors for her.
  In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dalia Medina immigrated to the United 
States at age 11 from Mexico. She is a licensed mental health therapist 
providing much-needed service to at-risk youth and families in New 
  Dalia is working toward an independent license to open her private 
practice to continue aiding families in her State. She recently 
obtained a master's degree in clinical social work and previously 
earned a bachelor's degree in criminology and psychology.
  All of these people are making such a wonderful contribution to our 
society because they have courage, they have values, and they have 
purpose in their life. These stories were given to me by our colleagues 
as they have taken up the cause of many of these DREAMers. But it is 
not enough.
  We have no right to talk about DREAMers and to tell their stories and 
take pride in their actions unless we are willing to take action to 
support them, and we have that opportunity today by asking the Speaker 
of the House to give us a vote.
  What are you afraid of? Give us a vote. Let the House work its will. 
Senator McConnell, Mitch McConnell, is enabling the Senate to work its 

[[Page H915]]

Why should the House of Representatives be constrained, especially on 
such a values-based issue as who we are as a nation and recognizing our 
biblical responsibility to each other?
  Nicole Robles from Houston, Texas, she was born in Mexico. Her family 
immigrated to the United States when she was 6 months old, and she 
faces deportation. In less than 100 days, her DACA will expire. I am 
anxious--Well, this is now much less than 100 days.
  She says: ``I'm anxious because I am graduating high school in a few 
months and I want to start college in August of next year. How will I 
do that without my DACA?''
  She says: ``There are so many barriers to higher education when 
you're undocumented. With a Dream Act, undocumented students will have 
a sense''--the Dream Act gives them a documented sense--``of security 
and opportunity''--to go to school--``to get a job, to care for their 
families, to continue their studies in college or university.''
  ``I want that security and opportunity. We deserve that.'' She 
deserves that.
  ``And we need Congress by the end of the year so that we, more 
people, don't reach their expiration dates.''
  Now, let me say that we have talked mostly about education, people 
working in education and social activities to help other people do 
their best. But many of our DREAMers have served in our military with 
great courage and great patriotism to the only country that they know.
  Again, using my leader's minute, I want to make sure that the Record 
is clear about what this debate is about. It is about honoring our own 
commitment to the Statue of Liberty, to the Founding Fathers, in terms 
of making this a land where one generation would take responsibility to 
make the future better for the next.
  And that brings to mind another person from Albuquerque, New Mexico, 
Yuridia Loera. She said:
  ``Growing up, I was reminded of my immigration status every day by my 
mother. Twenty years later, I realized she did this to prepare our 
family for the imminent day that our family would face a deportation. 
And that day could be today because my DACA has expired.
  ``DACA is what allowed me to pass through immigration checkpoints 
safely. I am also a survivor of sexual assault--with DACA, I was able 
to approach the police to report the person who assaulted me. Trump's 
cruel decision to terminate DACA has put border residents and survivors 
of assault in jeopardy. This is not how a country should treat 
immigrant youth and our families.''
  I just want you to know why we are making this plea. This is a human 
plea to the Speaker, a prayerful human plea to the Speaker.
  It is almost 40 hours. This morning, when I first met with my 
colleagues in our meeting at 8, it was exactly 40 hours until midnight 
  Forty is a number fraught with meaning in our religious lives. Forty 
years, in the Old Testament, 40 years of Moses and the Jews and Aaron 
in the desert; 40 days that Christ was in the desert himself; 40 days 
is the length of time of Lent; and, therefore, 40 hours is a Catholic 
devotion that many of us grew up with.
  We have that same 40 hours, from 8 this morning until tomorrow night 
at midnight, to be prayerful--to be prayerful--to show our purpose, and 
to show why we are asking the Speaker for this vote.
  I have great admiration for the work that is done in a bipartisan 
way, on the budget, the bill; of course, it is not everything we want, 
but there are many good things in it, and I just can't explain to the 
DREAMers or to my colleagues why we should be second-class Members of 
Congress in this House without a commitment from the Speaker that Mitch 
McConnell gave to the Senators, that there would be a vote on the floor 
to let Congress work its will.

                              {time}  1030

  Are you afraid that the DREAMer bill will pass, the work of Mr. Hurd 
and Mr. Aguilar working with other Members to shape a bill that would 
recognize concerns that the President has and others have to put a 
bipartisan bill there that should attract the support of the President?
  Instead, we are hearing words that are hard to process from the White 
House but, nonetheless, recognizing that we have to go down this path 
together. We all believe that, as the Bible tells us, there is a spark 
of divinity in every person and that we must respect that spark of 
  Tomorrow will be the prayer breakfast, and that is a solemn occasion 
in Washington, D.C., and we are always thinking in terms of Christ. 
When Christ became man, his assuming humanity brought his divinity to 
us so that we participate in his divinity, every one of us.
  We have to remember that not only does it exist in every person that 
we encounter, but it exists in us. It exists in the President of the 
United States and his staff and all of the people who elected him. That 
is a beautiful thing about it all.
  But that spark of divinity in each of us has to relate to other 
people and treat them with respect. How would we judge other countries 
if they said: ``We have several hundred thousand people who came here 
as children, and now we are sending them back where they came from?'' 
We would make a judgment about those countries that that was outside 
the circle of civilized human behavior. And yet--and yet--we have 
something to do about that right now.
  I want to talk to you about Juan Carlos Navarro from Oregon. He said: 
``I immigrated to the United States when I was 3 years old with my 
parents because I needed medical treatment for my cerebral palsy. I 
went through six surgeries and 12 years of physical therapy and walked 
for the first time when I was 15 years old.
  ``Growing up, I did well in school, but I felt stuck because I didn't 
know how to go to college. With the help of my counselor, I was able to 
apply for private scholarships and attend a community college in Salem. 
I'm now at Western Oregon University, where I was inspired to start my 
own group for undocumented young people like me. I'm now getting my 
master's there, and I'm part of the college Student Services 
Administration Program, with the dream of one day making higher 
education accessible to low-income and undocumented students.
  ``Without DACA, I no longer have access to health insurance through 
an employer. I suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. This is 
why I have visited my Members of Congress to urge them to pass the 
Dream Act, because my life and my health is on the line.''
  Patricia Ulloa was born in El Salvador. Patricia said: ``I have a 
mixed status family--my parents have TPS, I have one U.S. citizen 
brother, and my two sisters and I have DACA. We need the Dream Act now 
because one of my sister's DACA expires on March 6, 2018, and pretty 
soon the rest of my sisters and I could lose our protections too. Our 
parents are already losing their TPS protections because Trump 
terminated the program.
  ``I want the government to recognize us as part of society and know 
that this is our home and we contribute to our communities even without 
papers. My family wants to be able to stay together and feel safe to 
drive, work, and travel.''
  Here she says--I want to repeat this--``we contribute to our 
communities even without papers.''
  As an Italian American who grew up at a time when I did not feel any 
prejudice or bias--or if I did, I thought it was the other person's 
problem. We Italian Americans always think there are only two kinds of 
people: those who are Italian American and those who want to be.
  But in my father's generation and my grandfather's generation and my 
great-grandmother's generation, it was a different story, and there was 
a term. It was called ``wop,'' and people used that as a derogatory 
term to Italian Americans.
  Do you know what wop means, Mr. Speaker? Wop means without papers. 
Without papers. That is what these people were called, without papers. 
And that is all that these kids are, without papers. In every other 
way, strong participants in our society, in our community, and in our 
  And so again, just give us a chance to have a vote, Mr. Speaker. 
Another day will come when we can talk about comprehensive immigration 
reform. We

[[Page H916]]

can talk about this, that, and the other thing, but right now, the 
Hurd-Aguilar bill, whatever is being put together in the Senate, 
recognizes our responsibility to protect our borders, recognizes the 
value of immigration to our country: hopes, dreams, aspirations, making 
America more American every newcomer who comes. I truly believe that, 
the constant reinvigoration of America.
  Saba Nefes from Texas was born in Mexico, and Saba writes: ``We still 
don't know a lot about cancer. We still don't know about genetic 
diseases. My research at Texas Tech goes right into the heart of that. 
It uses pure mathematics to look at why all these genetic diseases 
exist and how they exist so someday we can come up with cures for them. 
We're far from that point, but this is the challenge I work on.
  ``In addition to conducting research at Texas Tech, I've taught 
undergraduate students as a teaching assistant. This past semester, I 
got to teach anatomy, and one of my students was blind and had a 
service dog. It was a blessing, a great experience to teach her 
anatomy, something that she got to touch and feel to learn. It taught 
me a lot of patience. It taught me what it's like to work alongside my 
American students and peers. I'm just as much a part of their lives as 
they are of mine.
  ``If DACA is repealed, I would be out of a job immediately, and I 
won't be able to teach my students. I won't be able to continue 
conducting the research that I am conducting right now. This research 
could help scientists understand diseases like cancer and lead down a 
path toward a cure. Without DACA, I can't continue this critical 

  Now, I want to just say this. I think there is a lack of 
understanding, and we should have made it clear on the other side of 
the aisle and with the White House about what the President's action in 
September did.
  The President, maybe in good spirit, thought that by giving us a 
March 5 deadline, he was giving a 6-month reprieve to DREAMers; but 
what, in fact, he was doing was making matters worse for them. It was 
most unfortunate. Most unfortunate because, again, while they may have 
maintained the status of DREAMer, they did not have the protections of 
the DACA executive order that President Obama put forth.
  Perhaps it would have been better if President Trump had said: ``I am 
giving Congress 6 months to pass a bill, but I am not changing the 
status quo that protects the DREAMers.''
  Just on that point, President Obama, when he protected the DREAMers 
and their parents, what he did was significant, but it was not as 
significant as what President Reagan did in the 1980s. President Obama 
acted because Congress would not act. He took action.
  President Reagan acted after Congress did act, the Immigration Act of 
1986. President Reagan said, interesting: But you did not go far 
enough. So he instituted, by executive order, Family Fairness. And then 
Family Fairness was continued under President George Herbert Walker 
Bush, two great Presidents for immigration in our country.
  What they did with their executive orders, which stood the test of 
court cases, protected a higher percentage of people than what 
President Obama did--two Republican Presidents, two great champions on 
immigration. Even after Congress acted, they said: You didn't go far 
  President Obama had to act because Congress would not act.
  Then we come forward with President Clinton following in that 
tradition. President George W. Bush, great President on immigration, he 
couldn't convince his own party to pass comprehensive immigration 
reform. But his statements, his values-based policy on immigrants is 
something, to this day--and his current statements are so beautiful and 
inspirational about treating people with dignity and valuing their 
worth as we talk about immigration.
  And then, of course, President Obama, doing what he did in terms of 
executive orders, protecting people in the tradition of Ronald Reagan 
and George Herbert Walker Bush, with the common values of George W. 
Bush and President Clinton.
  So now we have the first Republican President in modern times--the 
first President, really--who is anti-immigrant, and that is just such a 
change from his own party, and it makes it hard to see where we can 
have shared values.
  Certainly one piece of that debate which would require a fuller 
stipulation of fact, hearings, et cetera, to see what the best path 
forward is is important for us to do. But for now, because of the 
action that the President took, it necessitates us taking action here, 
as the President anticipated by putting a March 5 deadline on it. We 
would like to do it sooner.
  This is a vehicle leaving the station. And if the Republicans need 
our support for this legislation, which has many good features--and I 
commend the negotiators on it and was a part of that--unless we can get 
the same commitment that Mitch McConnell gave the bipartisan group of 
legislators who asked for it in the Senate, we would like that same 
response to our bipartisan group.
  I want to talk about Jaime Rangel: ``To me, Georgia is my home. I am 
proud to be from the South, and I love to give back to my community.
  ``I tell everybody I'm a Latino that grew up eating tortillas and 
grits at the same time, and north Georgia is home. And for somebody to 
say, `Hey, you can't get some instate tuition' in a place that I 
consider my State was really--it was really heartbreaking. I felt out 
of place.
  ``Right now, I feel optimistic because I believe the greater part of 
the country understands that you can't deport 750,000 individuals. 
These are individuals who give back to their community, who are 
involved in their churches, who have Ph.D.'s, who have been creating 
jobs and who just want to make this country a better place.
  ``When President Obama announced DACA, to me, it was a life-changing 
experience. I felt that I finally was given a decent chance to be 
somebody in this country, to contribute to my State, to contribute to 
my community, to get a job, and just give back and be somebody in the 
greatest country on Earth.''
  That is the patriotism of our DREAMers.
  ``So when DACA was introduced, it opened the doors to many things, 
even doors I didn't think were imaginable to open.
  ``My name is Jaime Rangel. I was born in Mexico, but I came to this 
country when I was only 3 months old.''

  As the President said, he loves the DREAMers. He loves the DREAMers. 
He loves to call it DACA. Subscribe to that. He loves the DREAMers. And 
these people came to this country not of their own volition, through no 
fault of their own. I, myself, thank their parents for bringing them 
here because they are a blessing to America, but, from their 
standpoint, through no fault of their own.
  Why can't we be fair and give them a break?
  Javier Noris in New York City came from Mexico: ``I invest in the 
next generation of biomedical tech solutions.
  ``When I was working at a convenience store, I always had big 
aspirations, even though I wasn't sure how they would come to fruition. 
But the moment DACA was passed, it really put everything in 
perspective, and I really made a conscious effort to focus on my 
career. So I ended up pursuing a career as a software engineer.
  ``I went to school at Cal State University, Northridge. I studied 
economics and biotechnology. After working as a software engineer in 
Silicon Valley, I ended up moving to Brooklyn, New York. I now work in 
venture capital, running a small venture fund that invests in early-
stage life science and frontier technology startups.
  ``As a CEO of an investment fund, DACA being repealed does not only 
affect me. A DACA repeal could affect the startups with which I work 
and my ability to invest in them and their ability to continue to grow 
and employ hundreds of workers across the country.
  ``My name is Javier. I'm a DACA recipient and I'm from Mexico City. I 
came to the United States when I was 5 years old.''
  He did not come alone. He did not. He was brought here by his 
  So many of our DREAMers here are called DREAMers because they have 
big dreams. And they are entrepreneurs; they are teachers; they are

[[Page H917]]

researchers in science; they are in our military. They are making such 
a fabulous contribution to the future of our country.
  It is not just about them. This DACA repeal that we are making is 
about us: Who are we as a country? How do we honor the vows of our 
founders, the Statue of Liberty and her appeal to the world that has 
made America such a beacon of hope?

                              {time}  1045

  The list goes on and on about many, many DACA recipients, and I 
intend to read them all.
  But in addition to that, I want to go back to the Bible because I 
could have brought the Bible here and just read the Bible and said: If 
we are people of faith, in God we trust, as we contend to be, we must 
act upon our faith, and act upon our values.
  People always ask me: Where is hope? Where should we find hope?
  Hope is sitting there where it always has been, right between faith 
and charity. People have hope because they believe. They believe in 
God. They have faith in our country and themselves and their families; 
and they have faith in the goodness, the charity of others that people, 
when given the chance, will do the right thing, and then, hopefully, 
that will be returned to them when they need hope and can have faith in 
the goodness of others.
  I want to tell you about Maria Praeli. She is from Connecticut. She 
said: ``I didn't let anything keep me from advancing academically. 
Unfortunately, when high school ended, I couldn't attend the university 
of my dreams. I was getting all these acceptance letters, but I 
couldn't go to any of these schools because I didn't have a Social 
Security number''--this is my point; you can't get a Social Security 
number--``and, therefore, I wasn't eligible for financial aid. I 
couldn't pursue the dreams that I had been hoping to. But I did not let 
my undocumented status hold me back from continuing to advance 
  ``I enrolled at Gateway Community College, where I worked very hard 
as a student government association president and graduated with 3.8 
GPA to then be able to attend Quinnipiac University. I graduated magna 
cum laude and earned my bachelor's degree in May of 2016.
  ``It's surreal to wake up every day and be reminded that even though 
I have been living in America for the past 18 years, in a few months, 
all my honors and education might end up not mattering anymore because 
I won't be able to contribute to the country which I have called home 
for so long.
  ``My name is Maria. I was born in Ica, Peru, and moved to the United 
States when I was 5 years old.''
  There is documentation after documentation of how young these 
children were when they came to the United States all because their 
parents wanted to make the future better for them.
  Andrea Seabra writes: ``My dad was a fighter pilot in the Peruvian 
Air Force, so I grew up with a lot of military influence. When I was in 
high school, I joined New Jersey ROTC, which was the junior ROTC, and I 
was there for 3\1/2\ years.
  ``It gave me that taste of maybe what my dad might have lived when he 
was in the military. I lost him when I was only 6 years old, so I never 
really got to know that part of him. I always thought in the back of my 
head, when I graduate, I want to join the military. When I was in my 
junior year, I realized that I couldn't enroll in the military because 
I was undocumented.
  ``I was sitting with a recruiter at my school, an Air Force 
recruiter, and he asked me about it. He's like, `What's your social?' 
So when I told him, `Well, I don't have one--' '' meaning Social 
Security number--``he is like, `What about your passport?' I'm like, 
`Well, I have a Peruvian passport.' And he's like, `No, you have to 
either be a U.S. resident or a U.S. citizen to be able to join.'
  ``That's the first time I ever experienced that big wall of being 
undocumented, like a big stop sign saying, no, you can't pursue this 
passion of yours.
  ``I didn't live a normal life until I got DACA. Thanks to DACA, I was 
able to pursue my career after graduating cum laude from Saint Leo 
University, in marketing. With DACA, I was able to build my 
professional network, help people, influence people, and do all these 
things for myself and my family and my community. If that's going to be 
taken away, everything that I've accomplished, that I've worked on, 
that I've helped people with will just fall apart. It will shake the 
foundation of who I am today as a person, as a professional, even as a 
friend, as a daughter, everything.
  ``My name is Andrea. I was born in Lima, Peru. I was brought here by 
my mom when I was 11 years old.''
  She had lost her dad when she was 6. But this idea of military 
service, many, when they got the DACA status protection, have served 
honorably in the military. We are very proud of them, as we are proud 
of all of our men and women in the military.
  And I emphasize the story of hard work that these DREAMers have 
because they are very consistent with American workers. American people 
are so resourceful. They are so wonderful. They so care about their 
families and their communities. So this is not to say that DACA 
recipients are different. It is to say they are just like us.
  We are very proud of the American people, the productivity of our 
workforce, the faith of our families, the civic mindedness and the 
generosity of spirit, and, really, of resources of the American people.
  My telling these stories is not to separate the DACA recipients from 
them, but to show how similar they are and how assimilated they are 
into our community. It is mutually beneficial.
  Jose Manuel Santoyo, from Texas, said: ``My education was so that I 
could contribute to society.
  ``My last year at Southern Methodist University, I began working on 
an engaged learning fellowship. Because of that, I was selected to be 
the commencement speaker for my graduation and represent almost 600 
other students who would be graduating that day. In my speech, I 
thanked the faculty and staff at my university. I had teachers who I've 
looked up to my whole life, who provided amazing educational 
opportunities regardless of the papers I had or didn't have.
  ``I want to be able to work and I want to work in public service. In 
order to do that, I would need to have DACA. I would need to have work 
authorization in this country. I feel like that's what my education 
was for. My education wasn't for me. My education was so I could 
contribute to society. My education was so that I could give back to 
the community that has given me so much, to the country that has given 
me so much.

  ``This year I hope that our Congress and our President work to fund a 
permanent solution to provide us DACA recipients a pathway to 
citizenship, to give us an opportunity to use our education, to use 
everything that we've learned in order to give back, in order to 
contribute, in order to provide for ourselves and our families and our 
  What Manuel said is that he looked up to his teachers. He learned 
from others in our country. That also demonstrates the beautiful 
commitment of the American people to teach, to shed light to younger 
people, newcomers to our country, to make a valuable contribution.
  So in saluting, as I say, the DREAMers, we are saluting the 
opportunity they were given by the American people to make their 
contribution. Hopefully, Congress will live up to the values of the 
American people who overwhelmingly support the DREAMers, and see this 
as a separate issue not just about the DREAMers, but about who we are 
as a country.
  Cesar Vargas was born in Mexico. He holds a law degree and wants to 
became a military lawyer. Aside from advocating for legislation to 
allow DREAMers to serve in the military, he has been advocating for 
immigration reform through a political group he launched last year 
called Dream Action Coalition. The group is known for challenging 
lawmakers on their stance on immigration and highlighting the political 
power of voters. In his case, Latino voters.
  Kelly--just Kelly--is from Dover, New Jersey. Kelly is a student 
working toward becoming a medical assistant. She will be done with 
courses in January. However, without a DACA work permit, she won't be 
able to complete an internship required to complete her training and 
get certified. Her driver's license also expires in February.

[[Page H918]]

  Understand this: you can't have a Social Security card, a passport, a 
driver's license. You cannot function as a person in our society 
without having your status protected by the Dream Act. So when people 
tell you it is all protected, it isn't. Listen to the stories.
  So I was talking about Kelly. Kelly is a student working to becoming 
a medical assistant. She will be done in January. However, without 
DACA, she won't be able to complete her training or get her driver's 
license, as I mentioned. Kelly--just Kelly--has lived in New Jersey 
since she was 5 years old. She says DACA has ``given me the chance to 
drive, have a work permit, buy a car, get car insurance--things that 
obviously benefit the country as well. It's helped me to not be stuck, 
not to have to depend on others. . . .''
  Kelly's DACA renewal application was rejected because she forgot to 
fill in a date of expiration. When she received notice of the error, 
she fixed it and sent the application back immediately, but, by then, 
the arbitrary October deadline had passed.
  This is another reason why we need to clear this up.
  Crystal--just Crystal--is a single, working mom of 5 U.S. citizen 
children. She was born in the Bahamas and arrived in the U.S. at 6 
years old. Crystal had her fifth child only 3 weeks ago, and while 
recovering, she had been on unpaid leave from a retail job, where she 
has worked for nearly 6 years. Now that her work authorization has 
expired, she will not be able to return to work, and her ability to 
provide for her kids will be impeded.
  Carlos from the Bronx. Carlos lives in the Bronx and is the only 
undocumented member of his family. The whole family pulls together to 
care for Carlos' younger sister who has severe cerebral palsy and 
cannot walk. Carlos' employer, a fabrication company, desperately wants 
to keep Carlos as an employee. His DACA and work authorization expired 
February 18, 2017. It expired already.
  So the list goes on and on.
  Carlos sent his DACA renewal application on September 18, 2017, 2 
weeks after the President's announcement. But it was not received until 
December 11--he sent it on September 18. It was received on October 11. 
In the rejection letter, he was notified that he failed to fill in his 
DACA expiration date on one of the forms. The relevant information was 
included in the cover letter and in other parts of the packet. Carlos 
arrived in the U.S. when he was 2 years old. New York is the only place 
he can call home. The expiration date was in the package, but in one of 
the forms it was not added. So he lost his protections.
  I have to mention Kelly, who is a constituent of Rodney 
Frelinghuysen. Crystal, who was here from the Bahamas, is a constituent 
of Ted Deutch. Carlos is from the Bronx and is a constituent of Joe 
  Saul is from San Francisco and is a constituent of Jackie Speier. 
Saul aspires to be a teacher, Mr. Speaker. DACA has allowed him to work 
in the field he is passionate about: education.
  He was able to get a driver's license. Saul submitted a DACA renewal 
application September 30, well in time, via USPS express delivery. He 
received notification of an error, which he fixed and resubmitted. 
However, his application was rejected as untimely.
  Agustin is from Brooklyn. Agustin's DACA will expire in January--
already--within days of his 21st birthday. DACA allowed Agustin to go 
to college to study criminal justice. He works and goes to school. When 
his DACA expires--which it has--he won't have the means to pay his 
bills and the cost of school.
  What are we doing?
  It is like without papers, WOP. And now people who are striving to 
have their papers are outlawed on a technicality. Really? Aren't we 
supposed to be enabling people to make their contribution instead of 
hurting them with the process?
  It is, again, important to note, and for our viewers to note that 
what people are asking for is nothing special. It is asking them to 
honor what was there. When DACA recipients were told to sign up, they 
submitted considerable information about their lives. They effectively 
outed their parents with the commitment that there would be protection 
for them.

  We have heard many good bipartisan proposals to protect the DREAMers, 
to give consideration to parents so that they would not be deported 
because they brought a child into the country. Some of these parents 
have citizen children now who are also making a contribution to our 
  So it is because people understand that that September 5 announcement 
by the President was very disruptive. Let's hope that it was not 
intentional. I don't think that it was. I have no reason to think that 
it was. But it did cause problems that perhaps were unforeseen. The 
system did not even allow for a correction in a form in a timely 
fashion because of dependence on when it was received to be judged a 
protection for those students.
  So, in fact, over 110 DREAMers a day lose their protection. It is 
over--approaching 20,000 already who are losing their protections. And 
it will be more by the time of March 5, which is the deadline. And if 
we are going to reach a March 5 deadline, or any deadline, we have to 
get on a timetable to do so.
  One timetable we have is the opportunity today to have a commitment 
from the Speaker not to be afraid of DREAMers. Thank God for them. They 
contribute. We are a nation of DREAMers. That is why they fit so 
comfortably in our society and contribute to it so beautifully.

                              {time}  1100

  I will tell you about Mayron, Rick Larsen's constituent from 
Washington State. Mayron, originally from Honduras, has lived in the 
U.S. since he was 11 years old and knows no other country as home. He 
has overcome lots of obstacles to be who he is today, a successful 
entrepreneur who owns three businesses. He submitted his DACA renewal 
application before the deadline. It arrived on October 2, 2017. He 
accidentally submitted the processing fee for $465 instead of $495. 
That is what it takes. $495 is a lot of money. His entire case was sent 
back for that reason.
  With his rejection, he received a green document stating: You are 
invited to resubmit your application package after you have corrected 
the reasons for rejection. Place this letter on top of your application 
  Mayron affixed the processing fee and resubmitted his application 
with the green document on top of his application package. On October 
31, he received the entire package in the mail with a rejection notice 
dated October 24 that stated that USCIS is no longer accepting DACA 
  Mayron has been a DACA applicant for the last 3 years and is 
heartbroken by the DHS' actions in rejecting the renewal of his DACA.
  Gregory Meeks' constituent, Brittany, writes that she was born in 
Trinidad and Tobago and arrived in the U.S. at 3 years old and grew up 
in New York. She has no close family in Trinidad and Tobago, and all of 
her immediate and most of her extended family who are citizens and 
residents live near her in New York.
  Brittany is a full-time caretaker for a family in Brooklyn with two 
14-month-old sons, one of whom has special needs and requires physical 
therapy. Although the child's special needs were not known when she was 
hired, Brittany has risen to the occasion with grace, calm, and 
competence according to the family. We are devastated by the thought 
she may not be able to continue to work in this country, and, no, we 
won't find another caregiver who is as reliable, nurturing, and 
unshakeable as Brittany.
  Brittany submitted her renewal application September 21, but it was 
sent back to her on October 5 because she forgot to sign her name in 
one place. She sent it back immediately but was rejected as untimely.
  Hugo in Houston, Texas. Hugo is a 34-year-old father who lives in 
Houston, Texas. He came to the United States from Mexico when he was 6 
years old and has lived in Houston ever since. He completed K-12 in 
Houston and now works at a photo framing shop near downtown. After 
Trump was elected, Hugo worried about reapplying, so he waited. Hugo 
found out from one text message from a friend on September 6 that he 
needed to reapply before October 5 or risk losing his DACA. He decided 
to quickly put together his application as his DACA was set to expire 
September 9, 2017.
  Hurricane Harvey had just hit the Houston area. While Hugo's home was

[[Page H919]]

not destroyed, the entire city of Houston was shut down, including many 
businesses. Hugo's work was one of them. He didn't have the time or 
money to pay an attorney. He had to borrow half the money for the 
application fee because he couldn't get $495 together in such a short 
period of time.
  Hugo was unable to get his DACA renewal application mailed until 
October 4, which is still before the deadline. USCIS received Hugo's 
application on October 6. On November 1, Hugo received a letter from 
USCIS denying his renewal. Now, you know if they got his application on 
October 6, they knew it was mailed before October 5, or in time on 
October 5, but they turned him down.
  The point I want to make here is these are technicalities that people 
have been turned down on. Could we all live up to the standard that has 
been set to sign in every place with the date and the this and the that 
even though the information is contained in the package, even though 
hurricanes intervened in the mail service or the opportunity to put the 
package together, no mitigation, no consideration for that? That is 
really unfortunate because the American people are the losers in all of 
  Fernanda writes that she arrived in the U.S. at age 2 wearing a pink 
parka and matching pants, clutching on to her mom. She carried a single 
bag and abandoned her family in search of a better life beside her 
father in the U.S. Her dad was already in Alabama, and they were 
wanting to be by his side.
  In the year before his decision to leave Mexico, he had been 
assaulted five times and already had his wedding band stolen twice. 
Since arriving to the States, they have been able to start four 
businesses and create jobs. They purchased two cars and put Fernanda 
through college. They also have helped their U.S.-born son reach his 
goals of being a professional soccer player and is on the Olympic 
Development Program team for the southeast region.
  Sheila Jackson Lee is with us in the Chamber. Sheila's story is that 
one of these young people living with uncertainty is Cesar Espinoza, a 
DREAMer from Houston who came to America from Mexico at the age of 6. 
Cesar adapted quickly to his Texas home and became a standout student 
excelling in programs for the gifted and talented throughout his 
primary and secondary education.
  Faced daily with the constant threat of deportation, Cesar and his 
family were forced to have an emergency plan in place in the event one 
of his family members were detained by the immigration services. 
Espinoza graduated from DeBakey High School near the top of his class 
and was accepted at some of America's most prestigious universities, 
including Yale. But his undocumented status prevented him from 
obtaining financial assistance, nearly shattering his college 
ambitions. He could have given up on his pursuit of a degree, but 
instead he chose to make a difference.
  I know there are other young people who are just like me, said Cesar. 
They need someone to fight for them and try to make a way. That is when 
he founded FIEL, an immigrants' rights organization based in Houston.
  Congresswoman Barbara Lee writes about her constituent, Emily. Emily 
is a resident of Alameda, California. She came to the U.S. when she was 
9 years old with her family from South Korea in the year 2000. She 
currently works in community health work in a federally qualified 
health center in Oakland, California, serving the underserved API 
community. Emily graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 and has been 
working as a community health worker ever since. She is also taking a 
class after work to prepare to apply to graduate school.

  Emily says DACA has changed her life and the lives of her family 
members. She was able to finally contribute to her family's living 
expenses upon graduation and will continue to pursue her dreams.
  Emily is grateful for the protection she received under DACA. But she 
is also deeply concerned about her mother and friends who don't have 
the same opportunity to come out of the shadows.
  Emily said, ``When my rights as a `deserving American' are justified 
by the idea that it was `no fault of my own,' it automatically 
criminalizes my mother, whose love, sacrifice, and resilience made it 
possible for me and my siblings to be where we are today. I am forever 
thankful for her courage and the sacrifice she made to give us a better 
  Emily's story is a reminder that we must protect DREAMers, but we 
must never give up the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. It 
is past time for Congress to pass the clean Dream Act.
  Jose Castillo wrote:
  ``My name is Jose Castillo, and I am 22 years old. When I was 4 years 
old''--can you imagine how precious--``my parents took my little sister 
and me and packed up everything they owned. We got on a plane and 
headed to the United States to escape a country in its early stages of 
turmoil. My parents gave up everything they had to provide us with a 
sliver of a chance, one they knew we wouldn't have in Venezuela.
  ``They made it a point to raise us well while shielding us from 
racism and their fears of deportation.
  ``Eventually, we came to understand just how many doors were closed 
to us. Disheartened and frightened for our future, we prayed for 
something, anything. DACA was that something. DACA has given me hope 
and a real chance, but, more importantly, it has given me a voice. I 
can proudly tell my story to anyone who is willing to listen, a story 
about a family who is determined and persistent in their pursuit of an 
American life.
  ``DACA's removal would rip that away from us. Ending DACA will hurt 
more than 800,000 people, people not just with dreams and aspirations, 
but people that want to be seen, understood, and welcomed. They are 
your friends and your neighbors, your schoolteachers. . . .''
  Now, this is so important: ``They are your friends and your 
neighbors, your schoolteachers and your doctors, and they need you to 
come to their side and help. Call Congress, have an open conversation, 
relay facts and fight for my family and the hundreds of thousands like 
  This goes on and on. It just seems like it is such an easy solution. 
There are plenty of challenges that we have that are complex, 
comprehensive immigration reform, issues that relate to how we prepare 
our country for jobs for the 21st century, how we prepare our workers 
and our education system and the rest. But in all of that, we have to 
be strong as a country. To be strong as a country, we have to be true 
to our values. To be true to our values is to respect the aspirations 
of people who are our future. Our young people are our future, and 
these DREAMers are part of that. They have enriched our community, and 
they have been enriched by our community, by the goodness of the 
American people, and by the greatness of our country.
  So our plea to the Speaker is not one just for the DREAMers. Our plea 
to the Speaker is for us, for ourselves, again, to honor the vows of 
our Founders, our patriarch, George Washington, and others who followed 
him to make our country great, but also to make it a beacon of hope to 
the rest of the world.
  Claudia came to the United States when she was 5. She said: `` . . . 
my family brought me to a country I would call home. I had to learn a 
new language, new culture, a new way of life. I was brought here by 
hardworking, loving parents who only wanted what was best for my 
future, running away from poverty and leaving family behind in the hope 
of a better life.
  ``DACA allowed me to have a chance at a better tomorrow. I am now a 
medical assistant and a third-year student at the University of Utah. 
Taking away DACA would remove the privileges that I hold dearly. I am 
not an `illegal alien,' nor am I a criminal or a rapist. I am a human; 
I am 1 of the 800,000 DREAMers who thrive for a better future. America 
is my home. I didn't choose to be undocumented, but I do decide to keep 
fighting for what is right and keep moving forward, undocumented and 
unafraid. I am a DREAMer, and I am here to stay.''
  Did I tell you about Juan Escalante? ``With much foresight to the 
oncoming political evidence, my parents fled Venezuela in 2000, with my 
two brothers and me in tow, for the United States. In 2006, we learned 
that an immigration attorney had mishandled our immigration case, which 
meant that,

[[Page H920]]

after 6 years of legal fees and paying taxes, we were no longer on the 
path towards U.S. citizenship.
  ``By the time President Obama announced the Deferred Action for 
Childhood Arrivals, DACA, program in 2012, I had graduated from Florida 
State University with a political science degree. I fought and lost two 
legislative fights in support of the Dream Act, helped enact a law in 
Florida that would provide in-state tuition for undocumented students 
across the State, and helped organize thousands of DREAMers from all 
across the country.
  ``Since 2013, DACA has protected my brothers and me from deportation. 
With DACA, I was able to return to FSU for a master's degree in public 
administration and get a job in immigration advocacy, as the digital 
campaigns manager for America's Voice. I am a Tallahassee resident.''
  Mayra came to the United States at age 6. She said: ``I have now 
lived in the United States for 21 years. Currently, I work full time as 
a special education paraprofessional. I am also a college student. I'm 
working on my third college degree.''

  How many of us can make that claim?
  ``In May of 2018, I will be graduating summa cum laude with a 
bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education. A 
challenge I have had to overcome is accepting situations that are out 
of my control and knowing that having strength and fortitude will lead 
me to prevail in the end.
  ``I first went to college to become a nurse. In 2011, my junior year 
of college, I graduated with honors with an associate's degree in 
nursing. Unfortunately, I was unable to get licensed due to my 
immigration status. It was upsetting and embarrassing. I was 
embarrassed because I would see former peers working as actual nurses, 
and I wasn't. And not because I was incapable, but merely because I was 
never even given the opportunity to take the NCLEX and get licensed.
  ``In 2012, I finished my senior year in college and graduated cum 
laude with a bachelor's degree in general studies. Over the years, the 
State I reside in has changed State legislation to allow DACA 
recipients to receive driver's licenses, professional licenses, and 
  That is a beautiful thing, but we want that for the whole country. 
There are just certain things, the contributions of DREAMers to our 
society, the work they do every day with the American people of which 
they consider themselves to be a part, the benefits they have received 
from working and knowing people in our country, themselves benefiting 
from the greatness of the American people, the reciprocity they have 
given back and honoring the American Dream, working hard with a work 
ethic, an ethic of faith, family, and community, and a work ethic, 
usually typical of an immigration community as many of us who are 
families from the immigration community, which are all of us unless we 
happen to be very blessed to be born a Native American in our country. 
How beautiful some of the Native American families in our country have 
been to our newcomers to our country.
  Our country should all be that welcoming, and I think our country is. 
That is why the numbers are in the eighties and nineties, in terms of 
support for DREAMers, and even in the seventies among Republicans for a 
path to citizenship.
  Carlos Emilio Diaz writes: ``I am 19 years old, and I was born in 
Guerrero, Mexico. I moved to Houston when I was a year old''--a year 
old--``and was raised there my entire life. I am currently a student at 
UT Austin. My biggest dream is to provide my parents with everything 
they need without them having to work. They have sacrificed so much and 
continue to do so. I feel that's the least I could do. DACA gives me 
that opportunity, and without it, my dream has become uncertain.''
  One of the things that I think many families in transition, that is 
to say, the upward mobility of education in our country and the length 
of time that families have been here, is the story of their respect for 
their parents, to see opportunities that they have, that DREAMers in 
this case have, but just take any people in our country. That one 
generation has tremendous opportunity because of the sacrifice of their 
parents and grandparents.

                              {time}  1115

  One of the attitudes that I have heard from people is, while they are 
enjoying and are grateful for everything that they have and the 
opportunity they have to give back to society, they have a certain 
sadness that their parents didn't have that same opportunity for 
education, to reach their personal aspirations. Their aspiration was to 
make the future better for their children. They certainly were 
successful at that. But, still, among some young people, you hear: ``I 
wish my parents could have had this opportunity.''
  How many people have ever said: ``If only my mother would have had 
this opportunity''? That is in every generation, practically, because 
opportunities for women have changed so much.
  But, in any case, I have a neighbor in East Palo Alto in the heart of 
Silicon Valley, Rocio, who writes:
  ``I grew up in East Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley before 
and after the dot-com bubble. Despite living in a tough neighborhood of 
violence''--you maybe don't know that, but East Palo Alto is, in the 
heart of all this wealth, success, and entrepreneurship, a place that 
needs more of our attention.
  ``Despite living in a tough neighborhood of violence, I watched 
``Star Trek Voyager,'' ``Friends,'' read Dr. Seuss, and memorized 
musicals from ``Funny Girl'' to ``The Wizard of Oz.'' On the weekends, 
I helped my dad clean office buildings. He hid me in the trash cart to 
sneak me into work. I picked up the trash and refilled the trash can 
with bags at every room. Today, I am in one of those conference rooms 
whiteboarding with engineers and product managers to solve the toughest 
problems in Big Data.''
  Imagine being sneaked in in a trash barrel, helping to clean those 
offices, and now being the leader in the room, whiteboarding with 
engineers and product managers, solving the toughest problems in Big 
  ``Anyone who thinks East Palo Alto is a precious community doesn't 
live there anymore. During the worst days of gang violence, I had to 
become street smart and know that, as an immigrant and only child in a 
house of 17 people, I wasn't in a position to fight back. My strategy 
was always to keep a low profile and be on the lookout for trouble.
  ``The community of EPA put me in touch with amazing people through 
Eastside. Eastside is a private''--when I say ``EPA,'' in this case, it 
is East Palo Alto.
  ``The community of East Palo Alto put me in touch with amazing people 
through Eastside. Eastside is a private school in EPA that helps 
underrepresented and first-generation students get into college. A 
couple sponsored me from 6th through 12th grade.
  ``Every day, I met volunteers and teachers from the surrounding towns 
and Stanford University. Through a reading program, I met Christina, or 
Chris, as I like to call her, who, for the past 15 years has been a 
mentor and a friend. She helped me become a better reader and 
eventually edit a manuscript for a book. The education and support that 
I received at Eastside allowed me to be successful and stay safe.
  ``It sounds crazy, but I couldn't get a cell phone. If something 
happened to me while my parents worked the night shift as janitors, I 
couldn't call 911. I didn't have a credit history, which requires a 
Social Security number. That's when I started becoming aware of my 
status as an undocumented student. A Stanford med school student, 
Julie, helped me out. Although the phone was under her name, I paid her 
in cash for part of my bill every month.''
  So, again, you see, without it--no status, no credit, no Social 
Security number, no driver's license--it is debilitating and doubly 
worrisome because so many of these people are making such a valuable 
contribution to our society, learning from the American people, and 
giving back.
  Maneri: ``I'm 18 years old and from Los Angeles. I just graduated 
high school and will be attending UCLA to study political science in 
the fall. Being an undocumented student has been tough. Coming to this 
country at 6 years old completely changed my life. Learning English and 
doing well in school was a battle since everyone in my family only 
spoke Spanish and had

[[Page H921]]

no more than an elementary school education.
  ``However, being a DREAMer has also shaped who I am, what I stand 
for, and has inspired me to dream big. After graduation, I hope to go 
to law school and become an immigration lawyer to help others in my 
situation and give back to my community. I dream that one day your 
immigration status doesn't define your path in life or hold you back 
from reaching your goals but, instead, encourages and embraces 
  Again, so many stories of so many DREAMers. I just want to see if we 
have some more from our colleagues in terms of the ones that they have 
submitted. We have received all of these from our colleagues. Some of 
them identified as being from them or not, but all of them, again, 
proud, proud of these young people who not only are DREAMers, but 
inspire the rest of us to dream.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your courtesy. I am not finished yet. I 
thank you for your courtesy in the interim and just want to say I am 
taking this time because I think we have an opportunity now that is 
almost matchless. We are at a moment when we can all come together to 
do something really good for the country, take an action that has 
bipartisan support.
  We have no right, as I said earlier, any of us, to associate 
ourselves with the aspirations of the DREAMers unless we are able to 
and willing and courageous enough to take action on their behalf. So, 
while some of us have been, more or less, receptive to receiving 
DREAMers, learning from them, being inspired by them, some have not 
been as exposed to these DREAMers and their stories as others. I think, 
if you had been--and I am not saying you reject it; I am just saying 
maybe it is geography or whatever--you would be as insistent as many of 
us are that we live up to who we are as a country, and this people's 
House listens to the voices of the American people who overwhelmingly 
support our DREAMers.
  Again, I don't know when we would have another opportunity that 
matches today for us to just get a simple commitment from the Speaker 
of the House that he will give us a vote. There is no guarantee. We 
will have the debate. People will weigh in. They will make their voices 
heard. Congress, again, will work its will. But do not diminish this 
House of Representatives, this people's House, to a place where we 
don't have the right to express our views on a subject so important to 
our country that has such general support in the public and, yet, the 
Speaker of the House is saying we don't matter here, we, Members of the 
House, don't count in this consideration because maybe we just don't 
have the courage to do what we need to do.

  I believe we do. I believe many people on the Republican side of the 
aisle have demonstrated even greater courage than some of us on this 
side. It is easy for me. But it is also hard for me because we really, 
again, are in a position to do something, and we feel helpless--that is 
what the hard part is--helpless if our Speaker will not, Speaker of the 
whole House, give this dignity to this House of Representatives to be 
able to take the vote on a subject of broad debate in the country, but 
we can't debate a bill on the floor of the House.
  The Senate has received that dignity, has received that commitment 
from Mitch McConnell, from Leader McConnell on the Republican side, 
but, nonetheless, the Senate side, responding to bipartisan support, 
bringing a bill to the floor with, again, no guarantee, the debate, we 
will see what path that legislation takes.
  But why a gag rule in the House of Representatives? Why a gag rule? 
And that is why I am voicing some of the concerns today, largely 
through the voices and the stories of our DREAMers. We want to be sure 
that the public record of the Congress of the United States forevermore 
will reflect the stories of their great contribution to America in the 
hopes that those stories will move the Speaker of the House to give us 
a vote, to elevate this House of Representatives to its rightful place 
instead of diminishing us by saying the Senate may talk about these 
subjects that the American people care so much about, not so fast in 
the House of Representatives.
  So that is why I am using my leadership minute to make sure that the 
Record will show the magnificent contributions of the DREAMers in our 
country, the courage it took for their parents to bring them here.
  And again, Members are sending in their stories from Dallas, Texas, 
from Arizona State. Let me read this one:

       Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. Stretching out my hand to 
     greet her. She reiterated my name, Mr. Luis Roberto Usera, 
     class salutatorian.
       Isn't that great? Making the salutary address.
       Clear as the day, breaking wind upon my face, silencing my 
     voice as I spoke out in a crowd of thousands. This is our 
     day, ladies and gentlemen, the class of 2012. The last 18 
     years of our lives, everything we have accomplished, 
     everything we have been through has led us to today.
       Reading these words aloud encouraged that I had made a 
     difference, that my work ethic finally paid off. This is 
     meant to be an honor. Here I was, 4.8 grade point average, 
     4.8 grade point average, all honors classes. Ran student 
     government and some of the most successful blood drives my 
     school ever has seen and no way to do anything with it. I 
     looked, watching people's reaction, their faces toward mine, 
     waiting for me to continue. And so I did.
       An echo was heard around the amphitheater rapidly 
     dispersing my voice to everyone in the back, to myself. I 
     spoke into the enchanted crowd, amused at my priestlike 
       And here, 4 years later, we have to face that same feeling, 
     the bittersweet combination of nostalgia and excitement that 
     comes when you turn off one road in your life and onto 
     another. The speech would have been great if I had believed a 
     word I was saying. The speech might have rung true to someone 
     else, but the advice that was inadvertently coming out of my 
     mouth meant nothing to myself.
       I could no longer follow my own advice. Governing laws did 
     not allow undocumented immigrants to go to college right out 
     of high school. My too thin of a boy who ignorantly thought 
     he would go to college transformed to that of a cashier 
     tending lines in the local supermarket. In retrospect, those 
     feelings were before DACA was announced.
       I still remember the many chills that went through my body 
     when President Obama announced the initiative. Then, still 
     worried that it might be too good to be true, I stuck with it 
     and applied, making a huge difference in my life. I could 
     continue my education, work legally, and live peacefully in a 
     world surrounded by fear.
       Through DACA, I could achieve the by then impossible 
     college education. DACA allowed me to come out of the shadows 
     and show the true potential I have without fear. DACA 
     demonstrated to me that people cared, that people wanted to 
     help and understand the situation.
       I recently received TheDream.US scholarship that bestowed 
     upon me the gift of education, for which I will be ever 
     grateful. I am currently an undergraduate student studying 
     biochemistry at Arizona State University.

  A great school, by the way.

       I arrived in the United States when I was 5. I grew up 
     American. I grew up speaking English. I grew up to call the 
     United States home. This is my home. This is my country. I am 
     here to stay. Luis Roberto Usera Brisano.

  Sofia de la Varga, an EMT student:

       I was 5 years old when my mother told me where we were 
     going to on vacation. At the time, I was excited for this 
     vacation because our dog had passed away and was buried right 
     outside my bedroom window. I wasn't too happy about that when 
     it came to getting a night's rest. I went ahead and I 
     gathered my teddy bear and book bag, which pretty much summed 
     up all my belongings as a child.
       When I was 15, I realized our vacation was more than a 
     permanent move from a dangerous country. My mother gave up 
     her entire family for us. She left her brothers and her 
     mother to risk her life for us.
       Today, I feel worthless. Since I came to America, I have 
     felt nothing but useless and not belonging. I grew up 
     here. I work, study, breathe, and want to live forever 
     here. Yet never in my life have I been given a chance to 
     become a citizen, because I was not born here.
       For the longest, I have been sick and tired of living in a 
     place that I am not wanted. For so long, this place I call 
     home refuses to call me theirs. When people ask me where I am 
     from, I say ``America.'' America. My soul and heart are from 
     here. If I were to move back, I know for a fact I would not 
     like it. I wouldn't have a car, internet, friends, security. 
     And getting killed is a possibility every day. However, if 
     the choice were mine and no one in my family existed, I would 
     leave in a heartbeat because at least I would belong.
       I wanted to leave many times. My mom, the most wonderful 
     soul on the planet, convinced me otherwise. She fled because, 
     since the day I was born, they said they were trying to rob, 
     kidnap, and even kill her.
       When I first heard President Obama's speech on DACA years 
     ago, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. DACA granted 
     me everything to live a normal life and, for once, belong. It 
     was temporary, but I felt real. I graduated high school at 
     the top percent in my class. I was first in my family, and I 
     was blessed to start college and earned a scholarship that 
     paid for my first 2 years.

[[Page H922]]

       This December I will be finishing up my EMT school. In the 
     future, I hope to complete 2 more years of paramedic and 
     attain an associate in emergency services.
       I have a brother that drowned when I was younger. In my 
     home country, you can forget that police and an ambulance 
     will arrive or even bother to come if you call. My only hope 
     is to save as many lives as I can or die risking my life for 
     another person.

                              {time}  1130

       I know DACA can be taken away. I won't be able to drive to 
     my college or work to pay off my college tuition. My 
     scholarship will be terminated, I will be deported and 
     eventually left with nothing to live for. I pray for an 
     opportunity to stop feeling like that. There isn't room for 
     me here.

  You see, it is amazing the effect on public policy and people's 
lives. That is why I want the Record to show, again, that everyone, 
forevermore in the history of the United States of America, will know 
that these DREAMers are part of that history and that their stories 
will be there to make judgments about us as to how we have responded to 
their greatness.
  Nayelli Valdemar says: ``I am an AP scholar. I am a distinguished 
high school graduate. I am a cum laude student. I am a leader. I am a 
recipient of scholarships in merit and circumstance. I am also an 
illegal immigrant.
  ``Well, allow me to rephrase. I am an illegal immigrant until the 
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive action where 
President Obama gave me the opportunity to live as a resident here in 
the United States. DACA has opened many doors for DREAMers such as 
myself. Honestly, it has made the path to success miles more tangible. 
Inspiring me to be the best I can, even when the odds plotted against 
me, DACA was, and is, there to give a helping hand. Regarding my 
academic record, neither am I writing to boast about my accomplishment 
nor to ask for pity in the right situation, I am here to thank anyone 
and everyone who made DACA not only possible, but DREAMers' dreams come 
true. I'm writing to give thanks for the faith the creators of DACA 
gave me when the compassion of the world seemed to turn a blind eye my 
way. With this letter, I only hope to help the new Presidential 
administration understand why DACA is a vital part of every DREAMer's 
  ``As a poverty-stricken female immigrant, I have moved mountains to 
get to where I am today, but this never would have been possible 
without the assistance of DACA. Playing an important role in my life, 
DACA is a pinnacle to the rights I cherish every day. Because of DACA, 
I have been able to get a job to assist my family. It was not easy 
working 30-plus-hour shifts, only to be welcomed by house chores and 
schoolwork, especially since I graduated from a magnet school, the 
Science Academy of South Texas, a school notorious for its workload. . 
. .
  ``My hopes lie in that the generosity of this Nation continues to 
allow all DREAMers a fighting chance for our future, our hopes, and our 
aspirations to become more than just DREAMers.
  ``Please, please, let it be known that all DREAMers appreciate the 
assistance this Nation has given us through DACA. Futures have been 
opened for DREAMers who were once on uncertain roads, thanks to the 
help of DACA. I hope this Nation does not give up on us. I hope this 
Nation continues to believe in its DREAMers. I hope this Nation 
continues to see why DACA is necessary. After all, this Nation is all 
that most DREAMers have. Our lives are under the weight of this 
country's mercy. Although, as much as we work, as much as we learn, as 
much as we pray, all we can truly do is hope and dream for a hopeful 
tomorrow, a brighter road ahead, a chance to dream again. Nayelli 
  Nayelli, in this statement, talks about praying. That is why I am so 
glad I mentioned at the beginning the three Bs: the Bibles, the badges, 
and the business community. They are so supportive of giving relief to 
the DREAMers.
  Let's talk about the Bibles. I talked about the Gospel of Matthew, 
the parable of the Good Samaritan, the dignity and worth of every 
person's spark of divinity, that God, Christ coming down, bringing his 
divinity to humanity enabled us, our humanity, to participate in his 
divinity, and that is that spark that we all have, every single one of 
us. So we have to respect it in others but be responsible for it in 
ourselves, and that is the challenge that we have.
  ``Hope,'' sitting there between ``faith'' and ``charity,'' the 
goodness of others--we all have hope that when we have needs, we 
believe, we have faith that others will be there for us, and that is 
what America is about.
  America is great because America is good. I say it over and over 
again. This fabulous, greatest country in the history of the world, 
think about it, our Founders, how courageous they were. They decided to 
declare war on the greatest naval power, then, in the world, the 
British Navy, the British military. They declared, in the Declaration 
of Independence, their grievances against the king, but they also 
stated their aspirations about people being created equal.
  No country had been founded on that principle before, and our 
inalienable rights under God, just remarkable, bestowed on them by Our 
Creator. This is a remarkable people. And then they fought the war, 
they won the war, they established our founding documents.
  My daughter wrote a movie on it--well, she didn't write because it 
was written by our Founders, but she produced a movie on words that 
made America--our Declaration, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights. 
And thank God they had the brilliance to make our Constitution 
amendable. And it being amendable, it became this incredible document 
with the Bill of Rights, and then others that we take an oath to 
protect and defend.
  At the same time as they did that, they created the great seal of the 
United States of America. I referenced it earlier. It is on the dollar 
  You see that triangle with the eye?
  It used to scare me when I was little.
  What is that? A pyramid with an eye?
  But under it, it says: ``Novus Ordo Seclorum.''
  Catholics know that ``seclorum, seclorum, seclorum'' means ``forever 
and ever and ever.'' But in this, it is ``new order for the ages.''
  They had so much confidence in what they had established and what 
they were doing that was so new and fresh to the world. They became a 
beacon to the world. But in doing this new order for the ages, they 
had confidence and optimism that this would last forever because it was 
predicated on the idea that every generation would take responsibility 
and make the future better for the next.

  I said it earlier: The American Dream. People flocked to our shores 
bringing their aspirations, hopes, determination, and courage to make 
the future better for their families. And in adopting them, their 
traits were like American traits, characteristics of optimism, hope, 
courage, and making the future better. And all these newcomers to our 
shores, they made America more American with their commitment to a 
better future for their families, and that continues to this day.
  And these young people now are called DREAMers. Their parents had a 
dream for them to bring them to our country, but they completely 
adapted to our way of always being dreamers about a better future in 
our country. They learned from the American people. They taught the 
American people. It is a beautiful relationship.
  And now we have an opportunity to show our greatness as a country, to 
honor the values of our Founders, the courage they had to find a path, 
a solution, a result, so that we can put this aside and address other 
issues that relate to immigration, which are a bigger picture, more 
complicated, take more time, require more public debate.
  Why can't we just do this?
  This is discrete. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, the chair of 
the Hispanic Caucus, said this so beautifully when we testified before 
the Rules Committee on immigration, on the Dream Act. She said: Think 
of this bill like CHIP. CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program, 
is about the children. It is not a bill that talks about universal 
healthcare, the whole healthcare system of our country. It is about the 
children. We have the immigration issue similar to being a big 
comprehensive issue, but then we have this little piece that is for the 
  I think it was the perfect analogy. CHIP is healthcare for the 
children. It doesn't address the whole healthcare system, changes that 
people may want to make or improve or change. It is

[[Page H923]]

about the children. It is an easy path for us to go down, recognizing 
that it is not a substitute for what we need to do to address 
immigration reform in our country, but a first step, not a step instead 
  And it is a confidence-building step that we can find common ground 
in, in a bipartisan way, and we must, if it is going to be sustainable, 
just as the bill was in 1986 that President Reagan improved upon with 
his family fairness initiatives.
  So that is why let's just think of it as about the children. We 
should always be thinking about the children. They are the future. They 
own the future. They are it. And when children come to Washington, 
D.C., and they visit and see how we honor our Founders, George 
Washington, Lincoln--later to save the Union, Lincoln--but earlier, 
Thomas Jefferson, et cetera, and walk these Halls and see tributes to 
people who went before, we say: In most cases, this is about respecting 
contributions these people made to our country, especially our big 
monuments on The Mall, and most recently, Reverend Martin Luther King, 
Jr., there.
  We honor them, we learn from them, we value them. But what we do here 
is values-based on how they taught us. But it is about the future, and 
this is about how we can go into the future making distinctions, 
discerning. Discerning, having the ability to say there is some things 
we can get done, let's do them; other things take more time. Let's 
build confidence, build bridges in what we do, again, always trying to 
do it with bipartisanship, with transparency so people know what the 
debate is and what is in the bill, and that brings unity to our 
country. I think that is very possible.
  I am very proud to read these statements into the Record, and I will 
continue to do so. But during the night, when I was thinking and 
praying so hard about our DREAMers, I thought maybe we should just pray 
all day on the floor of Congress. Maybe I should bring my rosary 
blessed by the Pope, blessed by His Holiness Pope Francis, or the one 
before that, Benedict.
  I had the honor and privilege of receiving rosaries blessed by 
several Popes in my lifetime, but I always remember Pope Benedict. When 
he came, he spoke so beautifully. He spoke so beautifully. His first 
encyclical is called, ``God is love.'' In it, he quotes St. Augustine, 
who, 17 centuries ago, said: ``Any government that is not formed to 
promote justice is just a bunch of thieves.''
  That is what St. Augustine said 17 centuries ago. He, Benedict, His 
Holiness, goes on to say: Sometimes it is hard to define what justice 
is, but in doing so, we must beware of the dazzling blindness of power 
and special interest.
  That is what he said. But this doesn't have any of that. This has 
social justice, it has camaraderie, it has good spirit. It is based on 
faith, hope, and charity. Pope Francis, when he came, spoke so 
beautifully, as he always does, about respecting immigrants. He is 
living in a much more complicated world of immigrants coming into 
Europe, but, again, respecting the dignity and worth of every person.
  And he came here in this Chamber and spoke about a few subjects. As 
you recall, one of them was poverty and how we respect the dignity and 
worth of people that Christ mentioned so many times in the Bible. As we 
know, poor people are mentioned in the Bible hundreds and hundreds and 
hundreds of times because of how important our responsibility is to 
  But he also talked about immigration. He talked about immigration in 
a very important way. And as I get his statement, I will instead read 
from Gloria Rinconi, a medical assistant from Dallas, Texas.
  She said: ``I am a girl who you graduated next to, the girl who you 
talked to daily, the girl who has finally decided to step away from the 
shadows and into the light for you to see her.
  ``See me as for who I am, not for someone who told you I would be.
  ``I immigrated to the United States when I was a year old with my 
parents. My parents had taken the decision to immigrate to USA due to 
being in a country that offered no future for their family. Even though 
both my parents ran a successful business and my mom had a college 
education, the violence and underemployment was no future for us. The 
first place we called home was a small apartment in Dallas, Texas, who 
we shared with another family. We lived in Texas for a year and moved 
to Statesville, North Carolina. We then moved to the outskirts of the 
little town in some rundown trailer homes.

  ``We had nothing. My parents slept on the floor while I made a 
makeshift bed out of a piece of cardboard and a blanket. After months 
of saving up money, my dad finally had enough to rent an apartment near 
downtown Statesville. After 9 years, we moved again to Texas. Growing 
up, my parents never hid the fact that I was undocumented from me. They 
always told me, `Just because you were not born here, does not mean you 
are any less. You are loved by many, regardless of what you might hear 
on TV.' ''
  ``Those words became my rock when I was in high school. When I was a 
freshman, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. For months 
she struggled trying to find treatment at an affordable rate. Doctors 
would turn her down simply because of her illegal status, even though 
she offered to negotiate a payment plan. She was dying, and no one 
seemed to care. Her only sin was to be an undocumented woman with stage 
4 cancer. She eventually found treatment, but I had seen firsthand how 
dehumanizing people can be towards the undocumented. During this time, 
DACA was put into place and it officially opened the door for 
me. . . .

                              {time}  1145

  ``DACA gave me wings, the wings I hoped for all my life when I was in 
school. I participated in national pageants placing as a national 
achievement finalist. I graduated high school with a medical assistant 
certification and became a recipient of TheDream.US scholarship, which 
helped me pursue my higher education. DACA has also given me a chance 
to give back to other DREAMers by being an intern at My Undocumented 
Life blog.''
  ``U.S. DACA recipients are not here to harm the U.S. The U.S. is our 
home and will always be our home. We are part of the fabric that makes 
the American flag. For that, I am willing to come out of the shadows so 
you can see me.''
  Again, this American Dream of making the future better is recurring 
in all of these stories, and in all of these stories there has been 
success. Again, though, it is not just about the DREAMers. It is about 
who we are.
  Luis Roberto. I talked about Luis already. I gave his speech. We had 
his speech from his graduating class.
  Luz Divina writes: ``I came to the U.S. from . . . Mexico when I was 
2 months old. I didn't know I was undocumented until sophomore year of 
high school when I realized I couldn't get a driver's permit, apply for 
jobs, or go to college programs like all my friends were doing. I felt 
depressed and oppressed for years until I finally applied for DACA when 
Obama implemented his executive order. I finally had a chance at the 
real world. I started a collective in high school named `The Luzdivina 
Collective' that helped DREAMers in my high school and victims of 
social injustice in my community. I am currently trying to get into 
education--either ethnic studies or art, maybe both. The announcement 
of DACA ending has put me back into a state of depression, but I'm 
trying my hardest to overcome this with the help of my friends and 
family. My dream is to be an educator, activist, and writer, to inspire 
DREAMers like myself who are currently or have been in a state of 
depression due to their legal status.''
  We have to remember how strong the DREAMers are but how fragile some 
of their existence is when they have no certainty as to what the next 
steps will be for them. Again, this is all about family, about parents 
who had the courage to bring their children at an early age to America. 
This happened 100 years ago.
  Do you think all of the people who came here all came documented? 
Maybe we should all look up our ancestry and just find out what the 
facts are about that. We assume so, but do we really know?
  And there are many people--as I said earlier, Italians were called 
wops, without papers. That was a derogatory term. It is disgusting for 
me to say it, being an Italian American and so proud of my heritage. As 
I said earlier, we

[[Page H924]]

grew up thinking that the world was divided among two people in 
America: those who were Italian American and those who wanted to be 
Italian American. Certainly, it feels that way in Little Italy in 
Baltimore, where I grew up, and in San Francisco, whom I have the honor 
to represent.
  But, in any event, we all take pride in our heritage, and that is the 
best--best--qualification for recognizing the pride that other people 
take in their heritage. I say this to the Italian Americans all the 
time: Because I am so proud to be an Italian American, I understand 
full well why people from Mexico or Puerto Rico or Africa or wherever 
they are from take pride in who they are, their dignity, the 
authenticity of their heritage, and who they are.
  And in America, that beauty, the beauty is in the mix. It certainly 
is in my district. But in some communities, the contributions of 
immigrants are not as recent as in others. But in every community, it 
has made a difference, constantly reinvigorating America.
  And so when His Holiness Pope Francis came to speak here in the 
Congress, as a Catholic Italian American--that is the essence of my 
being--it was really a thrilling day. It was for all of us, regardless 
of our background or our faith. I was particularly thrilled to hear 
what he said about immigration.
  But you recall, he talked about Martin Luther King and the march from 
Selma to Montgomery. He talked about people living in poverty, and he 
talked about a number of subjects, but I will just speak to what he 
said about immigration. The Pope solemnly said: ``In recent centuries, 
millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building 
a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent''--because, as 
you know, His Holiness is the first Pope from the Western Hemisphere.
  ``We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners 
because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son 
of immigrants''--Italian, by the way.
  ``I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of 
you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those 
who were here long before us were not always respected. For those 
people and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish 
to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts 
were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past 
by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our 
midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and errors of the 
past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, 
as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our `neighbors' 
and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that 
we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility 
in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort 
to do our best. I am confident we can do this.''
  How beautiful. And then he goes on to talk about immigration in the 
rest of the world. And then he says:
  ``We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to disregard 
whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: Do unto 
others as you would have them do unto you.''
  I will submit his whole statement for the Record because it goes on 
in such a beautiful, beautiful way. It also talks about climate in 
there, Laudato Si, which is his first encyclical about God's creation, 
this planet, and our responsibilities to be good stewards of it.

  I am talking about His Holiness. Getting to the Bible is part of it. 
We talked about the Bible earlier. I thought maybe we could say a 
Rosary on the floor of the House, not just five decades, the full 
Rosary, all of the mysteries of the Rosary, that is 15 decades of the 
Rosary. But, nonetheless, I think these people telling their stories 
are very prayerful, and so I will use the time to put their stories on 
the Record.
  But let me just say how proud I am of the statements made by the U.S. 
Conference of Catholic Bishops, their courage in fighting for 
immigrants across our country, from our cardinals, our bishops, et 
cetera, from their esteemed platforms, whether it is the DREAMers or 
TPS or comprehensive immigration reform. But right now, today, we are 
talking about the DREAMers.
  The evangelicals in our country, Reverend Sam Rodriguez' statements, 
have been so spectacular about, again, the spark of divinity that 
exists in every person that must be respected, strong supporters of 
President Trump also believing that it is possible for all of us to 
have enough goodness in our hearts to get this job done, go past any 
obstacles that may be there.
  Again, the Southern Baptist Convention, their leadership, all across 
the spectrum, of course, the Jewish community, across the full spectrum 
of faith-based organizations, all speaking out and rallying as people 
rallied when we first saw the Muslim ban.
  The people of faith are people of faith. They believe, and they 
believe that we have obligations to each other. They have spoken out in 
a very courageous way.
  In terms of the badges, I told you some stories about DREAMers who 
have come forth to help with law enforcement. By and large, we have had 
strong support from the law enforcement community about support for the 
  And the business community, oh, my, they have been spectacular in 
terms of raising the profile, treating their employees who are DREAMers 
with respect, advocating for them.
  And this Congress of the United States, they seem to have a strong 
voice on some issues. I wish they would be listened to as attentively 
on issues of social justice here. But they do have access.
  And one of the things I want to praise them for is I think that the 
90 percent, 80 percent, 70 percent ratings, depending on if it is 
citizenship or what, but the high numbers across the board for DREAMers 
would not have been possible without people hearing from the bishops, 
from law enforcement, and from the business community making this a 
very high-profile issue about how their companies have benefited from 
the DREAMers and how they truly believe.
  This is not an issue that is going to go away. It is a value. It is 
not an issue. It may be a subject for legislation, but this is an 
American value that is deeply felt across the board. And I am 
determined that the stories of at least some of these DREAMers--I can't 
do 800,000, although I am willing to take the time. That might lose 
impact after awhile, after some of these great stories.
  Listen to Maneri: ``I'm 18 years old and from Los Angeles. I just 
graduated high school and will be attending UCLA to study political 
science in the fall. Being an undocumented student has been tough. 
Coming to this country at 6 years old completely changed my life. 
Learning English and doing well in school was a battle since everyone 
in my finally only spoke Spanish. . . . Being a DREAMer also shaped who 
I am, what I stand for. . . . After graduation, I hope to go to law 
school. . . . ''
  I already told you this story, but it bears repeating.
  ``I dream that one day, your immigration status doesn't define your 
path. . . . ''
  Alonso: ``Growing up undocumented in Utah truly shaped me into the 
person I am today. My experiences growing up in the margins of society 
inform the work I do and the work I seek to continue doing in this 
life. I am passionate about working with undocumented students and 
families and strive to share all of my knowledge and experiences with 
the undocumented community as well the community as a whole.
  ``I was born in Peru and emigrated to the United States when I was 
11. I arrived in Utah with my brother to unite with our mother, who had 
come to the U.S. a year before our arrival. Six months after arriving 
in the U.S. with a tourist visa, my visa expired. . . . ''
  So he came into the country with legal status. And this is something 
I think that is really important. Not everybody who is undocumented 
came here in an undocumented fashion. Some of the documentation is 
expired and, in the case of DACA, just a question of when the mail hit 
and what day it was received by the government.
  ``I was 12 and a hardworking student, earning good grades working 
toward a future that would allow me to repay my mom for all of her 
sacrifices. As a high school student, I enrolled in honors and AP 
courses, which challenged

[[Page H925]]

me and furthered my plans of earning a higher education.
  ``I graduated from high school with a diploma of merit and went to 
the University of Utah, where I would major in sociology and be 
mentored by incredible individuals. Most pointedly, Matt Bradley Ph.D., 
rest in peace 2012; Caitlyn Cahill, Ph.D.; and David Quijada Cerecer, 
Ph.D. My mentors showed me that my work, insight, and contributions as 
an undocumented student are important. . . . ''
  Now, imagine, this child came in documented but became undocumented 
when the visa expired.
  ``. . . and I truly owe them for showing me that I matter for being 
who I am.
  ``In 2013, I graduated from the University of Utah with an honors 
bachelor of science in sociology, and in 2016 with a master's in 
education . . . with an emphasis on higher education administration. I 
am currently the Dreamer Program Coordinator for the University of 
Utah, which is the first center for DREAMers in the State of Utah.''
  God bless you, Utah.
  ``In the future, I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology with a 
focus on immigration and labor studies.''
  This is important because, once again, as has been consistent in 
these themes, the DREAMers are grateful for the mentoring they have 
received from people in our country, some of whom shared their 
heritage, most of whom did not. That is the beautiful thing about the 
DREAMers: they know that they have a dream, but somebody else had a 
plan for their own dream that inspired the DREAMers to have their plan.

                              {time}  1200

  When Yuri Hernandez was only 3 years old, her family brought her to 
the United States from Mexico. Yuri grew up in the town of Coos Bay in 
Oregon. In high school, she was an honor roll student who was very 
active in her community. Yuri went on to attend the University of 
Portland, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work.
  Yuri is now a graduate student at the University of Michigan School 
of Social Work. She is planning to graduate with a master's in social 
work in the fall of 2017. In her spare time, she tutors and mentors 
high school students. Yuri dreams of becoming a social worker and 
giving back to her community.
  Rey Pineda was brought to America when he was 2 years old. The first 
in his family to attend college and a devout Catholic, Rey is now a 
priest in the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta, Georgia. If DACA 
is eliminated, Father Rey will lose his legal status and could be 
deported back to Mexico, a tragedy for Father Rey and his congregation.
  After the most divisive election in recent memory, Father Rey and 
other DACA recipients have a key role to play in healing the 
differences that divide us.
  Oscar Cornejo, Jr., was brought to Park City, Utah, when he was 5 
years old. He was an excellent student throughout his childhood and now 
attends Dartmouth. If DACA is eliminated, Oscar will lose his legal 
status and could be deported back to Mexico, a country he hasn't lived 
in since he was 5 years old.
  Will America be stronger if we deport Oscar? Will America be stronger 
if we deport Oscar, or if he stays here and achieves his dream of 
becoming an educator? The answer is clear. DACA works.
  Lisette Diaz was just 6 years old when her family brought her to the 
U.S. from Chile. Growing up in Long Island, Lisette excelled in school 
and was involved in her community. She went on to attend Harvard, where 
she received numerous awards and participated in a variety of 
extracurricular activities. Lisette recently graduated Harvard with 
  Lisette and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country, 
but Donald Trump and other Republicans have made their agenda clear. 
They want to shut down DACA and DAPA and deport hundreds of thousands 
of DREAMers and American children.
  That is Lisette's view. I hope that we have a better understanding of 
where the President may be on this. We don't want Lisette to be 
deported back to Chile, a country where she hasn't lived since she was 
6 years old.
  When Cynthia Sanchez was just 7 years old, her family came to the 
United States from Mexico. Cynthia grew up in Denver, Colorado, and was 
an excellent student. She went on to attend the University of Denver, 
where she received numerous awards and scholarships and was an active 
  In 2010, Cynthia graduated from college with a degree in cognitive 
neuroscience, which is a double major in psychology and biology, as 
well as a minor in chemistry.
  In 2013, she applied for DACA and was approved that summer. By 
September, Cynthia was working at Northwestern University in Chicago 
doing clinical research in the Department of Medicine's Division of 
Cardiology. Her research focuses on improving treatment for patients 
who suffer from heart disease.
  Cynthia said: ``DACA has meant a new realm of opportunities for me, 
it has opened new doors for me, and it has allowed me to once again see 
my dream as a reality. I truly believe that if those opposed to DACA or 
the Dream Act had a chance to sit and chat with undocumented students, 
their opinions might change. They would see capable, smart, hardworking 
individuals who are Americans in every sense of the word, love this 
country, and want to contribute to its prosperity. After all, this is 
our home.''
  That is really very beautiful. I do believe that the more our 
colleagues know the DREAMers, the better it will be for our country.
  Vasthy Lamadrid came to the United States from Mexico when she was 
only 5 years old. Despite her family's modest means, Vasthy felt safe 
and excelled in school. Math was her best subject, and she had nearly 
perfect scores on standardized tests.
  In middle school, Vasthy discovered the love of engineering. She 
excelled academically and was active in her community.
  Vasthy has gone on to attend Arizona State University, again, I 
mention, a great school. Because of her immigration status, she does 
not qualify for any government assistance and has to pay out-of-state 
tuition, despite having lived in Arizona for most of her life.
  To help pay for her education, Vasthy decided to crowdfund her 
college education. Vasthy shared her story online, and this brought in 
enough contributions to pay for her tuition. She is currently in her 
second year of college. In her first semester, she made the dean's list 
with a 3.79 GPA in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
  Thanks to DACA, Vasthy is able to work to support herself and 
volunteer in her community. As a result of her volunteer work, Vasthy 
has decided that she wants to become a science teacher.
  Okay. So I have been going through some of these rather quickly in 
order to get as many of them in the Record as possible. But I do want 
to change my pace a little bit because some of these stories are so 
emotion-filled, and I can place the statement in the Record, but I want 
to deliver the stories.
  I am trying to be respectful of other people's time, but I am also 
trying to be respectful of the challenge that we face and the need for 
us to find a solution which is clear in sight for our DREAMers.
  Fernando's family came to the United States when he was 9 years old. 
In high school, Fernando was an AP Scholar and received the 
International Baccalaureate Diploma and the achievement award in 
foreign language for French.
  Fernando continued to excel academically at Santa Clara University, 
where he graduated cum laude with a double major in biology and french. 
Now a third-year doctoral student at UC San Francisco--the ultimate, 
fabulous place, right--Fernando--it is very hard to get in--works at 
the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he is 
working hard to provide new insights into many diseases and disorders. 
Again, giving back.
  Denisse Rojas--in 1990, Denisse tells her story that when she was an 
infant, her parents carried her across the Southwest border with the 
hope of giving her and her siblings a better life. Just think of this 
family, so courageous. Denisse's family settled in Fremont, California.

[[Page H926]]

  Denisse said, in her words: ``In grade school, I recall feeling 
different from my peers; my skin color was darker, my English was 
stilted, I was poor, and I was undocumented.''
  In 2012, when President Obama established DACA, Denisse's life 
changed. As a DACA recipient, Denisse's dreams finally seemed within 
reach. She was able to apply to medical schools that before would have 
turned her away because of her immigration status. This meant that she 
could focus on pursuing a career in medicine and no longer fear the 
possibility of losing the only home she had ever known.
  Denisse said: ``I have pledged allegiance to this Nation's values 
since my first day of school; I consider the United States my home. 
Furthermore, serving others has instilled in me the notion that 
everyone deserves the opportunity for prosperity. I thus aim to 
dedicate my life to serving others as a physician and continuing to be 
a voice for immigrants.''
  Reading Denisse's story about her being concerned in grade school, 
``I recall feeling different from my peers; my skin color was darker, 
my English was stilted,'' I am reminded of my own grandson. He is 
Irish, English, whatever, whatever, and Italian American. He is a mix, 
but he looks more like the other side of the family, shall we say.
  When he had his sixth birthday, he had a very close friend whose name 
is Antonio. He is from Guatemala, and he has beautiful tan skin, 
beautiful brown eyes, and the rest. This was such a proud day for me 
because when my grandson blew out the candles on his cake, I said: 
``Did you make a wish? And he said: ``Yes, I made a wish.'' We said: 
``What is your wish.'' He said: ``I wish I had brown skin and brown 
eyes like Antonio.'' It was so beautiful, so beautiful.
  The beauty is in the mix. The face of the future for our country is 
all-American, and that has many versions.
  Kok-Leong Seow: ``None of my friends from my hometown know. My 
parents raised me to be gritty, never to complain or take handouts. I 
didn't want to have a victim mentality or be known for being 
undocumented. But I realized that sharing my story would be 
therapeutic, raise awareness, and help other underprivileged people.
  ``I came to America when I was 6 years old. My parents grew up poor 
and risked so much to move us here with hopes of giving us a better 
life. My dad is a waiter at a small restaurant, which is enough to put 
food on the table and clothes on our backs. We pay taxes, abide by all 
laws, and don't live on welfare.
  ``As for me, I can't legally work, drive, fly, or have health 
insurance. I've missed out on numerous opportunities because of my 
situation. Fortunately, I was able to pursue college.
  ``Fast forward 4 years, I have graduated magna cum laude in computer 
engineering from Wichita State University. I was at the top of my 
class, number one in my major, wrote two first-author papers, won 
research awards, and have a patent pending.
  ``Consequently, I was accepted into graduate school at Columbia 
University. However, due to my status, I'm unable to obtain a stipend 
to continue my education. Receiving DACA would grant me the opportunity 
to acquire the funding I need, provide for my family, and master my 
craft to realize my full potential. But due to election results, 
applying for DACA is simply not a favorable option anymore.
  ``Without DACA, many live in daily fear of deportation. I've had 
friends whose families were torn apart.''
  This is Kok-Leong Seow.
  ``These are genuine, everyday struggles, and it's easy to dismiss it 
because it's not happening to your family. To truly empathize, you need 
to dig deep and allow yourself to feel our pain and our anxiety.''
  This is a very important message, for us to dig deep and experience 
their pain and anxiety.
  ``Many non-Native Americans seem to forget that they, too, have 
immigration in their blood. Just like everyone else, we simply want an 
opportunity to contribute to the only home that we know. Ironically, 
I've enjoyed the adversity. I feel alive under pressure. I am unfazed 
and undocumented. I'm not going anywhere.''
  He is not leaving.
  Gladys Klamka, Phillispburg, New Jersey. ``Patience and heartache is 
how I would describe my past. I was 2 when my family made the most 
important decision for us. Moving to the U.S. meant a second chance for 
me. If we had stayed in Mexico, my folks would have made a decision to 
give me up for adoption. We settled in NJ for economic relief.
  ``Unfortunately, at the age of 4, my innocence was stolen from me. I 
was sexually molested by a 16-year-old boy, but my parents didn't 
report it, they didn't understand the law, for fear of deportation. 
Both of my parents worked full time to keep a roof over our heads. I 
wasn't able to go off to college financially or drive or travel. I got 
used to doors slamming in my face,'' Gladys writes.
  ``I was about 14 when my parents explained to me about our status. 
Confused about my future, I decided to push harder. I finished school, 
worked full time, and contributed back to the community.
  ``I received a taxpayer ID issued by the IRS in 1997. I always 
thought it was funny that the government will take our money but not 
let us work legally in this country.

  ``I applied for DACA in 2012. I still remember the day I opened my 
approval letter. My father said: `Now I don't have to worry about you.'
  ``I now own my own home, car, and I work in the healthcare system. 
After election day, I wondered if this dream would soon end. It's been 
a hard reality check that privileges could be taken away. I only hope 
for other young DREAMers and undocumented children like myself to make 
the leap to push that shut door open, to know a dream of wanting more 
is not impossible.''
  This is one of the DREAMers I met at the State of the Union. Perhaps 
you remember, America is her name. She was the guest of David Price 
from North Carolina, and she spoke at our press event with the 
  America immigrated to the U.S. when she was 2 years old and has lived 
in Raleigh, North Carolina, for 22 years. Thanks to DACA, she was able 
to earn bachelor's and master's degrees. She now teaches English as a 
second language at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. She was just so 
lovely. We thank David Price for introducing her to us.
  Another guest at that same press conference, as some of you may 
recall, was the guest of Senator Kamala Harris. Denea Joseph is her 
name. Denea is a DACA recipient who came to America from Belize when 
she was 7 years old without her mother, father, or siblings. She 
attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she advocated 
for the creation of an immigration attorney position and worked to 
increase financial aid for undocumented youth across the UC system. I 
wish you could have heard her personally tell her story with such 
intellect and such passion.

                              {time}  1215

  She goes on here to say: As a Young People For fellow, Denea 
addressed undocumented youths' educational access and retention. Her 
story was featured in the LA Magazine's historic immigration issue, and 
is currently on display as part of the Undocumented Stories Exhibit at 
downtown UCLA Labor Center. She is a communications coordinator for 
UndocuBlack Network--UndocuBlack is a resource to us. Many of the 
DREAMers are Black--where she advocates for the representation of 
UndocuBlack immigrants within the mainstream immigrant narrative. She 
aspires to be a human rights attorney, advocating for the rights of the 
most marginalized around the globe.
  I mentioned here that her story is featured in LA Magazine's historic 
immigration issue and is on display at the downtown UCLA Labor Center, 
and now it will be part of the Congressional Record.
  Miriam Ochoa-Garibay said: ``I'm 18 years old and I'm a DACA student 
currently enrolled at the University of California, Riverside. I came 
here from a Mexican background. I was born in the Mexican state of 
Michoacan, but I've been living in the United States since I was 2. I 
went to preschool, kinder, elementary, intermediate school, and high 
school in the State of California. I always loved school. I remember 
being a little girl and getting home from school, and the first thing I 
did was start my homework. I remember that, as early as elementary 

[[Page H927]]

there was this test called GATE. It was supposed to be the smart kids' 
test, and every year I passed it. I remember being an honors student. 
My parents were very persistent on me getting good grades because that 
meant a better future. It wasn't until I was in high school where I 
realized that maybe it was going to take more than just good grades to 
go to college. I became really aware that I was undocumented. I became 
fearful that I was not going to have a `better future' because I was 
undocumented. I knew that, financially, my parents weren't going to be 
able to pay for college. So when DACA came into place, it was a huge 
relief. There was finally a program that accepted me, an undocumented 
student. DACA means everything to me. Not only do I have financial aid 
for my college tuition, but I was granted the opportunity to work 
legally''--to work legally. How lovely--``to find a job and be able to 
make money for my needs. DACA became a reassuring force to many 
students like myself, whose only desire is to be given an education in 
order to become a successful factor of this society. I am proud to be 
Mexican, but I'm also proud to be part of America's great educational 
system. DACA has given me the opportunity to dream of my own white 
picket fence one day.''
  This is interesting to me because, as an Italian American myself, I 
always reference, which is so obvious when people are proud of their 
heritage, especially newer immigrants, to see the pride that they take 
in their heritage and the fierce patriotism they have for America. That 
was what we saw in our community when I was growing up: fiercely 
patriotic Americans, while very proud of their heritage. And that is 
who people are. That is their authentic self: patriotic Americans proud 
of their heritage. We want to make this, as was said in this, to be 
  Ana Sanchez is from Elgin, Texas. I don't know if they say Elgin in 
Texas. Ana says: ``Like any other beneficiary of DACA, I, for once, 
have been given the opportunity to pursue my dreams by attaining higher 
education and a job. I am Ana Sanchez, an 18-year-old undocumented 
student who was brought to this country when I was only 2 years old. 
Due to living conditions in my home country, my parents decided to 
immigrate to the United States to offer me and my sister a much better 
education and a better future. Growing up, I was aware that I had been 
born in Mexico, however, I did not know the effects of being 
undocumented until high school came about. Now that I am older, I 
realize who I am in the eyes of the government, and it saddens me to 
know that people believe these misconceptions of us. I mean, ever since 
we arrived to Texas, my dad has risked his health and life by working 
under dangerous conditions just to earn enough money to provide food 
and shelter for my family. When it was announced that DACA would be 
available for people like me, my family did not think twice. We all 
knew it was an advantage and a precious opportunity the country had 
given us. Finally, we were given the chance to prove that we are part 
of this country's future and success.
  ``Because of DACA, I am able to say that I am a part-time student and 
part-time staff for an afterschool program. I am two steps closer to 
becoming a businesswoman and a teacher, and that gives me hope. Sadly, 
however, the new administration has posed threats that will make my 
hope and my dreams unreachable. If the permit is taken away, our hard 
work will become worthless. I want to give back to this country, so I 
yearn Congress to give me that chance.''
  Many of the stories that I have been reading so far have been, but 
not all, about people in our own hemisphere. But it is important to 
note that many undocumenteds are from the Asian-Pacific region. Many 
are from Africa or from the Caribbean. That is our hemisphere, but not 
in terms of Latin America, but in terms of the Caribbean. So some are 
even from other places that are not necessarily ethnically diverse.
  Here is one story about Ha Eun Lee. Today I want to tell you about Ha 
Eun Lee. When Ha Eun was 6 years old, her family came to the United 
States from South Korea. She grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 
Here is what Ha Eun says about her childhood in the United States of 
America: ``I was fortunate enough to grow up learning that diversity is 
encouraged and differences are not just tolerated but welcomed.''
  Ha Eun was a good student and committed to public service. In high 
school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, received the 
Principal's Academic Achievement Award, and was an Oakland Activities 
Association Scholar Athlete. She was a member of the track and field 
team for all 4 years of high school.
  Ha Eun is now a senior at the University of Michigan, majoring in 
English. She volunteers with the Red Cross and is the co-president of 
an organization called The Supply. The Supply raises money to help 
students in Nairobi, Kenya, to attain an education.

  She is from South Korea, an all-American girl, now a co-president of 
an organization that raises money to help students in Nairobi, Kenya, 
to attain an education.
  As co-president, Ha Eun has expanded the organization's efforts to 
include volunteering locally with Detroit charities.
  Ha Eun was also a policy and programs intern for the Asian Americans 
Advancing Justice Center. As Ha Eun completes her last year of college, 
she dreams of becoming a lawyer to defend civil rights.
  Ha Eun wrote me a letter, and she said: ``Although I'm legally 
labeled as an `alien' in this country I call home, I believe I am 
American. And I believe this not solely because I live, study, work, 
and contribute in this country, but because I believe in the core 
values all Americans shares as a nation: liberty, justice, and 
  Ha Eun and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country. 
But without DACA or the Dream Act, they will be deported back to 
countries where they haven't lived in since they were children.
  Will America be a stronger country if we deport people like Ha Eun?
  The answer is clear. That is a question that has arisen throughout. 
We asked it earlier.
  Will America be a stronger country if we deport--fill in the blank 
with the name?
  But I love what Ha Eun has said: ``And I believe this not solely 
because I live, study, work, and contribute in this country, but 
because I believe in the core values all Americans share as a nation: 
liberty, justice, and prosperity.''
  Tomas Evangelista is a DACA recipient from Auburn, California. At the 
age of 2, he came to the United States from Mexico with his mother in 
search of a better life. Unfortunately, after a year of being together 
in the United States, his mother passed away from cancer.
  Can you imagine?
  His grandparents took him in and he grew up in northern California, 
where he ran cross country and track at Pacer High School.
  These all-American kids, it is just a beautiful story.
  Following his high school career, Tomas received an associate of arts 
in social science, and, in 2014, he completed his bachelor's of arts 
degree. Today, he works for the nonprofit organization Latino 
Leadership Council. He also intends to attend Lincoln Law School in 
Sacramento, California, in spring of 2018.
  Tomas cofounded California Dreamers with fellow DACA recipient Doris 
Romero. They seek to change the negative narratives surrounding 
immigration with facts. They want to change the narrative with facts, 
the truth, through sharing personal stories. The ultimate goal is to 
encourage immigration reform and to establish a pathway to citizenship.
  Vanessa Rodriguez story: ``My name is Vanessa Rodriguez, and they all 
call me Undocumented Dreamer. Undocumented because I was born south of 
the United States border, and Dreamer because that was the inherent 
last name that my parents gave me when they risked their souls to give 
me a better future.''
  They called her Dreamer--called her Dreamer as her last name.
  Vanessa continues to say: ``I have lived in Texas for 12 years, and 
for 12 years I have known no other home. My father works in 
construction and my mother works as a housemaid. Their hard work and 
humble occupations have given my family a chance to do more and dream 
higher; a chance that

[[Page H928]]

made me the salutatorian of my class and a recipient of the State of 
Texas Student Hero Award. However, their work only granted me a chance 
to dream, not a chance to accomplish. Only the government could grant 
me that. So, for years, I lived under the notion of fear and 
uncertainty. DREAMers like me kept their dreams and secured them in a 
box called `limitations.' It was until the arrival of DACA that things 
changed for us. DACA enabled us to pursue and achieve more. For me, it 
meant an opportunity at pursuing hiring education, obtaining a job, and 
acquiring something called temporary security. One year of this 
security from deportation was what made the beginning of my dream a 
success. I was free from fear of deportation that enabled me to gain 
competence in my abilities.''
  People sharing their stories in such a clear way, and, in many cases, 
a very well-written way.
  Vanessa continues to say: ``A few weeks ago I finished my first 
semester at the University of Texas at Austin''--which is a very hard 
school to get into, by the way--``and although I was a full-time 
student with two part-time jobs, I still managed to obtain an 
outstanding GPA. DACA has made all these accomplishments possible and 
it has been the difference between simply existing and living a dream.

  ``As the time approaches for the new administration to come in, the 
fear is starting to become more evident. The uncertainty and anxiety is 
  ``My question to Congress is: When will you unchain my dreams? When 
my only hope is taken away alongside DACA? Or will you fight to protect 
students like me from deportation?''
  It is not even a fight. It is a simple decision. It is a simple 
decision. It has been made easy by separating it from the more 
complicated and controversial aspects of comprehensive immigration 
reform, which we must address. It is about the children. It is about 
the children.
  Alonso R. Reyna Rivarola's story goes like this. ``I will always 
remember the day DACA was announced. It was June 15, 2012, and I was 
camping for a retreat with students, friends, and colleagues from the 
Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective, a youth participatory action 
research collective in Salt Lake City, Utah. At approximately 10 a.m., 
the group took a break from the agenda, which I used to go back to the 
tent to check on my phone. When I turned my phone back on, I was taken 
aback by the number of text messages, missed calls, and voicemails I 
was receiving. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.
  `` `The Dream Act has passed!' shouted a close friend of mine, a 
fellow DREAMer, in a voicemail. I was excited, yet confused by her 
words, knowing at the time no Dream Act bill was being debated in the 
U.S. Congress or Senate. However, as confused as I was, I was too 
adrenalized at the possibility that a quiet Dream Act boxcar bill had 
made its way into becoming a law.
  ``After returning her call, we shared our feelings of excitement and 
confusion regarding the matter at hand. Then she informed me President 
Barack Obama would be making an announcement at any moment. As soon as 
I hung up, I read through a few more text messages, called my mom, and 
ran outside the tent to inform the MAA family about the news.''
  Can you just imagine the excitement? They were out camping.
  Alonso continues to say: ``Within a few minutes, all MAA participants 
crammed ourselves into two cars in Little Cottonwood Canyon, where we 
tuned into the radio eager to listen to President Obama announce the 
program which we all have come to know as consideration of Deferred 
Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA.''

                              {time}  1230

  ``My story is one of hundreds of thousands of DACA stories across the 
United States. We all have different backgrounds, first and last names, 
interests, journeys, and goals; however, we all have at least one thing 
in common: we are all American DREAMers. Since DACA, I have earned an 
honors B.S. in sociology and M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy 
from the University of Utah. I am an active community member and have 
most recently been honored to serve as the Dream Program Coordinator at 
the University of Utah, where I seek to support undocumented students, 
with and without DACA, to access, persist, and achieve a higher 
education in the country we all call home.''
  The way they write these stories and the excitement and the anxiety 
that they convey is really something that the printed word may not 
convey. But I hope at least the Record will show the cumulative effect 
of all of these stories. I wish you could see them.
  A person who has seen more of them than anyone honors us with his 
presence in the Chamber. We all get emotional on this subject, but no 
one has put more brainpower and passion into this subject than the 
distinguished Senator from Illinois.
  He has served in this body for a long time, so we know of his 
leadership and his values. But for all the years he has served in 
public life before Congress and since, and in the House and now as a 
leader in the Senate, the DREAMers have been a priority for half of his 
service in public life.
  He first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001 into the Senate. It was 
introduced over on our side by Lucille Roybal-Allard around the same 
time. She is the mother, the godmother of the DREAM Act that has been 
  In 2010, we were able to pass the DREAM Act in the House under the 
leadership of Mr. Durbin, Senator Durbin. It received a majority of the 
votes in the United States Senate but did not reach the 60 threshold, 
and so the discussion goes on. As you know, shortly thereafter, a 
couple of years later, President Obama issued the DACA executive order.
  None of this success would have been possible without the leadership, 
persistence, optimism, and the courage of Senator Durbin. He has heard 
all of these stories, so many of these stories firsthand for nearly two 
decades. I congratulate him.
  And as I have said earlier, our call today is for our Speaker to give 
the same opportunity to House Members to vote on a DREAMers bill, just 
as they were able to achieve in the Senate.
  Senator McConnell, the Senate leader, has been working with a 
bipartisan group of which he has always been a part--it has always been 
about bipartisanship--pledged to bring to the Senate floor a vehicle 
that the Senate will act upon, no guarantees. The Senate will work its 
will. What dignity that brings to the United States Senate, what 
commitment to the purpose of America that is there.
  We feel like second-class Members of Congress over here when it is 
not within our realm to discuss something that is being discussed 
across the country, in the Senate of the United States, at the White 
House. But here, we can't have the opportunity to officially discuss 
legislation that is on the floor.
  That is why I am taking this time, my congressional leadership 1-
minute, to read into the Record these inspiring stories. Again, it 
brings tears to my eyes. Excuse me for being emotional about it, but 
when I think of the contribution that Senator Durbin has made to this, 
the stories he has heard, the stories he has told--I have seen him 
receive with great respect and honor across the country getting so many 
awards from people who see him as a person who understands their 
anxiety and concern but, as important as that, their possibilities and 
their contribution to America.
  That is why, as I said earlier, Senator Durbin should think of this 
as the CHIP versus healthcare; as the chair of the Congressional 
Hispanic Caucus, Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, has described in 
front of the Rules Committee, think of this as CHIP versus healthcare, 
children versus comprehensive immigration reform.
  This is one clear opportunity where we can come together not as a 
substitute for comprehensive, but as a step, confidence building, trust 
building, in a bipartisan way, with transparency and in a unifying way 
for our country.
  So I thank the gentleman, Senator Durbin.
  Because of the leader minute, I am not able to yield; otherwise, I 
would have nearly 200 people seeking recognition on the floor to tell 
the stories of their DREAMers. I have told some of them, but our 
colleagues are so committed and unified on this subject, and their 
constituents are.
  But even if a colleague on the other side of the aisle would say, 
``Will the gentlewoman yield?'' the rules do not

[[Page H929]]

allow me to yield, so I am keeping the time.
  As said earlier before the gentleman came, I thought about saying the 
Rosary on the floor to pray for our leadership to act with a heart full 
of love, both here and at the White House, on this subject. I said not 
just 5 decades, all 15 decades, including the Glorious Mysteries. They 
were the sad ones in the middle: the Agony in the Garden, the Crowning 
with Thorns, Scourging at the Pillar, the Crucifixion. Then it takes us 
to the Glorious Mysteries. But all of it is prayerful. I believe in 
  And so many of our, as I call it, Bible constituency--not the 
National Catholic Conference of Bishops but the evangelical community--
has been so spectacular in supporting immigrants to our country and, 
especially in this case, of DACA.
  This is the statement of the United States Catholic Conference of 
  ``The president and vice president, along with the chairman of the 
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops''--in this case, meaning the 
president of the organization--``along with the chairman of the U.S. 
Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a statement denouncing the 
administration's termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood 
Arrivals program after 6 months.

  ``The following statement from the USCCB''--that is, the United 
States Catholic Conference of Bishops--``President Cardinal Daniel N. 
DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, along with USCCB Vice President 
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles; Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of 
Austin, chairman, Committee on Migration; and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of 
Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care, Migrants, 
Refugees, and Travelers says the `cancellation of the DACA program is 
  ``Over 780,000 youth received protection from the DACA program since 
its inception by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012. DACA 
provided no legal status or government benefits but did provide 
recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the 
United States and a reprieve from deportation.''
  A quote by the Bishops: `` `The cancellation of the DACA program is 
reprehensible. It causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their 
families. These youth entered the United States as minors and often 
know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched 
with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with 
hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: 
continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve 
in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after 
months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young 
people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not 
reflect who we are as Americans.' ''
  The bishops go on to say: `` `The Church has recognized and 
proclaimed the need to welcome young people: ``Whoever welcomes one of 
these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not 
welcome me but the One who sent me''--Mark 9:37.' ''
  That is so beautiful because what they are saying is, when you reject 
these newcomers, you are rejecting who sent them, and who sent them but 
our Lord.
  Today, our Nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to 
respond. It has stepped back from the progress that we need to make as 
a country.
  ``Today's actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history 
that shows the absence of mercy and goodwill and a shortsighted vision 
of the future. DACA youth are woven into the fabric of our society and 
our Church, and are, by every social and human measure, American youth.
  ``We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward 
a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an 
expeditious means of protection for DACA youth.''
  The bishops go on to say: ``As people of faith, we say to DACA youth, 
regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and 
welcome in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church supports you and 
will advocate for you.''
  That is such a beautiful statement.
  As I noted earlier, tomorrow is the National Prayer Breakfast, and 
many people who will be gathered there are among those who have been so 
supportive of our DREAMers. We thank them for their leadership and 
their courage. I mentioned some earlier. I don't know if these people 
will be there tomorrow, but certainly members of their church. As I 
mentioned, Dr. Sam Rodriguez, Reverend Sam Rodriguez has spoken out as 
a leader in the evangelical community.
  So, hopefully, tomorrow, as they pray and come together, they will be 
speaking about what we see from the pulpit, from the bishops, from the 
evangelical community. If you believe that we are all God's creation, 
as I do, as people of faith do--and I do believe faith is a gift that 
everyone doesn't have.
  So you may not have that same perspective, but if you do believe--and 
I believe that everyone gathered there tomorrow will believe--and many 
people across our country subscribe to ``In God We Trust,'' then you 
must subscribe to what the Bible tells us. To minister to the needs of 
God's creation is an act of worship; to ignore those needs is to 
dishonor the God who made us, dishonor the God who made us, reflected 
in the Gospel of Matthew that I referenced earlier.
  So when we are thinking about this subject, we also have to recognize 
the diversity in our DREAMer population.
  In 2002, Luke was 11 years old. His family brought him to the United 
States from South Korea.
  The Senator has left us, but Senator Durbin inspires us. He is such a 
great leader on this subject because it is from the heart and the right 
thing to do, but with great intellect, to have a vision and a dream, 
but an intellect with a plan to get the job done.
  There is a clear path. It exists in the Senate. We don't know why 
that door is shut to us in the House. We call upon the Speaker to open 
the same door in the House, through discussion, that is in the Senate.
  I want to commend, once again, Senator Durbin for his extraordinary 
leadership. DREAMers know him.
  In 2002, when Luke was 11 years old, his family brought him to New 
York State from South Korea. Luke grew up in Palisades Park, New 
Jersey. Here is what Luke said about growing up in Palisades Park:
  ``It didn't take long for me to adjust and assimilate because my 
elementary school offered bilingual classes in Korean and English. This 
is the kind of America I have known and experienced--not just mundanely 
accepting diversity, but going above and beyond to serve the unique 
needs of a diverse community.''
  From an early age, Luke had a passion for science. He was accepted 
into a math and sciences magnet high school called Bergen County 
Academies, which was ranked by Newsweek as one of the top five public 
high schools in the country. At Bergen County Academies, Luke won 
several awards at regional science fairs. He also volunteered as an 
emergency medical technician in the local ambulance corps.
  In 2013, Luke graduated--are you ready?--summa cum laude with a 
bachelor's of science in chemistry and received an award for the 
highest grade point average of any chemistry major.

                              {time}  1245

  This brilliant young man is currently a Ph.D. graduate in chemistry 
at the University of Chicago. He also works as a researcher at the 
university. In his spare time--in his spare time, how does he have 
spare time--but in his spare time, he also works as a researcher. He 
volunteers for the Chicago Korean American Resource and Cultural 
Center, an organization that provides services to disadvantaged members 
of the community. Good for you, Luke.
  Consider this: without legal status, Luke's talents would have been 
squandered. But now, thanks to DACA, when we had DACA, Luke was on the 
road toward making his childhood passion into a promising career as a 
  Luke has written: ``DACA did much more than shielding me from 
deportation and changing my immediate circumstances; it gave me a new 
faith and brought out a new me to reject fear and continue worthwhile 
pursuits. DACA has been tremendously empowering. Wherever I find myself 
in the future, I hope to mentor, encourage, and ultimately empower 

[[Page H930]]

  Luke and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country.
  Do we need more talented scientists like Luke Hwang in America? Of 
course we do. Will America be stronger if we deport Luke Hwang or if he 
stays here to contribute his talents to America's future? The answer 
should be obvious. I thank Luke.
  Her parents brought her to the United States from the Philippines 
when she was 5 years old. Mithi grew up in California. She was an 
excellent student who dreamed of becoming a doctor. In high school, 
Mithi was on the principal's honor roll and was an AP scholar. She 
received the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma and is a Governor's 
Scholar Award recipient. Mithi was admitted to the University of 
California, Los Angeles, one of the Nation's top universities. 
Congresswoman Waters would attest to that. UCLA is one of the Nation's 
top universities. We all are proud of the UC system.
  At UCLA, Mithi volunteers as a research assistant in lab studies of 
infants at high risk of developing autism. That was her field. She also 
volunteers as a crisis counselor for UCLA Peer Helpline advising 
students who are victims of rape, child abuse, and substance abuse. 
Mithi eventually became a trainer for new counselors.
  Mithi also volunteers as a mentor and tutor for at-risk middle school 
children in Los Angeles. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in 
psychology. But her options were limited, Mr. Speaker, because of her 
immigration status. She was unable to pursue her dream of becoming a 
  Then, in 2012, President Obama established the DACA program, and 
Mithi's world changed. Mithi began working as a research assistant at 
the UCLA School of Medicine, and she applied to attend medical school.
  During her spare time, Mithi continues to volunteer with the Autism 
Research Lab where she started her research career 7 years ago. She 
also serves as a peer mentor to 10 undergraduate students at UCLA.
  Mithi wrote to Congress these words: ``Please, please listen to our 
stories. This is my home, and the only country I know. DACA gives us 
greater opportunities to give back to the country we love.''
  Listen to that sentence again, Mr. Speaker. Mithi wrote: ``DACA gives 
us greater opportunities to give back to the country we love.''
  That is what the DREAMers are about. Their dream is to give back to 
America. They have benefited from our country. They want to give back; 
and the courage, optimism, and fortitude that they have is really a 
  Mithi and other DREAMers like her have so much to contribute. Will 
America be stronger if we deport Mithi and others like her? Will we be 
a better country if we tear apart American families? Of course not.
  This is going to be a hard name for me to pronounce. It is Jirayut 
New Latthivongskorn. His parents brought Jirayut to the United States 
from Thailand when he was 9 years old. New--we will call him New. New 
grew up in San Francisco. New said: ``I forced myself to read mystery 
novels, dictionary in hand, in order to expand my vocabulary, one word 
at a time. I mispronounced words, even in the face of ridicule, until I 
mastered the English language.''
  New became an excellent student and dreamed about becoming a doctor. 
Throughout high school, New worked 30 hours a week at his family's Thai 
restaurant. Here is what he said about the experience: ``I spent most 
of my time at the restaurant working as a waiter, cashier, and chef, 
scrubbing toilets, washing dishes, and mopping floors. It taught me to 
have faith, work hard, and persevere.''
  New's hard work paid off. He graduated as a salutatorian of his high 
school class with a 4.3 grade point average. New was admitted to the 
University of California, Berkeley, one of the top schools in 
California--in the Nation. He won a scholarship that would have covered 
most of his tuition, but he was unable to accept it because of his 
immigration status.
  Despite the setback, New persevered. In May, 2012, he graduated with 
honors with a 3.7 grade point average with a major in molecular and 
cellular biology.
  Just 1 month after he graduated, President Obama established the DACA 
program. As a result of DACA, New was able to pursue his dream of 
becoming a doctor. That fall, New began medical school at the 
University of California, San Francisco, a very difficult school to get 
into. During his spare time, he volunteers at the homeless clinic that 
is run by the students of the University of California, San Francisco. 
In his spare time.
  New has cofounded Pre-Health Dreamers, a national network of more 
than 400 DREAMers who are pursuing careers in healthcare. New and other 
DREAMers like him have so much to contribute to our country. Will 
America be a stronger country if we deport New and others like him? 
Will we be a better country if we tear apart American families? Of 
course not. We all agree on that.
  Aaima Sayed was brought to the United States from Pakistan when she 
was only 3 years old. She grew up in Chicago like a typical American 
kid. Aaima says: ``I have no memories but those of living in the United 
States. I am an American in every way, except on paper.''

  Aaima was an outstanding student. She graduated in the top 10 percent 
of her high school class where she was secretary of the Spanish club--
mind you, she is from Pakistan. She was secretary of the Spanish club, 
secretary of the math team, and a member of the National Honor Society 
of High School Scholars. Aaima's dream was to become a physician.
  Here is how she explains it: ``It completely breaks my heart to see 
thousands of children die of treatable diseases due to inadequate basic 
healthcare facilities, and I want to have the skills and ability to 
change that.''
  In January 2012, Aaima graduated from Rutgers University magna cum 
laude, Mr. Speaker, with a major in psychology. She was on the dean's 
list six times and has a grade point average of 3.75 out of 4. She was 
a research assistant at Rutgers Department of Psychology and an intern 
with the local cardiology practice. Aaima took the medical college 
admission test, the MCAT, and scored in the 90th percentile--better 
than 90 percent of those who took the test.
  Shortly after she graduated, President Obama announced the DACA 
program. Because of DACA, Aaima is now a medical student at Loyola 
University pursuing her dream of becoming a physician. After she 
graduates, she will work in a medically underserved area of Illinois.
  Here is what Aaima said about the DACA impact on her: ``I went from 
feeling hopeless and full of uncertainty regarding my future to feeling 
confident and optimistic that I will one day get the opportunity to 
help my community and people in other poverty-stricken areas.''
  But if the House Republicans have their way, Aaima won't be able to 
attend medical school and become a doctor. Instead, she will be 
deported back to Pakistan, a country she hasn't lived in since she was 
a toddler.
  I wouldn't attribute it to the Republicans. I think that plenty of 
Republicans are on board to help our DREAMers. That is what I am 
hopeful about, just that we need to be given the chance to have a 
respectful vote on all sides of the issue which we have bipartisan 
Democrats' strong support, but strong Republican support as well.
  Give us a vote, Mr. Speaker. Give us a chance. Treat this House with 
the dignity it deserves so that we can represent the people and the 
wishes of our country.
  Will America be stronger if we deport Aaima? Of course not.
  Today, I want to tell you about our Al Okere. Al was born in Nigeria. 
In 1990, Al's father was killed by the Nigerian police after he wrote a 
newspaper column criticizing the Nigerian Government. The killing of 
Al's father was documented in the State Department's annual Human 
Rights Reports. In 1995, Al's mother fled Nigeria and brought him to 
the United States. He was only 5 years old at the time.
  Al's mother applied for asylum, but her application was denied, and 
she was deported in 2005, when Al was 15. Now, mind you, her husband 
had been assassinated for articles that he had written criticizing the 
Nigerian Government, a well-founded fear of persecution or danger in 
Nigeria, yet her application was denied in 2005. Al was 15.

[[Page H931]]

  Al graduated from Rogers High School near Tacoma, Washington. He 
attended Central Washington University where he was an honors student 
with a 3.5 grade point average. He was an active volunteer in his 
  Here is what Al said about his goals for the future, and I quote Al 
very proudly: ``I have been in accelerated academic programs most of my 
educational life and hope to be a medical doctor some day to contribute 
to the well-being of my fellow humans. I hope to continue to emulate 
and walk in the great academic shoes of my late father, who earned a 
Ph.D. degree from a university in Paris, France. My family and 
community support has been enormous, and it gives me the zeal to work 
hard in my studies, to be able to lend a hand to others in need, and to 
realize a bright future!''
  Al grew up in this country. We have already invested in Al, who has 
received his entire education from kindergarten to college in the 
United States. He has great potential to contribute to our society. He 
does not remember anything about Nigeria and cannot speak any of 
Nigeria's native languages.
  Here is what Al said about the possibility of being deported: ``I do 
not remember anything about my mother's country of Nigeria. I cannot 
even speak the language. Every experience I have had in life that I can 
remember have been in the United States of America. Everyone I know and 
care about are all here, except for my mother, who was sadly removed 
and remains in hiding in fear of her life.''
  Would America be stronger if Al Okere were deported? Of course not. 
Al is not an isolated example. There are literally thousands of others, 
hundreds of thousands of others like him around the country. I thank Al 
for being so generous in sharing his story.

  I want to tell you about Novi Roy. Novi Roy grew up in the State of 
Illinois. Novi was brought to the United States from India as a child. 
He attended Evanston Township High School. This is a story that Senator 
Durbin provided.
  He attended Evanston Township High School where he graduated with a 
3.9 grade point average. During high school, Novi began volunteering at 
a soup kitchen in Rogers Park in Chicago, which he continues to do 
  Novi went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he 
graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics. Novi graduated from 
the University of Illinois with two master's degrees, one in business 
and one in human resources. Novi's dream is to be able to provide 
affordable healthcare to the less fortunate.
  Here is what he said in the letter he wrote to Dick Durbin: ``I love 
America for all its opportunities, and, like any other aspiring 
student, I want a chance to realize the American Dream. I owe the State 
of Illinois, its taxpayers, and America a huge debt of gratitude for 
the level of education I have attained thus far. I'm confident that my 
education will serve me well enough to make a difference in people's 
lives. There is nothing I would like more than to give back to the 
community that has been so good to me.''
  Novi grew up in this country. We have already invested in Novi, and 
he has obtained a first-class education in Illinois. He has great 
potential to contribute to our society. Will America be a stronger 
nation if Novi is deported? Of course not. He has overcome the odds to 
achieve great success. He would make America a strong country.
  Again, Novi's story comes to us when he came from India as a child. 
There is a large number of Asian-Pacific American Dreamers.
  Yaniv Steltzer was brought to the United States by his parents from 
Israel when he was just 3 years old, a DREAMer from Israel. He grew up 
in this country like any other American child. In 2010, he graduated 
from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in 
hospitality and tourism management.

                              {time}  1300

  In college, he was the chair of the Jewish Student Union/Hillel Club 
and was an active volunteer with several other student groups.
  Yaniv's dream is to open a restaurant. He wrote a letter, which said:

       I fell in love with cooking in high school when I took a 
     home-economics class, and I knew this is what I wanted to do 
     for the rest of my life. I would love to give back to America 
     by opening my own restaurant, creating jobs, contributing to 
     the economy, and becoming a citizen in the country I love.

  Unfortunately, under our immigration laws, Yaniv cannot become a 
citizen. His father was born in the United States. But Yaniv was born 
in Israel, so he is not an American citizen. Yaniv's father applied for 
Yaniv to become a citizen, but because the process took so long, Yaniv 
is no longer eligible.
  Under our immigration laws, once Yaniv turned 21, his father could 
not petition for Yaniv to become a citizen.
  So, Yaniv, who has lived his whole life in this country since he was 
3, since his father is an American citizen, he is an undocumented 
immigrant. The only solution for him is the Dream Act.
  Here is what Yaniv said about his situation:

       America is the only country I know. I grew up here, all my 
     family and friends are here, and everything I know is 
     America. The Dream Act is important to me and also to many 
     others like me who are in the same situation. We have the 
     resources to help this country greatly, but don't have that 
     piece of paper that allows us to do this. I have high hope 
     and optimism that Congress will do the right and humane 
     thing, put all political issues aside, and pass the Dream 

  Yaniv is right.
  I ask my colleagues: Would America be better off if we deported 
  The answer is very obvious.
  Eighteen years go, in 1992, Minhaz Khan's parents brought him to the 
United States from Bangladesh. Minhaz was only 4 years old at the time, 
and has overcome great obstacles to complete his education. In 2009, he 
graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a 
bachelor's degree in neuroscience.
  Here is what he said about his dreams for the future:
  ``My dream is to make several contributions to science, and become a 
physician's assistant as a career, and eventually a teacher as well. I 
have great aspirations, but I do not dream of big houses or tons of 
cars. I want normality, stability, and liberty.''
  Today, Minhaz lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife, who is 
an American citizen. Minhaz spoke about what it would mean for him if 
the Dream Act were to become law. Here is what he said:
  ``Imagine the countless numbers of individuals ready to contribute to 
our society as law-abiding, successful individuals who live life with a 
sense of strength and morality. Abraham Lincoln once said, `I have 
always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice,' and 
this is more true now than ever. I have a great amount of hope, 
optimism, and belief in this country and that one day we will see the 
Dream Act enacted into law.''
  This is his statement, Minhaz Khan, from Bangladesh.
  Another child brought here from India, as was an earlier DREAMer, 
Mandeep Chahal. Mandeep was brought to the United States from India 14 
years ago, when she was only 6 years old. A beautiful little child.
  Mandeep has been an academic all-star. She was an honors pre-med 
student at the University of California, Davis, where she majored in 
neurology, physiology, and behavior.
  Mandeep is also dedicated to public service. In high school, she 
helped to found One Dollar for Life, a national poverty relief 
organization. She was voted the member of her class ``Most likely to 
Save the World. Imagine, most likely to save the world. At her college, 
Mandeep is the co-president of STAND, an anti-genocide group.
  Mandeep has so much to offer to our country. She wrote: ``I . . . 
consider the United States my only home. My family, friends, and future 
are in the United States, which is where I belong. My dream is to 
become a pediatrician so I can treat the most helpless and innocent 
among us. I hope to serve families in low-income communities who 
otherwise are unable to afford medical care. I wish to remain in the 
United States so that I can continue to make a positive difference and 
give back to the community that has given me so much.''
  How beautiful. You see the recurring theme of the DREAMers: wanting 
to give back to America, appreciative of the opportunities they have 
received here--the mentoring, the friendship, the love; wanting to give 
  Dominique Nkata and Tapiwa Nkata. There are two.

[[Page H932]]

  Tapiwa's and Dominique's parents, John and Joan Nkata, brought their 
family to the United States from the African county of Malawi in 1990. 
At the time, Tapiwa was 4 and Dominique was only 11 months old.
  The Nkatas came here legally. They had work permits. John, an 
ordained Christian minister, worked as a hospice counselor. Joan, his 
wife--their mother--worked as an accountant.
  The Nkatas filed papers to stay here permanently. For years, their 
case was stuck in immigration court. Finally, in 2009, John and Joan 
Nkata were granted legal permanent residence. But by that time, Tapiwa 
and Dominique were adults and unable to obtain legal status through 
their parents. That happens at 21.
  Here is what Dominique said about being deported to Malawi: ``The 
looming fear of having everything I know, including part of my family, 
here in the United States, while I am removed to the other side of the 
world, is crippling.''
  Tapiwa said: ``I can't imagine my life in Africa. I am an American. I 
know this culture and speak this language. I pledge allegiance to this 
  It would be wrong to send these women back to Malawi, a country they 
don't even remember. Remember, one of them was 11 months old when she 

  In 2007, Tapiwa graduated summa cum laude from the University of 
Cincinnati with a degree in finance. She then worked at an accounting 
firm. She dreams of becoming a certified public accountant.
  Tapiwa explained what America means to her: ``Quite simply, when you 
say `The American Dream' all around the world, they know what you are 
talking about. People who have never been to our shores, eaten our 
food, or even spoken our language have heard of a prosperous nation 
that, above all else, grants freedom and rights to all people.''
  Dominique graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree 
in chemistry and pre-medicine. Remember, her sister graduated summa cum 
laude with a degree in finance. Dominique graduated with a degree in 
chemistry and pre-medicine and began working at University Hospital and 
the Jewish Hospital in the research department as a clinical studies 
  Dominique planned to apply to medical school. She said: ``I dream of 
being a doctor and of giving back to a country that has given so much 
to me.''
  Would America be better off if we deported Tapiwa and Dominique back 
to Malawi?
  Of course not. The Dream Act gives them a chance.
  Let me introduce you to another DREAMer, Monji Dolon.
  Monji's parents brought him to the United States from Bangladesh in 
1991. He was 5 years old. As he grew up in his new home, he immersed 
himself in the study of computers and technology.
  Monji wrote: ``For as long as I can remember, I have had an intense 
passion for technology. In middle school, that passion led to spending 
many nights constructing remote-controlled model airplanes and Van de 
Graaff generators. In high school, I fell in love with computers and 
the internet, spending my senior year creating an online newspaper for 
my school.''
  Monji did not know about his immigration status until he was applying 
for college. He asked his parents what to say about his status on his 
college applications. That is when Monji learned that he was 
  In 2008, Monji graduated from the University of North Carolina at 
Chapel Hill, an outstanding school. Very soon, Monji began to be 
courted by the technology industry. He was even offered a job as the 
lead engineer for a startup in Silicon Valley.
  Monji's prospects would be limited because of his immigration status.
  The Dream Act would give Monji a chance to pursue his dream and 
contribute his talent to the country he calls home.
  Here is what he has to say: ``I've turned down several great jobs 
from reputable companies because of my status. The Dream Act would let 
me take my passion for technology to the next level by allowing me to 
move to Silicon Valley and pursue my dream as an internet 
  So, we have someone like Monji, with his talents, his 
entrepreneurship, his passion, and his intellect. What a resource to 
our country.
  I keep asking the question: Would America be better off if we 
deported Monji back to Bangladesh, a country he left when he was 5 
years old?
  Of course not.
  Herta Llusho was brought to the United States from Albania when she 
was 11. She and her mother settled in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, a suburb 
of Detroit.
  Herta and her mother came to the United States legally. Shortly 
before arriving in America, Herta's mother filed an application to stay 
in the United States.
  Herta quickly learned English and became an academic star. She 
graduated from Grosse Pointe High School with a 4.05 grade point 
average. In high school, she was a member of the varsity track team, 
won an Advanced Placement Scholar Award, and was a member of the 
National Honor Society.
  Herta then attended the University of Detroit Mercy, where she was an 
honor student and studied to be an electrical engineer. She had a grade 
point average of 3.98 and completed two internships at engineering 
  She is from Albania, I remind you.
  Herta has been very involved with her community, volunteering at 
homeless shelters, tutoring programs, and her church.
  Listen to what one of her friends said about her: ``I am humbled by 
Herta's willingness and desire to serve. I have had the privilege of 
going to the same church at which she faithfully serves. She spends 
hours tutoring kids and volunteering with the junior high Sunday school 
class. It is a joy to watch so many children run up to her at church 
because of the love they receive when they are with her.''
  Would it be a good use of taxpayer dollars to deport Herta?
  Of course not.
  Again, there is so much discussion in the United States about the 
need for more young people to study what is known as STEM--science, 
technology, engineering, and math. Of course, we add the arts in there: 
  Every year, we issue tens of thousands of H-1B visas to bring foreign 
students here to work in the STEM fields. Herta is a straight-A student 
in electrical engineering, a STEM field. She doesn't need an H-1B visa. 
She is a homegrown talent.
  Herta came to Capitol Hill to speak at a briefing on the Dream Act. 
Here is what she said: ``I'm a typical story. There's thousands of 
stories out there just like mine. Please support the Dream Act so 
students like me don't have to leave. We are worth it. This is the 
country we have come to love.''
  Herta is right. She and hundreds of thousands of others are worth it.
  Eliphaz Omote is 25 years old, and he is from Keith Ellison's 
district in Minnesota.
  Eliphaz was born in Kenya and came to Minnesota at age 11. He didn't 
know he was undocumented until he graduated from high school.
  Imagine the maturity of these kids. They are teenagers, they are 
babies, they are 11 years old, and all the rest, and carrying this 
weight. Growing up is hard enough, right, but carrying this weight?
  He writes: ``I wanted to go to college and pursue education, but I 
couldn't. It was a grueling experience, especially for me being a 
highly driven and ambitious person.''
  After DACA, Eliphaz graduated from St. Cloud State University with a 
degree in psychology and management. He is about to start classes for a 
master's degree in divinity at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, 
  Eliphaz wants to be a chaplain in the United States Senate one day, 
but he can only do that if the Dream Act passes. The Senate. Maybe the 
House, if he were given a chance to, might rise to the level.
  The Congressional Black Caucus--I mentioned earlier that the 
chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus--has been very much 
involved in this issue and they gave me these statistics.
  There are 5,302 DACA recipients from Jamaica, 4,077 recipients from 
Trinidad and Tobago, and 2,095 DACA recipients from Nigeria, just to 
name a few. There are more, as I mentioned, from Africa, but this just 
named the Nigerian ones here. I thank them for their work and the 
effort on activities that have gone with this.

[[Page H933]]

  We have another visitor from Albania. Things were tough in Albania a 
while back. Our distinguished colleague, Mr. Eliot Engel, has been 
Albania's best friend from Congress, but he can attest that there was 
cause to leave at an earlier day.
  Ola Kaso was brought to the United States by her mother from Albania 
in 1998, when she was 5 years old. Ola went to high school in Warren, 
Michigan. She was a valedictorian of her class. She took every advanced 
placement class offered by her school.
  Are you ready for this?
  She had a 4.4 grade point average.
  Ola was on the varsity cross country and tennis teams. She was 
treasurer of the student council and treasurer of the National Honor 
Society at her school. She tutors children who are learning English. 
Ola was also a member of the homecoming court.
  I don't have her picture here, but she was lovely.

                              {time}  1315

  Ola was then accepted into the honors program at the University of 
Michigan, where she would study premed.
  Here is what she said about her dreams for the future:
  ``I aspire to ultimately become a surgical oncologist, but more 
importantly, I intend to work for patients that cannot afford the 
astronomical fees accompanying lifesaving surgeries, patients that are 
denied the medical treatment they deserve. My goal is not to increase 
my bank account; my goal is to decrease preventible deaths. I wish to 
remain in this country to make a difference.''
  How beautiful. Thank you, Ola, for sharing your story.
  This takes a great deal of courage for these young people to share 
their stories and the intimacy of the personal challenges they face, so 
we thank them for their generosity of spirit as well as their courage.
  Steve Li's parents brought him to the United States when he was 11. 
He studied at City College of San Francisco, where he majored in 
nursing and was a leader in student government.
  Here is what Steve said: ``My dream is to become a registered nurse 
at San Francisco General and to be a public health advocate. I want to 
be able to give back to my community by raising awareness about 
preventive care and other healthcare issues. I'm well on my way to 
achieving my dream. By passing the Dream Act, I will be able to achieve 
these goals and contribute to the growing healthcare industry.''
  Could we use more nurses in this country? We sure could. In fact, the 
United States imports thousands of foreign nurses every year because we 
have such a large nursing shortage.
  So why would we consider sending Steve Li back?
  Tolu Olumni: Tolu was brought to the United States from Nigeria when 
she was a child. As a child, Tolu dreamed of becoming an engineer.
  Tolu graduated from high school at the top of her class. She won a 
full scholarship to a prestigious university in Virginia. In 2002, she 
graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.
  Back in 2011, at a press conference announcing the reintroduction of 
the Dream Act, here is what Tolu said:
  ``The dreams of my youth have stalled, yes, but my country still 
needs me. So I volunteer full-time to ensure a better future for 
thousands of others. Passing the Dream Act is critically important to 
me and to so many others. I don't believe that I am entitled to 
anything more than what this great Nation has taught me: that we all 
have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.''
  Imagine. Tolu is right. Thousands of immigrant students in the United 
States were brought to the United States as children. It was not their 
decision to come to this country, but they grew up here, and this is 
their home.
  The fundamental premise of the Dream Act is that we should not punish 
children for their parents' actions. This is not the American way. 
Instead, the Dream Act says to these students: America will always give 
you a chance. And I--me--say to their parents: Thank you for bringing 
these DREAMers to America. We are in your debt for the courage it took 
for you to take the risk physically, politically, and in every way to 
do so.
  David Cho was brought to the United States from South Korea when he 
was 9. Since then, David has been a model American. He had a 3.9 GPA in 
high school. He attended UCLA, where he obtained a bachelor of arts in 
international finance, with a 3.6 GPA.
  As you can see, David is also the leader of the UCLA marching band. 
There is a picture of him, but the Record will not reflect that, the 
leader of the UCLA marching band.
  David then obtained a master's degree in public policy, with a GPA of 
3.9, and was the UCLA commencement speaker.
  He worked as a business technology analyst at Deloitte Consulting, 
where he earned the highest possible performance rating, representing 
performance in the top 5 percent of all analysts. Today, David works in 
business and technology, consulting as a sales force scrum master and 
project manager.
  Thank you, David, for your contribution to our country.
  Minchul Suk: Minchul was brought to the United States from South 
Korea by his parents in 1991 when he was 9.
  I just want to make this point, Mr. Speaker. When I mentioned about 
Senator Durbin, he introduced the Dream Act in 2001, it is 17 years 
later, so some of these children have grown up. But some of them whom 
we are addressing came to the United States in the nineties, and so 17 
years later we still haven't been able to take care of the children? 
They were very little children when they came, and some of them are 
still young. But they came, some of them, as I said, 11 months, 6 
months, babies.
  Minchul came when he was 9. He graduated from high school with a 4.2 
GPA. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in microbiology, immunology, 
and molecular genetics. With the support from the Korean-American 
community, Minchul was able to graduate from dental school. He passed 
the national boards and license exam and became a dentist.
  Here is what he wrote: ``After spending the majority of my life here, 
with all my friends and family here, I could not simply pack my things 
and go to a country I barely remember. I am willing to accept whatever 
punishment is deemed fitting for that crime; let me just stay and pay 
for it. . . . I am begging for a chance to prove to everyone that I am 
not a waste of a human being, that I am not a criminal set on leaching 
off taxpayers' money. Please give me a chance to serve my community as 
a dentist, to be a giver rather than a receiver.''
  Thank you, Minchul.
  Senator Durbin has sent over some stories, and I am going to read 
some of them.

  Jean-Yannick Diouf: When Yannick was 8, his father, a diplomat from 
the African country of Senegal, brought his family to the United 
States. Unfortunately, Yannick's parents separated and Yannick's father 
returned to Senegal, leaving Yannick and the rest of the family behind. 
Yannick did not realize it at the time, but when his father left the 
United States, Yannick lost his legal status to live in this country.
  Yannick grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, nearby. In high 
school, Yannick was a member of the National Honor Society. He also 
volunteered weekly at a homeless shelter and organized soccer 
tournaments for 3 years to raise money for the Red Cross for earthquake 
relief in Haiti.
  Mind you, he is from Senegal, and he is raising money for earthquake 
relief in Haiti. God bless him.
  After high school, he continued his education. He earned an associate 
degree in business from Montgomery College, where he was on the dean's 
list. He then transferred to University of Maryland, College Park, 
where he is working on a bachelor's degree in business management. 
Yannick runs the Achievers Mentoring Program, an after-school program 
that advises middle school and high school students on how to get into 
college and be successful--very valuable, mentoring. He is also a 
volunteer for United We Dream, the largest organization of undocumented 
students in the country.
  May I pause for a moment to commend United We Dream. They have been 
so spectacular, so dignified, so prestigious in how they have protected 
the DREAMers' case and enabled DREAMers to present their own case.
  Yannick was a leader in the campaign to pass the Maryland Dream Act,

[[Page H934]]

which allows Maryland residents who are undocumented to pay instate 
tuition. Keep in mind, Yannick is undocumented, so he does not qualify 
for any official aid from the Federal Government. Here is what he 
  ``DACA means dignity. More than making money, having a job gives us 
dignity and self-respect. I want to work for what I have. I don't look 
to anyone for pity. People should judge me based on what I do and what 
I stand for, not based on status. I want to be given a chance to prove 
that not only am I a functioning member of society, I am here to serve 
and share my talents with those in my community.''
  Yannick was one of six DREAMers who met President Obama in the Oval 
Office. Here is what President Obama said after that meeting: ``I don't 
think there's anybody in America who's had a chance to talk to these 
six young people . . . who wouldn't find it in their heart to say these 
kids are Americans just like us, and they belong here, and we want to 
do right by them.''
  President Obama is right. Yannick and other DREAMers have so much to 
contribute to our country.
  The question again: Would America be a stronger country if we deport 
Yannick and others like him? Of course not.
  Another DREAMer from India, this is Harminder Saini. When Harminder 
was 6 years old, his family moved to the United States from India. He 
grew up in Queens in New York City. He was a typical American kid, 
playing sports and going to the park every day. Harminder's dream was 
to serve his country as a soldier in the United States Army. In his 
words, he simply wanted to give back.
  Harminder was a born leader, and in high school he was active in 
student government and ultimately was elected class president.
  He first learned that he did not have legal immigration status when 
he was in high school and was unable to apply for a driver's license, 
Mr. Speaker. Harminder is now a student at Hunter College at the City 
University of New York, working toward his bachelor's degree in 
history. And thanks to DACA, he is on his way to fulfilling his dream. 
Last year, he enlisted in the Army through the Military Accessions 
Vital to the National Interest program, known as MAVNI.
  The MAVNI program allows immigrants with critical skills vital to the 
national interest to enlist in the Armed Forces. More than 800 DACA 
recipients with these critical skills have joined the military through 
  Some Trump administration officials have claimed that DACA recipients 
are taking jobs away from Americans, but Harminder and hundreds of 
other DREAMers have skills that our military couldn't find anywhere 
  Harminder, along with many other DREAMers, is now waiting to ship to 
basic training. He continues his undergraduate studies and is working 
full-time waiting for his chance to serve the country he loves.
  Harminder wrote: ``All I want to do is serve. I want to do my part to 
give back to this country because it allowed me to serve.''
  Without DACA, Harminder and hundreds of other immigrants with skills 
that are vital to the national interest would be kicked out of the 
Army. They want nothing more than to serve, and they are willing to die 
for the country they call home.
  Thank you, Harminder.
  Representative Esty of Connecticut sent us this story about Daisy 
Rivera. Her story is in Daisy's own words:
  ``I came to the United States when I was 2 months old.''
  How precious.
  ``The day I entered high school, my parents broke the sad news to me 
that I was undocumented. Yes, I did grow up not knowing my true status, 
and at that very moment I felt I didn't know who exactly I was anymore. 
It made it very difficult to try and understand when all my siblings 
were born here in the U.S. and were given opportunities that I wasn't 
able to have. When I graduated high school in 2012, I found out that 
President Obama took action to grant undocumented people like me the 
  ``Ever since then, I have been able to feel free, support my 
daughter, my parents, and younger siblings still working on their 
dreams. I now have a beautiful job with a Head Start program for youth 
development and healthy living. This is a job that not only I enjoy, 
but my 3-year-old daughter attends as well. DACA has been more than a 
blessing and a relief for me and my friends and family.

  ``But now that it has been put in jeopardy, I can't even go to sleep 
at night. I look at my daughter thinking: What can I do so I don't end 
up like other families that have been separated and destroyed? What can 
I do to support my child? How do I explain to my friends and family 
that my future has been taken away, that I am not like them?
  ``This might be another challenge for me as an undocumented, but I 
know that this is just the start of my new beginning that will label me 
a warrior because I will not sit here and have my future taken. I will 
not stand by the corners of the streets to ask for anything. I will 
fight and raise my voice alone or with the other 800,000 DREAMers, and 
we will obtain what we deserve, and we won't give up.''
  That story comes from Representative Esty. I think it is important to 
note here that some of these people are, again, working; they are 
giving back to the community. DACA made a big difference in their 
existence. For some of them, they found out that they were undocumented 
at a critical point in their own development, and it foisted 
uncertainty upon them, which DACA relieved.
  So I think there is just a misunderstanding here about what President 
Trump did in September. It was very harsh. As the National Catholic 
Conference of Bishops said, it was reprehensible.
  I don't think that the administration understood the impact it had on 
people's lives. I think they thought they were giving a 6-month 
reprieve, but what they were doing was giving 6 months of uncertainty 
and removal of protections for these people.
  And you have heard some of the statements that have been made in the 
last day or so about mischaracterizing why some people have lost 
protections. I will reiterate that this all came fast. Many of the 
people who needed to sign up right away found it difficult to access 
the $495 immediately. Most people in our country could not have access 
to $495 in the spur of the moment, especially young people. So, anyway, 
we have always treated this with respect.
  I would like to talk now about Julia Verzbickis:
  ``When I was 9, my family and I moved to the United States to find 
some stability that wasn't present in our home country. We always had 
plans to make the move permanent, and the seemingly endless paperwork 
process began nearly immediately. However, we didn't know what we were 
in for. The lawyer we had turned out to be fraudulent, and, as a 
result, my parents, my sisters, and I lost our status in the country. 
It was the summer before my first year of high school.
  ``The future remained unclear, but I made some choices. I chose to 
keep my grades up in school. I chose to give myself the opportunity at 
a future. I worked hard. I graduated 28th in a class of 620. I had a 
3.6'' GPA. ``I got into Rutgers early admission.
  ``The week after my 21st birthday, I got notice that my DACA 
application had been approved. Within 12 hours, I had applied for a 
Social Security card, and, within a week, I'd filled out dozens of job 
applications. I got a license for the first time ever.
  ``In November 2014, I got into Teach For America. I was placed in San 
Antonio, 1,800 miles away from New Jersey.''

                              {time}  1330

  ``I graduated college the following May, cum laude, with a double 
major in English and journalism.
  ``In August 2015, I started teaching. I also met the man that would 
become the love of my life. I had a new life in a new State, and I was 
all by myself for the first time ever, and I couldn't be more excited.
  ``I've been teaching middle school since then, and I love it. My kids 
are amazing. They drive me nuts on any given day, but I love them.
  ``DACA gave me my independence back. It's the single reason I am able 
to teach, and live on my own, and pay for my car, and feel like I 
belong in the country I have lived in for 15 years.

[[Page H935]]

  ``Knowing that I could lose all the freedom I've gained is a 
paralyzing fear. I've worked so hard, and my life was just coming 
together, and now it might fall apart again. I hope that doesn't 
happen, but if I've learned anything these last 15 years, it's to hope 
for the best and prepare for the worst.''
  That is Julia's story.
  This is from Zuleyma Garcia.
  ``Hi, my story started 22 years ago when I was only 3 years old. My 
parents, both from Mexico, had crossed over, summer of 1994, through 
the hot and unforgiving desert. I have always admired my parents' drive 
and courage to go after a better life. I couldn't imagine leaving my 
country, U.S., for one I know nothing about. Which is why I'm so 
thankful for DACA.
  ``My mom always showed me anything is possible by working hard for 
it. I never really noticed or felt like I wasn't American.
  So my freshman year, after passing my driver's ed, I was very quickly 
disillusioned by my mother, who explained we were here illegally and 
could not get a driver's permit. I broke down crying because I felt 
like my world crumbled. So many thoughts went through my mind, mainly 
fear at the moment, but I eventually gripped myself together. With the 
passing years, frustration added to the list of emotions, when I 
couldn't attend class trips to other States, apply for scholarships, or 
even just special programs at colleges, while I was still in high 
school, because of the lack of a Social Security number and an ID.
  ``Once I graduated and it was time to face the real world, things hit 
the fan. I felt like the doors closed in on me. I had nice internships 
lined up. I had managed to get into a special program at my college, 
which I wasn't able to do because of my status. A year into working a 
minimum wage job and attending college for a preschool teacher, I now 
felt like I had been torn apart, felt like no matter how hard I worked, 
I would never accomplish my goals because of this barrier. So I dropped 
out of college and just focused on working, got a second job, and moved 
out of my mom's home. Soon after, I met my husband of 5 years now, 
which is an American citizen; we have a 5-year-old child.
  ``DACA allowed me to feel like a human again and to live without 
fear. I'm not a bad person. I have a clean criminal record and am a 
good member of society, and, like me, there's so many. This is why I 
call for an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.''
  Again, the uncertainty, the anxiety, that is injected into people's 
lives. I thank them for sharing these deep concerns.
  We are now hearing from Isabelle Muhlbauer.
  ``By junior year of high school, I spoke English fluently and 
attended all honors classes, but, unlike most 15 year olds, my future 
was uncertain due to my immigration status. It was this uncertainty 
that led to my interest in American politics. I wanted to understand 
why I was not eligible to apply for certain schools, scholarships, and 
financial aid despite being a top student at my high school.
  ``There seemed to be something fundamentally unfair about a system 
that excluded students like me. However frustrating my situation was, I 
was fortunate to live in New York, where residency laws made the 
possibility of attending college a reality.
  ``At Baruch College, I studied political science. I attended school 
full time and, by sophomore year, had the opportunity to intern at 
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office at the Veterans' Affairs casework 
department. I knew then that I wanted to pursue public service, but was 
well aware of the legal hurdles ahead of me due to my undocumented 
  ``I was unsure what life after graduation would be like without 
authorization to work. Thankfully, the DACA program was announced a few 
semesters before my graduation. Although it was still difficult to find 
the right job, my persistence eventually led me to the New York Legal 
Assistance Group. I now work as a paralegal in the Veterans Assistance 
Project at NYLAG. I have the opportunity to work with a team that is 
committed to helping the low-income veteran population in NYC get 
access to the benefits they earned through their service.''
  A DACA--a DREAMer--helping our veterans.
  ``I had hoped to attend law school to further advance my career in 
public interest law, but given the current uncertainty of what will 
happen with DACA, it's become increasingly difficult to plan for the 
future. While DACA is not the solution to the current state of 
immigration affairs, it has given me and over 700,000 other DREAMers 
the path to achieving the American Dream.''
  We thank Isabelle for sharing her story.
  This is from Bruna.
  ``There are a few minutes left of President Obama's Presidency and a 
feeling of dread fills me. Not only because I'm saying goodbye to a 
President that has meant so much to me and thousands of DREAMers, but 
because within a few minutes the new President may choose to remove 
DACA--taking away a sense of security we've had these past years.
  ``In 2012, President Obama presented DACA, giving me and my sister 
another chance at life. Before then, we did truly feel like we were 
going to lose everything: friends and family we made in this country, 
the home we built, and the future we envisioned.
  ``Born in Brazil, but raised in Tampa, Florida, my parents always 
pushed us to excel in school, in leadership positions, and in sports. 
We planned to go to college, travel the world, volunteer, and to make a 
difference in a country that had generously welcomed us.

  ``After a third failed attempt at securing a green card, we had given 
up. My parents had done everything they could. They paid the expensive 
lawyer fees, opened a small business, and had secured and renewed work 
visas throughout our time here. There was no explanation as to why U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services would deny legal immigrants with a 
business, a home, savings accounts, and a decade in the country, a 
chance at becoming permanent residents.
  ``With the threat of being deported looming over my head, I did 
everything I could to help reelect President Obama. I joined OFA in 
Gainesville, Florida, and spent countless nights with volunteers and 
  ``So although I am scared of what comes next, if we lose DACA, if 
we're no longer able to continue working in the U.S., I am empowered by 
an important lesson President Obama taught us: We are the ones we've 
been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. In this time of 
uncertainty, we must carry that lesson and fight so that all people, 
including DREAMers, can continue working towards the American Dream.''
  I know that Representative Jayapal is on the floor, and I wish that 
she could deliver it herself, but the rules do not allow.

                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The gentlewoman will state her 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Ms. PELOSI. Are we going to be able to have Special Orders for our 
colleagues at the end of the session?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman may consult with leadership 
on matters of scheduling.
  Ms. PELOSI. Okay. I didn't know if a decision had been made about 
that yet.
  Then I will continue to read.
  Amy Kele. This is from Representative Jayapal, a leader on the 
immigration issues, as you probably all know, an immigrant herself to 
our country, and now a Member of Congress. I am so proud of her.

       Amy Kele and her family moved from Fiji to settle in 
     Everett, Washington, staying on their father's student visa. 
     Things change when Amy's parents left the U.S. to attend a 
     wedding in Fiji.
       ``They were only planning to stay for 2 weeks, but then my 
     mom's visa got denied,'' said Amy, the oldest of four 
     children. Amy is now 19, but the last time she saw her 
     parents was when she was just 11 years old.

  How sad.

       When Amy's parents left for Fiji, Amy's grandmother came 
     from California to babysit. When they weren't able to reenter 
     the country, she picked up her life and moved to Everett to 
     care for her grandchildren. ``She's the heart of this whole 
     family. She's kept us together this whole time. I don't know 
     where we'd be right now, maybe back in Fiji or in a foster 
     home. I'm really thankful for her in our lives,'' said Kele.
       Though Amy's grandmother has been living in the U.S. for 
     almost 20 years, she is also undocumented. ``Because she's 
     also undocumented, she can't get benefits like Social 
     Security and things like that. It kind of breaks my heart 
     whenever I think about it.''

[[Page H936]]

       With the exception of Amy's younger sister, who was born in 
     the United States, the Kele children have all enrolled in 
       Amy is now a nursing student and healthcare worker for the 
     elderly. As the oldest sibling, she takes pride in being able 
     to help her grandmother support their family. She provides 
     for her three siblings, is an active member of her church, 
     and is looked to as a leader at the University of Washington. 
     Amy is shy, full of heart, and cares deeply about her family 
     and community.
       Without the support of DACA, Amy fears never being able to 
     complete her nursing degree. Without a work permit, the 
     livelihood of their family is at stake. The risk of 
     deportation means she could be separated from her family, 
     possibly leaving her youngest sister in foster care.

  What? This is a very sad and challenging situation. So many families 
affected that just being able to vote on the floor could correct. It is 
about the children.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Congresswoman Jayapal for sharing that story 
with us.
  Whip Hoyer wanted to tell this story on the floor himself, and other 
stories as well, but the rules at the moment do not allow him. We are 
uncertain as to whether there will be an opportunity for Special Orders 
where Members can speak afterward.
  Lisia Vala, Indian American, her personal story.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Whip Hoyer for his leadership. Whip Hoyer has 
been so much a champion on this issue, fighting so hard in every 
possible venue, under any auspices, there every step of the way. He 
submits this story.

       My family moved from Canada to San Antonio in 1996 when I 
     was 6.

  Mr. Speaker, this is a DREAMer from Canada.

       We had a visa, and my parents worked to change our 
     immigration status for as long as I can remember. We spent 
     decades playing by the rules. But one time our immigration 
     attorney filed our paperwork late, and another time our 
     sponsor sold his business, forcing us to restart the entire 
     application process.
       For more than 20 years, we attempted to navigate the broken 
     immigration system, an emotionally exhausting and financially 
     draining process. Suffice it to say that I am not 
     undocumented for lack of trying.
       Growing up in Texas, I always felt like an American 
     because, in every possible way, I was. I went to elementary, 
     middle, and high school in San Antonio, enrolling in Girl 
     Scouts, and spending my summers playing league basketball. I 
     volunteered at the local food bank, took far too many AP 
     classes, and worked behind the cash register at the 
     neighborhood grocery store.
       In 2008, I left for college. Four years later, I graduated, 
     and, thanks to DACA, I was suddenly eligible for relief from 
     immigration worries. DACA has helped me become the person I 
     am today. Because of my work permit, I have been able to buy 
     a home, a car, and pay off my student loans.
       I launched a small business helping U.S. citizens with 
     their resume so they can get jobs. I have a meaningful job 
     and pay State and Federal taxes, I pay rent to live in my 
     apartment in Washington, I eat at restaurants, shop at local 
     stores, and pay for public transportation.
       All the dollars that I have spent, and the dollars that 
     800,000 people like me spent, are reinvested back in the 
     community and help improve the lives of our American citizen 
     neighbors and friends.

  A beautiful story from Lisia, and, again, there is nothing lazy about 
this family, or any of these families, as to how they want to achieve 
legal status in our country. The only violation in hundreds of 
thousands of these cases is a status, either a lapse, in this case, or 
a violation, but nothing in terms of breaking the law in any other way.

                              {time}  1345

  From California, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, a member of our freshman 
class, tells us the story of Adriana from Salinas. I thank Jimmy for 
the work he tried to do with the group that he works with in a 
bipartisan way to advance the cause of the DREAMers.
  Adriana tells this story: ``At the age of 7, I migrated to the place 
that I now call home. I came with the dream of pursuing an education 
and becoming someone important, someone who would give back to the 
community. I am working to achieve my dream. To my community, I am a 
student, I am a peer, I am a leader. To the Trump administration, I am 
a criminal. I stood in the shadows for a very long time, and education 
was always my outlet. I grew to be the person I am today because of my 
mother, a cook, who told me that education was the most important thing 
I could earn.
  ``People tell me to go back to my country, but people do not realize 
that this is my country. I work, I pay taxes, I go to school, I stand 
for the national anthem, and I know the Pledge of Allegiance. This 
country has seen me grow, and this country has contributed to my 
dreams. I aspire to attend law school. DACA has helped me achieve my 
dreams. I was able to get a Social Security card. I was allowed to 
apply for a driver's license. DACA allowed me to be like any other 
person my age.
  ``People have asked me what would I do without DACA. To be honest, I 
have faith in my elected officials. I do not want everything handed to 
me, nor do I believe that I deserve everything. What I do ask for is 
the ability to be like any other 25-year-old in this country. I don't 
want the termination of DACA to be the termination of my dreams.''
  Thank you, Adriana. Thank you, Jimmy Panetta, for submitting that 
  Juan Escalante tells us that he was working at an unpaid internship 
in 2012 when he caught word of the Deferred Action for Childhood 
Arrivals, DACA, announcement via Twitter. He said: ``I ran to the 
office lobby, turned on the TV, and immediately knew right away that 
life would not be the same. I called my mother in tears and proceeded 
to tell her that my brothers and I would be able to benefit from a 
program that would temporarily shield us from deportation, while 
allowing us to work and drive legally. I understood DACA was a 
temporary program that would not cover parents, but it renewed my 
commitment to fight for relief for the rest of the immigrant community.
  ``Since that day, I have taken every opportunity to grow, learn, and 
contribute back to my community. In 2013, DACA allowed me to re-enroll 
in Florida State University and pursue a master's degree in public 
administration. By 2014, I was in the middle of working a job in 
Tallahassee, Florida, studying for my master's classes, and advocating 
at the Florida Legislature for a bill that would allow undocumented 
students to obtain instate tuition at State colleges and universities. 
In a rare display of bipartisanship, the bill passed and was signed 
into law by Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott.
  ``I graduated with my master's in 2015 full of hope and energy that I 
would be able to put my education to good use. With degrees in hand, I 
was able to obtain a job as a digital immigration advocate, putting my 
years of experience and passion to good use. Simultaneously, and thanks 
to the new instate tuition law in Florida, I was able to help both of 
my younger brothers enroll at Miami Dade College and Florida 
International University. They are currently pursuing degrees to work 
in business and communications, respectively.''
  I just want to say that I have spoken at the graduation at Miami Dade 
College and spoken also at Florida International University, two 
magnificent schools. And what is beautiful about them is to see the 
beautiful diversity in the large number of students that they teach, 
and the many cases of first children to attend college, but with all 
the optimism, dignity, and hope that you could ever imagine. They are 
two great institutions.
  I actually spoke at the commencement address one year, the year 
before President Bush spoke there. I have said earlier, President Bush 
was a wonderful President dedicated to recognizing how important 
immigration was to our country and how we should value our immigrants 
and treat them with respect when we have the debate on these issues.
  Juan goes on to say: ``There are a lot of misconceptions regarding 
the DACA program, but perhaps the biggest one is that beneficiaries of 
the program are asking for a free pass. DACA does not grant 
citizenship. Rather, it allows individuals like myself, who have 
benefitted from State-funded investments like public education, to move 
forward with their lives and continue to contribute to their 
communities. That means DACA beneficiaries could continue to pursue 
higher education, starting businesses, or putting their skills to use 
without the constant fear of deportation if the program is kept in 
  Of course, we hope the Dream Act will have a more beneficial impact 
than just the DACA announcement, but that is what we are asking the 
Speaker for a vote for.
  We thank Juan for sharing his important story and reinforcing the 
constant message that people are working hard

[[Page H937]]

and they want to give back to the community; the immigrant commitment 
and recognition that education is the source of making the future 
better for their families and for our country.
  Denis Montero Diaz tells his story: ``I didn't cry. I knew it was for 
the best. I said good-bye to many: the people I love. I felt 
uncertainty, yet I didn't cry.
  ``You see, I knew of the American Dream. Every evening I'd watch 
American films filled with white picket fences and big city 
aspirations. I dreamed of setting foot in the land of opportunity.
  ``After a disastrous journey, we arrived home. Every morning I 
pledged allegiance to the flag. I meant it. I excelled in school. That 
is why our parents worked so hard, why we risked so much; opportunities 
that come through education and hard work.''
  Again, that immigrant ethic of hard work ethic and education ethic.
  Denis says: ``Later, I learned what my undocumented status truly 
meant. I felt uncertainty, shame, no future. Rattled by depression, I 
contemplated giving up.
  ``Luckily, I had educators that told me I was wasting a mind. So I've 
continued to pursue my education and help run our family business.
  ``Through DACA, me and 800,000 others live freely. We can contribute. 
That's our American Dream. That is why my mother works so hard, hands 
aching, yet a kind smile on her face. That's why I study economics, to 
one day enthrall my mind to the betterment of this Nation.''
  Giving back.
  Denis says: ``I watched Trump make his way to the podium. I felt 
uncertainty. My own need for an answer was channeled through the screen 
into the mind of a reporter who asked about DACA. No answer. Silence.
  ``The 45th President took office. Cannons fired, people applauded, 
rain fell. But I do not believe in omens. If the life of 800,000 
`DACAmented' Americans is altered, it will not be by virtue of the 
rain. It will be by the lightning strike of one man's hand.
  ``We ask only to let us contribute freely. Let us walk along you, 
shoulder to shoulder, on that same road our hands helped to pave. Human 
decency and morality demand it. The American people, our people, demand 
  So we thank Denis for sharing his story. You hear, Mr. Speaker, 
reiterated time and again, the work ethic, family values, education, 
giving back to America, no free ride.
  I have mentioned the Congressional Black Caucus and their leadership 
on this issue; the Hispanic Caucus and their leadership. I am very, 
very proud of CAPAC. I represent a district that, as they say in San 
Francisco, the beauty is in the mix; and one-third of my district is 
Asian-Pacific American, so I take a great pride in being part of the 
CAPAC, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
  So here are the statistics that they have given us:
  Twenty percent of DACA recipients are Asian-Pacific Islanders.
  Did Members know that?
  More than 130,000 Asian-Pacific Islander DREAMers. And 7,000 DREAMers 
are from South Korea. Nearly 5,000 DREAMers are from the Philippines. 
More than 3,000 DREAMers are from India. Nearly 2,000 DREAMers are from 
Pakistan. And thousands more are from the rest of the Asian-Pacific 
  In addition to DACA, though, there are many people from the Asian-
Pacific area who would be benefited if we did comprehensive immigration 
reform. Today we are just speaking about the DREAMers.
  So I thank Congresswoman Judy Chu for her persistent, relentless 
leadership on this subject as the chair of CAPAC--the Congressional 
Asian Pacific American Caucus--and also her insistence in presenting 
the value of family unification as a value, as a source of strength to 
America. This is an important debate that will be part of whatever 
comes next in legislation. But I thank her for her leadership in that 
  An icon in the Congress, John Lewis from Georgia, has submitted this 
testimony. John has spoken so beautifully on this subject. I think if 
anyone listened to him, if the DREAMers heard him, they would feel so 
comforted, inspired, and optimistic. If others heard him, if their 
hearts are open, they would have to say we must get a result, we must 
do the right thing. John always inspires us in that way. What an honor 
it is for all of us to serve with him, to call him our colleague.
  John submitted this story from a Georgian. This is a Georgian's 
statement: ``Last week, on January 30, 2018, President Trump, in his 
State of the Union, said, `Americans are DREAMers, too.' He didn't 
mention the second part: DREAMers are American, too.
  ``My name is Daniela, and I was there at the State of the Union last 
week when I heard President Trump say these words.''
  Daniela is a Georgian, as John Lewis has indicated.
  Daniela goes on to say: ``I was brought over at age 4 because my 
mother realized that, if we stayed, we wouldn't survive.''
  She is from Acapulco, Mexico.
  Daniela says: ``And at the time, there were very limited ways to get 
into the U.S. legally. It required a lot of money and time, something 
we didn't have.
  ``Put yourself in her shoes. What would you have done for you and 
your child?
  ``Wait years in a country that wasn't safe, for the hope that someday 
maybe you could come to America. A someday that never came for some 
because death came knocking first.''
  Death by violence.
  Daniela says: ``My mother did what any good parent would do in that 
situation. She decided to risk her life so that her child could have a 
  ``I am currently a student down the street at George Washington 
University. I grew up in Georgia. I speak English more fluently than I 
do Spanish. America is home. I am an American. I am currently studying 
political science, and aspire to work for the United Nations as an 
advocate for human rights. I earned over $30,000 in private scholarship 
money to attend college.''
  She worked and did that.
  Daniela says: ``Nothing was handed to me. I did not qualify for 
instate tuition or any type of Federal financial aid.
  ``They call us DREAMers, but we are actually working every day to 
make our dreams into a reality. It's cruel to deny me and the 800,000-
plus DREAMers a clean Dream Act. The impact of losing DACA would be 
devastating not just emotionally and personally, but also detrimental 
to the economy. DREAMers are going to school, opening up businesses, 
working, paying taxes.''
  I would add, serving in our military.
  Daniela says: ``A study by the Center for American Progress estimated 
that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic 
product by $433 billion over the next 10 years. Yes, $433 billion.''
  Mr. Speaker, that is over the next 10 years.
  Daniela says: ``Removing the DREAMers is not only unethical and 
unjust, it's also simply un-American because of the damage it would do 
to the economy.
  ``You gave an oath to protect the interests of the American people. I 
am an American. This is not a partisan issue. Please choose to be on 
the right side of history.''
  I thank John Lewis for submitting this beautiful statement. I also 
thank this Georgian for her testimony. I just want to say to Daniela 
that not only would we be--you ask us to be on the right side of 
history. I would say that, in this Congress and in this country, we not 
only want to be on the right side of history, we want to be on the 
right side of the future. And to be on the right side of the future, we 
have to recognize who we are as a country, what our values are.
  Imagine Founders who would say it is our national purpose and what we 
owe people is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit 
of happiness is one of the goals of our Nation, one of the standards of 
what we stand for, to use the word again.
  This is not just about protecting the economy. It is about protecting 
our country, who we are as a country. So I thank John Lewis, and I 
thank Daniela for her impressive, impressive presentation.

                              {time}  1400

  Brisa E. Ramirez's statement says: ``I was born in . . . Mexico. I am 
26 years old, and I have lived in the United States as an undocumented 
immigrant for 25 years.''

[[Page H938]]

  Do the math, Mr. Speaker. That means Brias came at 1 year old.
  ``Throughout my childhood, I did not fully understand the 
repercussions that came from hearing the status of `illegal' in this 
country, but I did know my mother and I had to be `careful.' As an 
adult, I am now experiencing firsthand the restrictions, prejudice, and 
fear illegal immigrants must confront. Since childhood, I have always 
wanted to make a tangible difference in the world.''
  Listen to that sentence. ``Since childhood, I have always wanted to 
make a tangible difference in the world.''
  ``Growing up in adversity inspired me to obtain a college degree; I 
wanted to become someone who could right the wrongs experienced by 
those living in poverty.
  ``In 2012, when I first heard about DACA, I was skeptical. The idea 
of self-disclosing my immigration status, especially to the government, 
was terrifying. I waited 2 years to see what would become of those who 
bravely stepped out in order to receive their 2 years of deferment from 
deportation. Eventually, I had to do the same. I understood that I 
could continue to be `safe' in the shadows but live as a criminal or 
expose myself and live as a law-abiding individual. Even though I feel 
like I have an expiration date, I am much happier thanks to DACA.
  ``DACA has given me the ability to drive without fear, work legally 
without fear, and earn jobs where I am not exploited. DACA has given me 
the ability to use my college degree, which I earned through private 
donations in the form of a full-tuition scholarship through years of 
hard work, perseverance, and many, many tears. DACA has given me the 
ability to earn a position as an AmeriCorps VISTA and serve in the 
fight against poverty in Boston. . . . It's amazing how nine digits and 
a flimsy piece of discolored paper can change your life.
  ``My dream is to create a more compassionate society that restores 
human dignity to those who are pushed further into the margins. I want 
to earn my Ph.D. I want to become a leader of an organization that 
seeks to provide opportunities that do not trap people in misery and 
dependence. I want to be a voice for the voiceless. My dream is to 
discover potential in people who are thought to have none because I 
know what it is like.''
  Thank you, Brisa, for your courage.
  Giovanni writes: ``I left Panama on my eighth birthday on a flight 
bound for Los Angeles, California. At the time, I didn't fully 
understand the weight of what was happening. I was excited to have the 
people on my flight sing ``Happy Birthday'' to me. I was intrigued by 
the smoked salmon that the stewardess served me for lunch. I had no 
idea that to this day, almost 20 years later, I would not return to my 
hometown or my childhood friends or the house that I was born in.
  ``From the moment I arrived in the United States, I tried my hardest 
to fit in. I learned English quickly and dropped my Spanish accent. I 
tried to excel in my studies, even though this prompted comments that I 
was `acting White.' I made friends, consumed popular culture, played 
video games. I assimilated well because of that immense pressure known 
only to those who leave their homes for the land of opportunity. I 
looked at other immigrant kids with their broken English and hand-me-
down clothes and the way they were being teased. I wanted, and often 
failed, to distance myself from the perception that I did not belong.
  ``The older I got, the more I realized that my situation wasn't going 
to get any better,'' Giovanni writes on. `` `Close' friends criticized 
and spewed toxic mistruths about immigrants and how they were ruining 
this country. I lived under the constant fear that my home would be 
raided or that my parents would get arrested and sent to a detention 
center. I became better and better at coming up with excuses for why I 
had no license, no car, no job, why I couldn't travel or take advantage 
of scholarships, why I turned down internship opportunities and 
research positions with my professors.
  ``At the risk of sounding cliche, DACA opened doors for me. It goes 
well beyond just being able to work and get a license and fly 
domestically. You see, what all of us want is simple. We just want the 
opportunity to emerge from the shadows, to work and support our 
families, to contribute back to our communities, to love our partners/
spouses without the fear of being deported at a moment's notice. We 
have that now. But for how long?''
  We thank Giovanni for his message, but again, fear, tears. As I said, 
the Statue of Liberty must have tears in her eyes when she hears some 
of the comments that are made about immigrants, fear in the hearts of 
some of these people. Giovanni talks about doors opening, saying it is 
like a cliche, but DACA opened doors for him. Let's hope that passing 
the Dream Act will keep those doors open.
  Deyanira writes this: `` `Adversity causes some men to break; others 
to break records'--William Arthur Ward.
  ``Although being undocumented has been my toughest struggle here in 
the United States,'' Deyanira writes, ``it has shaped me to highly 
appreciate education and encourage my younger siblings to excel in 
their studies in order to pursue a career.
  ``I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. My parents decided early on 
that they wanted their children to grow up in better environments than 
the ones they grew up in. They migrated to the United States of America 
when I was very young so that they could work endlessly and send money 
back home to Mexico. At the age of 5, I migrated along with my sister. 
I was excited about my family being united once again, despite the 
adversity we face.
  ``The hardships range from medical situations to owning a driver's 
license. The cost of visiting a clinic is tremendously overwhelming due 
to the fact that we did not have the documents required for a medical 
insurance plan. My parents, like many others throughout the U.S., risk 
so much by pursuing the American Dream every day.
  ``On August 12, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for 
Childhood Arrivals Program. My sister and I applied and we received our 
work permits. My soul was euphoric with the joy of being legal in this 
country, but then I discovered this valuable permit would only help me 
work legally but would not grant me permanent residence.
  ``I qualified for scholarships like the Gates Millennium Scholarship, 
but I would not even be considered because of my status. I looked high 
and low for any scholarship that would accept undocumented students and 
made sure to apply because they were few and far between. Regardless of 
not being a permanent resident or citizen, I still made my dream of 
attending the University of Texas''--Austin, Texas--``majoring in 
neuroscience a reality.
  ``I consider myself blessed and hope that others can learn from my 
struggles. I am involved in UT University Leadership Initiative, an 
organization that advocates for immigrant rights and helps the 
community fight injustices. Despite DACA only allowing temporary relief 
to me, I appreciate it because it removed the burden of my status from 
me and allowed me to work and contribute to society. If DACA were 
removed, we would have to return to the shadows and live life in 
constant fear.''
  We cannot let that happen.
  Another student from Georgia, this time McDonough, Georgia, Anayancy 
Ramos, writes: ``I learned to live as an American before the memories 
of my homeland solidified into a permanent impression. My mother tongue 
was forgotten as I learned to speak English, weakening the profound 
virtuosity of my heritage and reshaping my family's mannerisms and 
grandiose personalities. In pursuing the American Dream, my parents not 
only offered their lives, but also their youngest daughter.
  ``In spite of losing my ancestors that both defined me and were 
unknown to me, I have fought for the new self I have built up from the 
ashes of the broken dreams they tried to burn down. While in community 
college, I steadfastly held the distinction of a dean's list scholar 
and successfully completed the requirements for earning an honors 
certificate by completing eight honors courses. I held the merit of 
being inducted into an honors society, Phi Theta Kappa, and was 
appointed president of the Alpha Beta Gamma chapter the following year, 
all the while working full-time at an animal hospital.
  ``I poured the desperation I felt over being denied my education at 
the top research schools in Georgia into my school and work. I rose to 
the position of manager at the animal hospital and

[[Page H939]]

was the sole student awarded the distinction of Student of the Year in 
Biology out of the total college population of 21,000 students''--top 
student, 21,000 students.
  ``In an attempt to continue my education further than a 2-year 
associate's degree, I was chosen from a pool of thousands as a 
semifinalist for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke scholarship. Later 
that year, I was offered a different private scholarship to attend 
Eastern Connecticut State University at no cost to me. In another 2 
years' time, I will graduate with a double major in biochemistry and 
  ``Four years was all it took for me to effectively and irrevocably 
pursue the education I have proved that I deserve. However, these 
dreams have an expiration date. Every 2 years, I must go through the 
taxing process of applying for DACA. Every 2 years, these dreams may 
die. Until then, I breathe the heart and soul of my denied ancestors 
into my studies to keep them alive and to keep them ingrained in my 
pursuit of the American Dream.''
  So beautiful. Thank you, Anayancy.
  And then I want to talk about Cindy: ``My name is Cindy Nava. I was 
born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and arrived in the United States in 1997. I 
have been blessed to grow up in a State that has demonstrated its 
appreciation and support to immigrant communities over the years. The 
State of New Mexico is not only the place I call home, but it is the 
State that has nourished my deep love and passion for civic engagement 
and policy.
  ``I began my college life at Santa Fe Community College and then 
transferred to the University of New Mexico, where I obtained a BA 
degree in political science in 2014. I did not obtain DACA until spring 
2016 due to a local attorney who advised me not to apply. However, this 
did not stop me from continuing my education. I served as an intern and 
fellow for more than a dozen State and national political 
organizations, regardless of the fact that they could not hire me.
  ``I collaborated with organizations to register high school students 
to vote, while still not being able to cast a vote myself. I interned 
at my State legislature for 6 years and went on to become the first 
undocumented student to serve as an intern . . . through my selection 
for the Rilla Moran NFDW Award.
  ``Thanks to DACA, I was able to begin a graduate program and thus was 
able to accept a job as a graduate research assistant at the University 
of New Mexico. Having the ability to travel to border States granted me 
the ability to become the second DREAMer in the country to graduate 
from the EMERGE America women leaders training program.''
  ``DACA has changed my life, and I will always be grateful to 
President Obama for taking the first step to uplift our immigrant 
communities through his efforts to support us, regardless of the 
criticisms he received.
  ``DACA will forever hold a special place in my heart, as it is 
through the benefit of being able to apply for advanced parole that I 
was able to travel to Chihuahua, Mexico, after 21 years to be with my 
beloved llalla Eva--grandmother--until her very last moments on this 
  ``I will forever cherish the fact that DACA opened a world of 
opportunities for me to support my family and communities in ways I 
would have never able to do otherwise.''
  Thank you, Cindy Nava, for sharing your personal story with us.

  Here on the floor, Representative Blunt Rochester from Delaware, I 
thank her for being with us. A member of the freshman class, 
Representative Blunt Rochester was effective from the start and into 
advocacy for our DACAs from day one, and I thank her for giving us this 
story of Indira Islas.
  Her story says: ``I was born in Guerrero, Mexico, and I came to the 
U.S. with my parents at the age of 6. I am a 19-year-old DACA student 
currently studying biology.
  ``September 16, 2013, seemed just like any day. I was on my way home 
from school when my bus came across heavy traffic just a few miles from 
my stop. As it inched forward and approached the turn that led to my 
house, flashing lights and the scene of an accident came into view. 
When we saw that an ambulance was blocking the intersection, we all 
stood up eagerly from our seats--intrigued, fascinated, and curious to 
see what happened. In the distance beyond the comfort of my seat, my 
heart dropped as I recognized what was unmistakably my dad's crushed 
  ``After arriving in the emergency room, I was told to have a seat in 
the waiting area. As I sat down, so many things went through my mind 
before I was finally allowed to see him. A nurse with a clipboard 
escorted me back, and I held my breath as she opened the curtain to his 
room. There was my dad, handcuffed to his hospital bed and looking 
utterly defeated.''

                              {time}  1415

  ``After a long embrace, he finally spoke. In his voice, he carried 
fear of the unknown and uncertainty of the future; he knew of the 
adversity ahead of us. Though his words were few, he began telling me 
that I was going to have to be strong and to not lose focus of my 
education. He was then taken to jail.
  ``From that day on, I knew that my life would be different. In the 
midst of all of this, I found refuge in the one thing that I had 
control over: my education. If I were to have lost my dad that day, 
September 16, I know he would not have been disappointed because he 
would have been content knowing that his children are going to be left 
in a good place--which is all an immigrant parent ever wants.
  ``At that moment, the flames of disparity gave way to the fire of 
indignation, but this conflagration only kindled within me a phoenix of 
preservation: I would persevere in spite of these obstacles. I spent 
countless hours researching every possible opportunity that would allow 
me to further my education.
  ``Lastly, I would like to encourage you to think of the thousands of 
undocumented people like myself. I stand before you to ask you to pass 
the Dream Act so I and many other undocumented people not only can 
continue pursuing the American Dream, but also no longer fear being 
separated from our loved ones.''
  I thank Congresswoman Blunt Rochester for this beautifully written, 
almost poetic statement. Like so many other DACA students and DREAMers, 
it is a story of family, of education, of commitment, of patriotism--
also beautifully written.
  I know that in the course of the day, we have been joined by 
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, who has been a real champion on the issue of 
immigration and a champion, relentlessly, for our DREAMers. She has 
served as the chair of the Immigration and Border Security 
Subcommittee. She is now the ranking Democrat on the Immigration and 
Border Security Subcommittee. She has practiced immigration law. She 
has taught immigration law. She is a recognized leader, called upon by 
all kinds of constitutional institutions for her views on this and 
other subjects that relate to our Constitution and our country. She is 
relentless to satisfy and persistent. She is not only a leader, but 
also a strong advocate. I thank the Congresswoman for her leadership.
  I mentioned earlier Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
  Also, when I mentioned the Immigration and Border Security 
Subcommittee that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren serves on, that is a 
subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee of which she is a leader.
  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, also a member of the Judiciary 
Committee, a leader on the immigration issue and expert on it, earlier 
I read her statement that she presented from a DREAMer from Houston, 
Texas. I thank the Congresswoman for being with us.
  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey is with us, too, 
and she is a very outspoken force on many subjects in the Congress. As 
you see, we had many testimonies from New Jersey, and I know she knows 
this issue so well.
  But for all of us, it is not just an issue. It is a value. It is 
something very important to us.
  Earlier, also from New Jersey, was Frank Pallone, our ranking member 
on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who cares so deeply about this 
issue. He has been in and out for most of the 4 hours that I have been 

[[Page H940]]

  John Lewis, we had his beautiful statement from a DREAMer, Daniela, a 
dreamer from Georgia. I thank the gentleman for his great leadership. I 
sang his praises earlier. I could spend another 4 hours just talking 
about the gentleman. I thank him so much.
  Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been here for most of the time. She, 
too, as a Californian, understands the impact of public policy on the 
lives of people. As Dr. King told us, the ballot, legislation, your 
life, there is a direct relationship. Legislation here has a direct 
impact on the lives of these people, and nobody understands that better 
than Maxine Waters, our ranking member on the Financial Services 
Committee. I commend her for her leadership on the part of the American 
taxpayer as well as consumer.
  Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez was also here earlier, a leader on the 
committee, the Financial Services Committee, also a leader, the 
Democratic leader on the Small Business Committee where many, many 
minority-owned businesses enjoy the benefit of her leadership. She also 
was the chairman of the Hispanic Caucus the year that we passed the 
DREAM Act in the House of Representatives. I thank her and the members 
of the committee for making that victory possible then.
  Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California, she has been a tremendous 
force on this issue. A number of the testimonies that I have read have 
been either from the Silicon Valley area or aspire to be from the 
Silicon Valley area. There are a lot of entrepreneurship, STEM, and 
engineer aspirations in this list, so we thank Congresswoman Eshoo for 
her role as a leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee and for her 
strong advocacy for many. She and Zoe Lofgren know better than almost 
anyone the contributions that immigrants have made.
  Most of the new startup companies in our area are started by 
immigrants to our country. Many of the people who would like to be part 
of that are part of the DREAMer community. So we thank Congresswoman 
Eshoo also for her extraordinary leadership.
  I am going to go on to Alejandra Gonzalez. The story goes like this, 
Mr. Speaker:
  ``I was 12 years old when I found out I was undocumented and when I 
found out I couldn't be a teacher like I've always wanted to because, 
without the proper documentation, I couldn't receive grants and loans 
to afford a higher education. I had to settle for jobs that didn't 
allow me to use my full potential because I didn't have a Social 
Security number, and it was then that I started to live a life full of 
anxiety, stress, and depression because of the uncertainty of my future 
and the threat of deportation. DACA was an instant relief from that.''
  Alejandra goes on to say: ``Since DACA, I have been able to acquire 
the funds to go back to school. While some had seen DACA as a form of 
amnesty''--no--``and have pledge to fight against it, it should be 
stated that it is far from that. If anything, it is a Band-Aid solution 
of addressing the needs and concerns of the millions of undocumented 
immigrants in this country.
  ``My plan after graduating from Alverno College consists of making 
healthcare accessible to all and giving back to the community that I 
love so much. There are DREAMers that have become lawyers, doctors, 
police officers, and small-business owners thanks to DACA, and their 
career choices benefit the country as a whole.
  ``We are a group of hardworking individuals who just want the 
opportunity at a better life. My parents' choice to smuggle me across 
the border was irresponsible,'' Alejandra says, ``but I understand why 
they did it. Our home country is being terrorized by poverty and drug 
cartels, and I can't imagine what my life would have been like if we 
would have stayed. I am grateful for all the privileges the United 
States has granted me, and while DACA is just a temporary fix to 
immigration policy, it is one that provides a pathway to success for 
millions of DREAMers in the country.
  ``If we are to lose DACA, I hope that the new administration 
implements a reform that assures the well-being of DREAMers--but if it 
doesn't, I know that our will to keep fighting and progressing won't 
end. With or without DACA, my future doesn't feel uncertain anymore. I 
will continue to pursue my goal of making healthcare accessible.
  ``We aren't asking for a handout. We are asking for the same 
opportunities to succeed in the country we call home.''
  Thank you, Alejandra.
  Miriam Santamaria writes: `` `Don't worry when you are not 
recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.' ''
  Who said that? Abraham Lincoln.
  `` `Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy 
of recognition.'--Abraham Lincoln.''
  Miriam writes: ``I have carried Lincoln's advice throughout my life. 
It resonates with me now more than ever.
  ``I was 4 years old when I was brought to this country. After my 
father passed away, my mother was faced with the difficult task of 
raising two children on her own. It was then that she made the decision 
to come to the United States. Leaving all of her comforts behind, she 
sacrificed everything to pursue a better life for us. I have lived in 
this country ever since. It was in Houston, Texas, where I went to 
school, learned a second language, graduated from high school with 
honors, and paid my way through community college.
  ``I grew up with a vision of achieving the `American Dream,' the same 
`dream' they teach you in school, the dream that anyone with honest 
character and conduct can succeed in this country. Yet none of that 
matters if you do not have the `right' identity card.
  ``Because of DACA, I was able to apply for and obtain a work permit 
and driver's license. DACA also gave me the opportunity to live out my 
dreams. I am now a manager at a construction company and own my own 
photography business. I plan to continue pursuing my aspirations 
regardless of my status.
  ``I consider myself lucky among others who were denied the rights 
granted by DACA. That is why I decided to share my story. I am not 
looking for any kind of recognition or sympathy, but looking to make a 
difference and inspire others. Hopefully, the Trump administration 
takes into consideration all of our stories when they make a decision 
about the future. In the meantime, we, the DREAMers, need to continue 
to set a high example for others and give back to our communities which 
have given us so much, even while political forces threaten our daily 
  ``I know my story is one of many others and that I speak for them 
when I say we are not asking for handouts, only for an opportunity to 
work hard, pay taxes like other citizens, and, mostly, live our lives 
in peace for the first time, and for some of us, to live in peace in 
the only country that we call home.''
  Before I go into other testimony, I want to recognize so many of our 
Members who have been here on the floor with us and some who are 
watching from their offices and sending their memos.
  But I do want to acknowledge the presence of Congressman Carbajal of 
California, a champion on this.
  They are all distinguished champions on this issue, very concerned, 
working very hard for us to get a debate and a vote on the floor.
  Congressman Carbajal of California, a freshman member; Congressman 
Kildee of Michigan, who leads the way with 1-minutes on the floor; 
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, whose birthday was yesterday and 
who is sharing, today, with us. I acknowledged her earlier. I thank 
  Congresswoman Waters; Congresswoman Velazquez; Congressman Correa of 
California; Congresswoman Matsui of California; Congressman Gomez of 
California; again, Congresswoman Jackson Lee, now my third time to 
acknowledge Congresswoman Jackson Lee; Congressman Takano of 
California; Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I read the testimony of her 
DREAMer earlier.
  Congressman Lowenthal of California; Congressman Darren Soto of 
Florida. He has been such a champion right from the start. I was down 
with him at a university like the first month of his being in Congress, 
and that day I spoke to General Kelly right from the venue where we 
were speaking to the students, and General Kelly told me that he cared 
deeply about DREAMers. I had confidence that he would help us, and I 
still do, on this very important value that we share.

[[Page H941]]

  Congressman Mike Thompson of California; Congressman Cardenas, who 
was just here, of California; Congressman Tonko of New York; 
Congresswoman Alma Adams of North Carolina. I mentioned Congresswoman 
Zoe Lofgren. Again, I acknowledge her. Congressman Panetta, who 
presented testimony here; Congressman Norcross of New Jersey. There is 
lots of New Jersey testimony here.
  Congressman Cartwright of Pennsylvania has been with us for a long 
while; Congressman Serrano of New York, a champion of all of those 
issues, including our fight to be fair and just to Puerto Rico; 
Congressman Ellison. I read the testimony of his DREAMer earlier.
  Congresswoman Eshoo, I acknowledge her again for her extraordinary 
leadership. She has faith that this will happen, and we pray together 
over it.
  Congresswoman Norma Torres of California, reminding me that tomorrow 
is the National Prayer Breakfast; Congressman Ruiz of California; 
Congressman McGovern from Massachusetts, who has been with us a long 
time; Congresswoman Val Demings, a new member of the Judiciary 
Committee from Florida; and Congressman Castro of Texas, San Antonio. 
We had testimony from there.

                              {time}  1430

  I acknowledge Congressman Al Green from Houston, Texas; Congressman 
Gene Green from Houston, Texas; Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, whom we 
had beautiful testimony from earlier; Congresswoman Slaughter from New 
York; Congressman Huffman from California; Congressman McNerney from 
California; Congresswoman Barragan from California; Congresswoman Jan 
Schakowsky from Illinois; Congressman Garamendi from California; 
Congresswoman Bonamici from Oregon; Congresswoman Jayapal--again, I 
acknowledge her leadership--who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, 
the committee of jurisdiction for this; again, I acknowledge 
Congressman John Lewis; Congressman Cicilline, who is a member of the 
Judiciary Committee; and Congressman Juan Vargas from California.
  They have been just extraordinary, all of them.
  Again, the members of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman 
Bennie Thompson was in meetings with us preparing to come to the floor, 
and I want to acknowledge his leadership on this as well. Congressman 
Adam Schiff spent some time with us in Caucus downstairs on this 
subject. So many of our colleagues participated in our early morning 
meeting until our next meeting to come to the floor.
  I will tell you about the early morning meeting, which began around 8 
a.m., because when I went into the meeting at 8, I said to our 
colleagues that from 8 this morning until 12 tomorrow night is 40 
hours, Mr. Speaker. Forty hours.
  A strong Biblical number: 40 years in the desert for the Jews, Moses 
and Aaron; 40 years. Forty days in the desert with Christ. Forty days 
of Lent, so important to many of us here. Forty hours as a Catholic 
ritual, the 40 days observing the 40 hours. Forty hours is a number 
that is fraught with opportunity.
  It is a prayerful time, too, whether it was in the desert with Christ 
or in Lent or 40 hours of religious devotion. We should use these 40 
  I thought of coming to the floor, as I said earlier, when Senator 
Durbin was here and we sang his praises for being such a champion on 
this issue. I was going to come and bring my rosary blessed by the Pope 
and talk about not just one rosary, five-decade, but all three, the 
full rosary. That would take some time. Prayerful about that.
  Instead, I did that during the night and came here to make sure that 
everyone who follows Congress knows the stories of these DREAMers and 
how consistent they are with the aspirations of our Founders; how proud 
our Founders would be of the aspirations of these young people to make 
the future better; to give back to community; to pledge allegiance to 
America; and to fulfill life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness 
that our Founders--imagine Founders putting as a purpose of our Nation 
the pursuit of happiness. They were so wonderful. Everything we do here 
has to be to honor the vision of our Founders, to honor the sacrifice 
of our men and women in uniform and what they do to make America the 
country that we are, the home of the brave and the land of the free, 
and also the aspiration of our children.
  So I reiterate the statement I made earlier: this is about the 
children. It is about the children. Think of it as CHIP. CHIP is a 
healthcare program for the children. It is handled discretely. It has 
broad support. It is not the whole healthcare bill. It is CHIP for the 
  This is DREAMers for the children. It is not the whole immigration 
bill. It is this. It is a confidence-building step, a first step. We go 
to the next, more complicated step of comprehensive immigration reform 
we all know. That is why it is in our legislation that we are 
beseeching the President--excuse me, well, the President to support, 
but our Speaker to give us an opportunity to bring to the floor.
  It recognizes our responsibility to protect our borders. It 
recognizes our need to be true to who we are and true to our nature in 
terms of being inspired by these DREAMers and giving them the 
protections that they should have. So we want that opportunity.
  Some other colleagues have arrived who have been helping work on this 
issue. Our distinguished chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Mr. 
Crowley. I think he has been present at every meeting we have had with 
the large and small DREAMers, friends of DREAMers, and the rest. I 
thank the gentleman for his leadership.
  Mr. Levin has also been a strong advocate. Coming from Michigan, he 
brings a heartland perspective to our discussion. I thank Mr. Levin.
  I thank Carolyn Maloney from New York. Of course, New Yorkers think 
they own this issue, but so do we in California. But it is a heartland 
issue as well.
  So I am very proud of all the Members who have come here, and also 
for the work that they have done. There are many others who have been 
working very hard on this issue when we started our meetings at 8 
o'clock this morning, continued in our leaders meeting with Mr. Crowley 
and Mr. Hoyer about where we go from here in terms of the budget 
negotiations that have gone on.
  As I said earlier, there are many good things in the budget 
agreement. They have been responsive in a bipartisan way. Again, it is 
a compromise. I just return to that because some people may not have 
heard my first statement.
  The budget caps agreement includes many Democratic priorities. With 
the disaster recovery package and dollar-for-dollar increases in 
defense and nondefense budget, Democrats have secured hundreds of 
billions of dollars to invest in communities across America. There will 
be billions in funding to fight opioids and to strengthen our veterans. 
Remember what our priorities were. They were bipartisan priorities that 
we were fighting for, appealing for: fighting opioids, strengthening 
our veterans, the National Institutes of Health, to build job-creating 
rural infrastructure and broadband, and to fund access to childcare and 
quality higher education. So it is a good piece of work.
  This morning we took a measure of our Caucus because the package 
really does nothing to advance a bipartisan legislation to protect 
DREAMers in the House. Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan 
comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package cannot 
have my support. However, I am hopeful that we can get that commitment.

  Let me say about this House of Representatives, first of all, as far 
as the Constitution is concerned, we take the oath to protect and 
defend it. That is our responsibility.
  Of all the things I thought--I thought I might be hungry, I thought I 
might be thirsty--I never thought I would get the sniffles from the 
rug. But I can handle it if you can.
  Honoring the Constitution of the United States is so important. The 
first branch, Article I, the legislative branch, we are the first 
branch of government. We are the people's House in the wisdom of our 
Founders elected every 2 years to have us constantly accountable to our 
  The Constitution said that appropriations bills should begin in the 
House. So the House sent over a continuing resolution.

[[Page H942]]

  Was that yesterday?
  It seems like a long time ago now.
  The Senate is acting upon that by adding to it the compromise that I 
described and which I think is a good piece of work. I commend both the 
leaders, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, for their negotiations for 
which our House Democratic input was a major part. So I associate 
myself with it.
  However, the difference between the House and the Senate is that 
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, was 
respectful of his members who asked in a bipartisan way for him to 
bring a bill to the floor, and he will give that opportunity. The chips 
will fall where they may when they have the debate, but they viewed 
that opportunity as a fair one.
  We are asking for the same thing.
  Now, in our House, our bipartisan bill is further developed. It is 
the Hurd-Aguilar bill, which, as I said, recognizes our responsibility 
to protect our borders, but also does the job for our DREAMers. It is 
just a piece of the immigration bill, but a confidence builder in a 
bipartisan way, done, again, in a bipartisan way to build unity with 
  Let's have the debate on the floor.
  So why should we be considered the place where appropriations begin, 
the place where we will have to take a vote on that again, the only 
place in America where you can't debate the issue?
  Give us a chance. Give us a vote. Put it all on the floor. Make it 
queen of the hill. Bring your Goodlatte bill to the floor. Maybe what 
the Senate comes up with should be on the floor as well. We will see 
what that is.
  It is bipartisan. We know that it will be bipartisan. That requires a 
big vote, a supervote in the Senate, the Hurd-Aguilar bill, which has 
enough Republican cosponsors and many more supporters to justify it 
being brought to the floor.
  So what we are asking for is just simply a vote. No guaranty. Just 
the ability to debate and consider. Queen of the hill, whoever gets the 
most votes, that is the bill that would prevail in the House of 
Representatives. If that would be the Senate bill, then that would be 
the end of it, and that would go to the President. If it is the Hurd-
Aguilar, that would go to Conference, as would the Goodlatte bill, 
should that get the highest number of votes. But I don't anticipate 
that would be the case because I don't think it has bipartisan support. 
But, again, have the debate and let the chips fall where they may.
  So that is why we are here. Since we can't have that debate, all 
night, as I was saying my rosaries blessed by the Pope in honor of my 
mother, I thought: Can we say the Rosary on the floor? Where can we 
have this debate?
  Maxine's bill. We have to be here for Maxine's bill. I will use my 1 
minute--my leadership 1 minute to tell these stories, which they are so 
much more eloquent than anything any of us can say.
  But we do not deserve any right, any of us, to say we love DREAMers 
or anything like that unless we have an intention of doing something 
about it. The DREAMers have worked so hard with such dignity over so 
many years, some of them. They have earned the high regard of the 
American people. One of the figures that is so overwhelming: 90 percent 
want the DREAMers to stay, 80 percent with citizenship, and 70 percent 
of the Republicans support the DREAMers.
  So we are not asking for something off the wall. It is something that 
is--yes, maybe it is off the wall. Maybe the wall is the issue here, 
but nonetheless.
  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, again talking about 
those Founders, a new order for the ages, every generation taking the 
responsibility for making the future better for the next. Every 
testimony talks about that. Parents are making sacrifices for their 
children to have a better life, a direct reflection of the American 
Dream of hope, determination, optimism, and faith, faith in God, faith 
in the future, faith in America, faith in family, faith in the work 
ethic, and faith in education.
  All of these testimonies talk about giving back. There is not an 
ounce of arrogance anyplace. All of them are appreciative of what 
America has given them. Sometimes naming names, other times schools, 
other times churches, but always understanding that the opportunities 
they have are a blessing from our country, and we recognize that they 
are a blessing to America.
  With that, we will go on to Ana Sanchez. Ana says: ``Like any other 
beneficiary of DACA, I, for once, have been given the opportunity to 
pursue my dreams by attaining higher education and a job. I am Ana 
Sanchez, an 18-year-old undocumented student who was brought to this 
country when I was only 2 years old. Due to living conditions of my 
home country, my parents decided to immigrate to the United States to 
offer me and my sister a much better education and a brighter future.
  ``Growing up, I was aware that I was born in Mexico. However, I did 
not know the effects of being undocumented until high school came 
about. Now that I am older, I realize who I am in the eyes of the 
government, and it saddens me to know that people believe these 
misconceptions of us. I mean, ever since we arrived in Texas, my dad 
has risked his health and life by working under dangerous conditions 
just to earn enough money to provide food and shelter for my family.

                              {time}  1445

  ``When it was announced that DACA would be available for people like 
me, my family did not think twice; we all knew it was an advantage and 
a precious opportunity the country had given us. Finally we had been 
given the chance to prove that we are part of this country's future and 
success. Because of DACA, I am able to say I am a part-time student and 
part-time staff for an after-school program.''
  Ana goes on to say:
  ``I am two steps closer to becoming a businesswoman and a teacher, 
and that gives me hope. Sadly, however, the new administration has 
posed threats that would make my hope and my dreams unreachable. If the 
permit is taken away, our hard work will become worthless. I want to 
give back to this country, so I yearn Congress to give me that 
  We thank Ana for her statement.
  Fidencio Fifield-Perez says:
  ``A high school teacher told me, `People like you don't go to 
college.' I was accepted to seven colleges after graduating with honors 
from Emsley A. Laney High School, and I now hold a BFA from Memphis 
College of Art as well as an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa.
  ``In July 2012, I stood in front of the television with tears rolling 
down my face as I heard President Obama enact the controversial 
executive action after the DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill, failed to 
reach cloture in the Senate. Even through those tears, I knew that my 
life and the lives of so many others were at risk and that most people 
would never see this.
  ``I was the first of my family to graduate from high school. Every 
undocumented person I knew, other than my two younger brothers, dropped 
out either because it was expected of them or because a high school 
diploma meant nothing for the jobs to which they applied. I remember 
being told to get a job that paid under the table and to keep my head 
down. This was contrary to what my elementary and high school teachers 
had told me. `Work hard, and you too can make something of your life.' 
Of course, they were as unaware of my status as I was of the full 
repercussions that came with it.''
  Everyone was excited to start college, and he goes on to talk about 
all of that, but it is a similar story about the sacrifices of parents, 
the sacrifices of parents to take the risk, parents to work hard and 
encourage education, parents wanting to make the future better for 
their children. It is a beautiful, beautiful story.
  Julyanna Carvalho Rogers:
  ``I came to the United States for the first time when I was 11 years 
old. My younger sister was brought to St. Jude Children's Research 
Hospital with leukemia.''
  How beautiful.
  ``We came back 3 years later for her checkup, and we found out she 
had relapsed. My dad was afraid of trying to change our expiring 
tourist visa in case we had to go back to Brazil and my sister would 
not be able to receive treatment. My sister is now a cancer survivor 
and would not have been if we had gone back to Brazil. My family left 
everything behind to save her and give

[[Page H943]]

us a better life. Thanks to Obama's DACA, I was able to work and help 
pay for my college education. Thanks to Obama, my sister also received 
health insurance; as a two-time cancer survivor, she needs a lot of 
care and attention.
  ``I thought about giving up many times. I've always been afraid to 
tell my story because so many times I've felt judgment towards 
immigrants. I'm no longer afraid, I feel that if everyone shares their 
story, others will empathize and realize we all have the same story.
  ``Four years ago, when I felt my lowest, I met my husband. We fell in 
love right away. We found each other after years of searching. We now 
have two dogs, and we plan on having kids in the next few years.''
  That sounds like my daughter. She says: You are going to be a 
grandparent of a grandpuppy. Okay, thanks. Now we have nine, but our 
first grandchild was a big dog.
  ``I'm extremely passionate about helping others, and I currently 
volunteer for One Family Memphis, a foundation that is building from 
the ground up. I am looking forward to making a difference in the 
Memphis community as well as raising my kids to see the light hidden in 
every darkness.''
  Carol Shea-Porter is here from New Hampshire, as well as Susan Davis 
from California. I thank them for their leadership and being here.
  Another story from Sheila Jackson Lee. Alonso Guillen.

       Last September, Alonso, a Mexican National and DREAMer, 
     drove more than 100 miles from his home in Lufkin, Texas, to 
     help those trapped by Hurricane Harvey's flooding in the 
     Houston area. But he and another man disappeared after their 
     boat capsized in the flood-swollen creek Wednesday, and 
     relatives went back searching for their bodies.
       He moved to Lufkin at age 14 from across the border in 
     Mexico, graduated from Lufkin High School, and worked in 
     construction. He often organized fundraisers for those in 
     need and masterminded his rescue trip to the Houston area on 
     the fly with friends' help. When Hurricane Harvey hit, they 
     borrowed a boat and drove South to save strangers.

  How beautiful.
  Alonzo is survived by his 8-year-old daughter, Mariana.
  Mariana, you are in our prayers, and we thank you for sharing your 
father with America and for his sacrifice. How sad. Thank you.
  Donald Payne, Jr.'s State of the Union guest was Juan Lopez from New 
  Juan Lopez migrated to the United States from Uruguay at age 2 and 
was raised in Newark, New Jersey. He was selected for the Rutgers 
Future Scholars program, which is a college preparatory mentoring 
program for select first-generation, low-income, academically promising 
students from local schools.
  Lopez is a senior at Newark Science Park High School and plans to 
attend Rutgers-Newark on a scholarship to study pre-engineering.
  In anticipation of the State of the Union Address, Lopez issued the 
following message:

  ``My name is Juan Lopez, and I arrived in the United States of 
America at the young age of 2 years old. I have been living in the 
United States for over 15 years now.''
  He is 17 now, Mr. Speaker.
  ``I remember the first time I heard my legal status referred to as 
illegal alien. I immediately felt as though the term did not fit. Alien 
means outsider, and I have never felt like one.
  ``I have lived the entirety of my life in the same place, but I am 
not ashamed of where I was from. I embraced the term undocumented and 
have used it as a propelling force in my own pursuit of greatness.''
  Imagine, his own pursuit of greatness. You go, you 17-year-old Juan 
  ``I am a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, 
otherwise known as DACA, and it is something I am very proud of. I am a 
DREAMer, and I will continue to dream whether it is here or wherever 
the government sends me.''
  Karji Forhit. This is the opening line:
  `` `I think you get married after you graduate high school.' These 
are words my SAT tutor said to me during my college consultation visit. 
Halfway through making my college list, he abruptly halted the 
conversation and, for a moment, my future. He did not think that I was 
fit for college, despite my top-notch academic record that I maintained 
since the day I entered prekindergarten. The only viable options he saw 
from all undocumented youths was marriage.''
  ``My name is Karji Forhit, and I am an undocumented immigrant. I was 
born in India and grew up in the diverse streets of Jackson Heights''--
in the heights, New York City--``since third grade. I have worked hard 
not only to help myself, but help those in undocumented communities.''
  He goes on to say:
  ``My mother decided to move to America because it is where the rains 
of hard work, sprinkled with luck, equals success. When President Obama 
created DACA, it gave me the opportunity to attend the University of 
Notre Dame, where I am pursuing my goal of getting a Ph.D. in 
economics. DACA allows me to work not only as a research assistant to 
Professor Jeffrey Bergstrand, but also as a tutor at the Notre Dame 
writing center. Honing my writing and research skills will not only 
advance my career, but will also advance the careers of my fellow 
undocumented peers at Notre Dame. While Notre Dame has provided 
numerous opportunities for its DACA students, there is still a lot of 
work to be done. I am the second generation of undocumented students 
that Notre Dame has publicly accepted. Last summer, I conducted 
research on medical school admission policies for undocumented 
students. This research is critical for the campus career services when 
providing guidance and up-to-date information for current pre-med 
majors looking for medical schools that are mostly DACA friendly.''
  Karji Forhit goes on and on and talks about that and the need for 
doctors in our country.
  So it is, again, another chance for more doctors. We have talked 
about health professionals. We have talked about researchers in the 
healthcare field. We have talked about doctors, dentists. We have 
talked about graduate students and health-related issues and the need 
for more health professionals in our country to meet the health needs 
of our country. We hear this coming from these students.
  Since we were talking here about this, I wanted to just mention we 
talked about Notre Dame here, but so many of the institutions of higher 
learning in our country have been so supportive of our DREAMers. The 
administrations of these institutions of higher learning have been 
advocates for the DREAMers. They have tried to accommodate them where 
possible, advocate for them wherever, and part of what we talked about 
  Earlier, we talked about Bibles, badges in our law enforcement 
community, and the business community. The business community, tied in 
with the academic community, has been a tremendous resource.
  I particularly want to mention the CEO of IBM.
  IBM has been so good to its DREAMers. They have respected them, given 
them opportunities, and advocated and brought them to the Capitol, come 
here with their CEO.
  It is just really quite remarkable, but I could say that about a 
large swath of companies in Silicon Valley. Bill Gates has been a 
champion on this issue. I really give them credit for keeping the 
prestige of this issue in such a high, high place and making it a 
priority in their advocacy here and, importantly, in their community. 
The business community has been spectacular both in terms of small 
business and corporate America as well.
  Again, since we have newcomers here, I want to go back to our bishop 
statement from earlier. I thought it would be useful once again, since 
we have a new Speaker, to read the statement of the U.S. Conference of 
Catholic Bishops.
  This was their statement on the decision to end DACA and urge 
Congress to find a legislative solution. That is what we are trying to 
do today, is find a legislative solution, or at least give it a chance 
to be debated on the floor.
  The following statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 
President Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo from Galveston, Houston; along 
with Vice President Archbishop Jose H. Gomez from Los Angeles; Bishop 
Joe S. Vasquez from Austin, Texas, who is the chairman of the Committee 
on Migration; Bishop Joseph J. Tyson from

[[Page H944]]

Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, 
Refugees, and Travelers says the ``cancelation of the DACA program is 
  The statement follows:
  ``The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible. It causes 
unnecessary fear for DACA youths and their families. These youth 
entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home.
  ``The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as 
DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to 
flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for 
their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to 
receive an education.
  ``Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these 
brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and 
does not reflect who we are as Americans,'' the bishops said.

                              {time}  1500

  They go on to say: ``The Church has recognized and proclaimed the 
need to welcome young people: `Whoever welcomes one of these' ''--now, 
this quote is so beautiful, and we should remember it in everything we 
do. It is in Mark 9:37. ``Whoever welcomes one of these children in my 
name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the 
one who sent me.'' Christ welcoming, we welcome Christ, we welcome God 
who sent him--so beautiful.
  The bishop goes on to say: ``Today, our Nation has done the opposite 
of how Scripture calls us to respond. It is a step back from the 
progress that we need to make as a country. Today's actions represent a 
heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and 
good will and a shortsighted vision of the future. DACA users are woven 
into the fabric of our country and of our Church and are, by every 
social and human measure, American youth.
  ``We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward 
a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an 
expeditious means of protection for DACA youth. . . .''
  ``As people of faith, we say to DACA youth--regardless of your 
immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic 
Church. The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.''
  That was September 5, 2017. That was the day that the President 
issued his statement.
  Now, having worked with the bishops for awhile, for them to have such 
a definitive statement so quickly is pretty remarkable because 
sometimes it takes a bill longer for their deliberative process to 
work, but this came right away.
  Okay. This is doctors and DREAMers. I mentioned about the need for 
doctors and the ambition and the vocation that these young people were 
feeling towards becoming doctors, and I read this. The Association of 
American Medical Colleges reports that the Nation's doctor shortage 
will rise between 40,000 and 105,000 by the year 2030. Both the 
American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical 
Colleges have warned that ending DACA will exacerbate this physician 
shortage in the United States, and they have urged Congress to pass 
legislation to protect DREAMers.
  Are you listening? Listen to what the AMA said.
  ``Estimates have shown that the DACA initiatives could help introduce 
5,400 previously ineligible physicians into the U.S. healthcare system 
in the coming decades to help address physician shortages and ensure 
patient access to care.''
  Remember, those with DACA status will particularly create care 
shortages for rural and other underserved areas. Without these 
physicians, the AMA is concerned that the quality of care provided in 
these communities will be negatively impacted and that patient access 
to care will suffer.
  This is remarkable, and I am glad it will be submitted for the 
Record, but I am going to make sure all of our Members have this.
  I acknowledged Mr. Thompson earlier. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano 
of California is with us now. We have got Jackie Speier, I acknowledge 
her; Jamie Raskin of Maryland; Val Demings, I mentioned earlier.
  Let me see. Alma Adams, I recognized earlier, too. Ms. Barragan; 
Brenda Lawrence from Michigan, who brings that heartland of America 
perspective to it; Ann Kuster of New Hampshire. Congresswoman Eddie 
Bernice Johnson of Texas is with us as well.
  Many Members have come and gone, some on more than one occasion, but 
I acknowledge everyone who has been here already.
  Anybody new on this side?
  Okay. So we probably want to hear now about Victor Esparza.
  Victor Esparza says: ``The day I received my employment authorization 
card through President Obama's DACA program is the day I began to live 
without fear. The uber-small and not very well-known village of Eau 
Claire, Michigan, is the place that raised me since I was 7 years old.
  ``My elementary school teachers never treated me differently because 
I came from somewhere else and didn't speak the language at the time, 
and for that, I loved them. I took pride in doing my best in my high 
school courses even though I was filled with anxiety for not knowing 
what would be next in my life after my graduation in the summer of 
  ``As my former high school peers went off to universities and 
employment, I went off to live in the shadows, living under the 
metaphorical shadow referred to as driving without a proper driving 
permit, as the State you lived in required proof of legal residency 
when applying for a driver's license. Driving like this meant risking 
legal problems when heading out to the grocery store if you made a 
driving mistake and got caught for it.
  ``Living in the shadows meant no financial assistance at your local 
community college, which pretty much created an impossible financial 
barrier between your career dreams and you. In the shadows, you had no 
options but to work in the same farm as your family.
  ``And let me tell you, perseverance is a requirement when laboring 
for below the minimum hourly rate in sweat-inducing conditions. This 
life was my own before DACA, and I may not be in the shadows any 
longer, but my families and relatives haven't escaped yet.
  ``I have been working as an IT supporter and analyst for a midsize 
drug company for under a year now. This is the best job I ever had, and 
I don't say this because my hourly pay has increased. I genuinely love 
what I'm doing now,'' Victor tells us.
  ``Unless you know me on a deep level, you would think I was just 
another 26-year-old with a promising career and not someone plagued by 
fear of Trump campaign promises. This narrative, I feel, is not only 
mine. It is owned, shared by hundreds of thousands of others who also 
have persevered because of DACA. If I could have had a conversation 
with the President-elect, I would tell him just that, that we have 
  Thank you, Victor.
  Senator Durbin has sent us some more stories. Again, he is our hero 
in the Senate. He introduced the bill in 2001. He has spent most of his 
official career with DACA as a priority. He has been a champion for 
America's working families. He is about creating jobs, good-paying jobs 
for the future, about safety in the workplace.
  He is the person, along with Frank Lautenberg, who got smoking off of 
airlines. Thank you, as one who travels. Last week, I had eight flights 
in 10 days. I thank Senator Durbin for that.
  He has been a champion in so many, many ways: champion of the 
National Institutes of Health, of learning from experience in his own 
daughter's health, about the need for Biblical power to cure that the 
National Institutes of Health has and appropriated for. The list of his 
accomplishments is great, and this is one of them, the DREAMers.
  So he sent us this story from Cesar Montelongo:
  Today, I want to tell you about Cesar Montelongo. When Cesar was 10 
years old, his family came to the United States from Mexico.
  He grew up in New Mexico, where his academic prowess was quickly 
apparent. He graduated high school with a grade point average above 
4.0, and he was ranked third in his class--third in his class.

[[Page H945]]

  Cesar was a member of the chess, French, Spanish, physics, and 
science clubs. He even took college courses the last 2 years of high 
  Cesar went on to New Mexico State University, where he was a triple 
major in biology, microbiology, and Spanish, as well as two minors in 
chemistry and biochemistry. Cesar graduated with distinction in the 
honors track with a 3.9 GPA.
  Cesar then earned a master's degree in biology, with a minor in 
molecular biology, while also working as a teaching assistant. Today, 
Cesar is the first DACA student enrolled in the M.D.-Ph.D. program at 
Loyola University--Chicago--Stritch School of Medicine. He is entering 
his third year of this highly competitive program, and upon completion, 
he will receive a medical degree and a doctorate degree in science.
  Cesar is one of the more than 30 DACA recipients at the Stritch 
School of Medicine, which was the first medical school to admit 
students with DACA status.
  Thank you, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. This began 
in 2014 when they admitted DACA students.
  DACA students do not receive special treatment in the selection 
process and are not eligible for any Federal financial assistance. Many 
have committed to working in a medically underserved community in 
Illinois after graduation.
  Cesar Montelongo is researching how bladder viruses shape bacteria 
populations and the potential implications for urinary infections and 
  He is also a member of the pathology medical group, a Spanish 
interpreter at a clinic, and a mentor for other medical students.
  When asked what drew him to medicine, Cesar says: ``When I was very 
young, my father became ill and then was bedridden for months. He was 
the primary breadwinner, and I saw him as our protector. Watching him 
immobilized and screaming in pain impacted my world view. Years later, 
we found out that my father had suffered from diabetic myopathy and 
neuropathy. Learning that both his illness and our family suffering 
could have been prevented by education and relatively inexpensive 
medication was heartbreaking. By that time, it made me realize the 
potential of medicine.''
  Cesar's dream for the future? To become a practicing physician and a 
scientist and to develop new and improved clinical diagnostic tools so 
that doctors can diagnose and treat disease faster.
  Close to 70 DREAMers are in medical school around the country. But 
without DACA, these DREAMers will not become physicians and they could 
be deported back to countries where they haven't lived since they were 
  Will America be a stronger country if we deport people like Cesar? I 
don't think so. The answer is clear.
  Remember that AMA statement from earlier about how important this all 
is. I don't have it here right now.
  We now want to talk about William Medeiros:
  When William was only 6 years old, his family moved to the United 
States from Brazil. William grew up in the Boston area and then moved 
to Florida.
  In high school, he was an honors student and graduated with a 3.8 
GPA. He was also an athlete, playing on his high school's soccer and 
football teams.
  William is now a student at the University of Central Florida, where 
he has a 3.5 GPA. He will graduate in the spring of 2019 with his 
bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
  He is also working a full-time job in order to support himself. 
Because he is a DACA recipient, William is ineligible for any financial 
aid from the Federal Government.
  William's dream? To enlist in the military, and then, after serving 
his country, to become an officer with his local police department.
  Thanks to DACA, William is on his way to fulfilling his dream. Last 
year, he enlisted in the Army through the Medical Accessions Vital to 
National Interest program, known as MAVNI.
  And here is a photo of him with his recruiter at the enlistment 
  The MAVNI program, as I mentioned earlier, allows immigrants with 
skills that are vital to the national interest to enroll in the armed 
services. More than 800 DACA recipients with these critical skills have 
joined the military through MAVNI just through that program.
  Some in the Trump administration claim that DACA is taking jobs away 
from Americans, but William and hundreds of other DREAMers have vital 
skills that our military couldn't find elsewhere. William, along with 
other DREAMers, is waiting to ship out to basic training. He continues 
his undergraduate studies and working full-time, waiting his chance to 
serve the country he loves.

  William wrote this letter: ``My desire to serve this Nation and help 
people, to pay back my dues for everything I received from this great 
country, and to lead by example by showing my fellow DACA members that 
anything is possible with hard work, perseverance, and dedication.''
  William Medeiros and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our 
country, but without the Dream Act, William and hundreds of other 
immigrants with skills that are vital to our national interests will be 
kicked out of the Army.
  They want nothing more than to serve, and they are willing to die for 
the country they call home. Instead, they could be deported back to 
countries they haven't lived in since they were children.
  Will America be stronger if we deport William and people like him who 
want to stay here and serve in the armed services? I think the answer 
is quite clear. No, we won't be strong.
  Today, again, I want to tell you about Ximena Magana. When Ximena was 
9 years old, her family came to the United States from Mexico City. She 
was raised in the city of Houston. We have a lot of Houston folks.
  Jerry McNerney, I acknowledged him earlier, and thank him for being 
here. Mr. McGovern, I acknowledged him earlier.
  Mr. Grijalva, Raul Grijalva, who has been really an outstanding 
leader on this subject, has joined us, but he has been with us in every 
meeting today on the subject. I thank Raul for joining us here.
  I acknowledged her earlier, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, the fact 
that she was the chair of the Spanish Caucus the year when we passed 
the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives.
  And as I acknowledged earlier, Senator Durbin was the author in the 
Senate. It got a majority of the votes, but not 60.
  So I thank those two leaders once again.

                              {time}  1515

  Ximena was 9 years old when her family came to the United States from 
Mexico City. She was raised in the city of Houston and lives there 
  In high school, Ximena served in the United States Army's Junior 
Reserve Officers' Training Corp, known as the Junior ROTC program. 
Under her leadership, Ximena's battalion was named the best battalion 
in the Houston Independent School District.
  Ximena also serves as captain of her high soccer team and a regular 
volunteer at the Houston Food Bank. A real leader, Ximena is majoring 
in communications at the University of Houston.
  She has interned with United States Representative Sheila Jackson Lee 
and City Council Member Robert Gallegos. Due to Ximena's community 
service, she was asked by the mayor of Houston to serve as the youngest 
member of the Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Board. She is the first DACA 
recipient to serve on the board.
  Last week, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Ximena stepped in to 
help her community just like she has always done. She volunteered at 
shelters helping people with FEMA and Red Cross applications. She was 
joined by many other DACA recipients. It is a stunning story of DACA 
recipients helping after Hurricane Harvey.
  Ximena wrote me a letter--this is from Senator Durbin. She asked for 
only one thing: for President Trump to come visit the Houston DACA 
volunteers, to meet these heroes, to look in their eyes, hear their 
stories before deporting them to countries they barely know.
  Ximena and other dreamers have so much to contribute to our country. 
Again, I ask the country: Will America be stronger if we deported 
Ximena? I don't think so.

[[Page H946]]

  Cristina Velasquez--no relation to Congresswoman Velazquez.
  Today I want to tell you about Cristina Velasquez. When Cristina was 
6 years old, her family came to the United States from Caracas, 
Venezuela. She went to elementary school in Madison, Wisconsin.
  Cristina wrote this letter. In it, she talked about her childhood, 
and she said: ``I spent my formative childhood years in the Midwest, 
where I learned to assimilate and learn the values that this country 
was founded on. The salt-of-the-earth quality of the people around me 
and extraordinary kindness between strangers shaped my own values and 
attitude towards others. Growing up in Madison taught me a great deal 
about compassion, patience, and hard work.''
  Cristina was an outstanding student. In high school, she was a member 
of the National Honor Society--you have heard that over and over and 
over again, the National Honor Society--and she also was elected as 
vice president of her class and manager of the track team. She also 
found time to volunteer.
  I love the way kids are so top-notch, academically, participate in 
athletics and the rest, and in their spare time work at the local camp 
for pre-K students or the food bank or whatever it is.
  Cristina graduated with honors from Miami Dade College. She is 
currently a student at Georgetown University, majoring in international 
law, institutions and ethics. She received the President's Volunteer 
Service Award 2 years in a row and is a Walsh Scholar.
  And as a Hoya mom and Hoya wife and Hoya grandmother, I can tell you, 
being a Walsh Scholar at Georgetown, that is a very big deal.
  During her time at Georgetown, Cristina has interned at the U.S. 
House of Representatives and piloted a college mentorship program at a 
local high school. In addition to this, she finds time to work two 
part-time jobs.
  How many hours do you have in a day, Cristina?
  She has also dedicated two of her undergraduate summers during the 
school year to volunteer as a teacher in Miami and in San Francisco.
  In both these positions, she works with high-achieving, low-income 
students providing support for their path to college. You see, 
Cristina's dream is to be a teacher.

  She will graduate from Georgetown soon. She has been accepted to 
Teach For America, a national nonprofit organization that places Talent 
Regents graduates in urban and rural schools. Teach For America has 190 
teachers who are DACA DREAMers and are teaching our children across the 
  Is that beautiful?
  In any event, Cristina is scheduled to start the program next summer 
and start teaching next fall, but without DACA or the Dream Act, 
Cristina and 190 other teachers will be forced to leave their students 
  Again, will America be stronger? I don't think so.
  Jesus Contreras: Jesus was only 6 years old when he was brought to 
the United States from Mexico by his mother, who sought safety from 
violence. He grew up in Houston.
  After graduating from high school as a top student, Jesus obtained 
DACA. This enabled him to pursue his dream of becoming a paramedic. 
Jesus attended Lone Star College in Houston and earned his paramedic 
certification. Today, Jesus is 23 years old. He works as a paramedic in 
the Montgomery County Hospital District.
  Through Hurricane Harvey, Jesus Contreras worked six straight days 
rescuing people from flood areas. He helped people who needed dialysis 
or insulin. He took flood victims to local hospitals. Afterward, he 
would stop at home for a quick shower before heading to his local 
church to volunteer, helping flood victims with their medical needs.
  Jesus sent this letter, and it says: ``Houston is my home, and these 
are my people. I love my career. It has given me the opportunity to 
help people in ways I never imagined I could. DACA means everything to 
me. I would lose my license and certifications without it. I would be 
sent back to a country I don't know and would lose everything.''
  Jesus and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country. 
But without DACA, Jesus couldn't have worked to protect his community 
through Hurricane Harvey, and he could be deported back to Mexico, 
where he hasn't lived since he was 6 years old.
  Will America be stronger if he goes away?
  I don't think so, no.
  We have another Georgetowner here: Luis Gonzalez. When Luis was 8 
years old, his family came to the United States from Mexico. Luis had a 
difficult childhood in Santa Ana, California. After his parents 
separated, he lived with his mother in a car garage for several years. 
Then, after his mother remarried, Luis lived with an abusive 
  But Luis overcame these circumstances and became an excellent 
student. He graduated high school in the top 1 percent of his class--
now that is a 1 percent we like to talk about--with a 4.69 GPA, and he 
passed all nine advanced placement exams that he took.
  Luis was also very involved in extracurricular and volunteer 
activities. He was the secretary of the school's--here it is again--
National Honor Society chapter. Luis helped organize an anti-bullying 
campaign at a local elementary school. He created a mentorship program 
to help incoming freshmen at his high school.
  On Saturdays, instead of relaxing, he volunteered to tutor other 
students in math--on Saturdays, every Saturday--and he volunteered to 
help a teacher at a local elementary school.
  Luis was also very active in his church. Every Sunday, he translated 
the pastor's sermon into English for those who didn't speak Spanish. 
And he cleaned up the church before and after Sunday service.
  Because of his outstanding record in high school, Luis was admitted 
to Georgetown University. He is currently a sophomore and majoring in 
American studies and minoring in government.
  Luis continues to use his spare time--really--to give back to the 
community. He is a member of the Provost's Committee for Diversity. He 
is the co-chair of the Hoya Saxa Weekend, a program that brings 
students from underrepresented communities to visit Georgetown. And 
Luis is a leader of Stride for College, a program that mentors students 
at local inner-city high schools.
  Luis' dream is to be a high school teacher, which is not surprising, 
given the strong commitment he has already shown to helping young 
  Luis wrote in his letter: ``DACA gave me the confidence and the 
security I had not had before. I lived in fear and in the shadows. 
Thanks to DACA, however, I have been able to do things I otherwise 
wouldn't be able to do, like traveling through an airport or working on 
a campus. I've always felt that I am an American, but having DACA 
allowed me to stop living in constant fear and uncertainty. Now these 
fears have come back again.''
  Will America be stronger if we deport Luis Gonzalez if he stays here 
and becomes a high school teacher?
  I think that the answer is obvious.
  Now, on this subject of Georgetown and English, his second language, 
and translating into English for those who don't speak Spanish. He 
cleaned up the church before and after Sunday service. The thing about 
the church that is interesting, I just recently--and I won't read it 
again right now, but the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' 
statement I read from His Holiness about immigrants when he was here in 
the Capitol--but I also mentioned Dr. Sam Rodriguez and other leaders 
in the evangelical community who have been so outspoken on protecting 
our DREAMers.
  I know we all go to church services every week. I mean, that is what 
I hear. I go to a lot of different places because I travel around the 
country. And more and more around the country, and in my own community 
in California, more and more of our parishioners are from the 
Philippines or from Latin America. So a lot of the future of the 
church--by the way, in one of the churches I go to in California, our 
pastor was from Nigeria. In my church in San Francisco, one of our 
priests was from the Philippines. The idea of parishioners being more 
diverse is also the clergy being more diverse.
  So when we talk about faith and building faith and strong faith in 

[[Page H947]]

country, recognize how faith-filled so many of these families are who 
come to our country. Again, our motto is ``In God We Trust.'' It is 
wonderful to see their faith in God, their faith in America, their 
faith in the future, their fair in themselves, their faith in their 
families, and their faith that gives them hope, the faith in the 
goodness of others, as I said, hope, sitting right there between faith 
and charity.
  So just, again, that spark of divinity that we all have, we have to 
act upon.
  We will talk about Benita Veliz. Benita was brought to the United 
States by her parents when she was only 8. She graduated as the 
valedictorian of her high school class at the age of 16. She received a 
full scholarship to St. Mary's University. She graduated from the 
honors program with a double major in biology and sociology. Her honors 
thesis was on the Dream Act.
  She wrote: ``I can't wait to be able to give back to the community 
that has given me so much. I was recently asked to sing the national 
anthem for both the United States and Mexico at a Cinco de Mayo 
community assembly. Without missing a beat, I quickly belted out the 
Star Spangled Banner. I then realized that I had no idea how to sing 
the Mexican national anthem. I am American. My dream is American. It is 
time to make our dreams a reality. It is time to pass the Dream Act.''
  We have some photos.
  This is Javier Cuan-Martinez. Javier was only 4 years old when his 
family brought him to the United States from Mexico. Javier went to 
elementary school in Texas, and then moved to Temecula, California.

  Javier was an excellent student, who was very involved in 
extracurricular and volunteer activities as the member of the National 
Honor Society and was named Riverside County's Student of the Month.
  He also received an award from the College Board's National Hispanic 
Recognition Program, which is given to only 5,000 of the 250,000 
Hispanic students who take the test.
  Javier was a member of the math club and a drum major in the school's 
marching band. He volunteers in his town's soup kitchen for the 
homeless, and received the President of the United States Volunteer 
Service Award.
  Javier didn't know he was undocumented until he was applying for 
college and learned that he was ineligible for Federal financial 
assistance. Thanks to his academic achievements, Javier was accepted at 
Harvard University. He is now majoring in computer science. He is also 
a member of the Harvard Computer Society and Harvard's marching band. 
Thanks to DACA, Javier is supporting himself by working as a web 
  Javier sent his letter. He wrote: ``DACA doesn't give me an 
advantage. Rather, it gives me the opportunity to create my own future 
on the same grounds as any other student. I would like to be judged 
upon my qualities as a person than what papers I happen to have in my 
hand. I hope to be a computer programmer and begin earning my living as 
a contributing member of America's society.''
  Consider this: every year, thousands of foreign computer programmers 
come to the United States as temporary guest workers under H-1B visas. 
It makes no sense to deport a homegrown talent, like Javier, when 
American companies are importing foreign computer specialists. Javier 
and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country.
  God bless you, Javier.
  This is a story from Terri Sewell.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Terri Sewell for joining us.
  Terri brings this story of a DREAMer from Alabama. Fernanda Herrera 
said: ``I came to the U.S. when I was 2\1/2\ and grew up in Gadsden, 
Alabama, where I attended Gadsden City High School and played the flute 
in the band, serving as a section leader for 2 years.

                              {time}  1530

  ``I moved to Birmingham in 2013 to attend Samford University as an 
honor student majoring in International Relations. I graduated this 
past May, with thousands out in loans for my degree and am hoping to 
attend law school.
  ``My parents and U.S.-born little brother live in Ragland, where they 
own a small Mexican restaurant under my name since I am the only person 
of age and with a Social Security number.''
  They own it under that.
  ``I recently had a car wreck that put me $40,000 further into debt. 
If DACA is taken away, I will not be able to work to pay back my loans, 
my hospital debt, my car payments, or my debt from helping my parents 
with their restaurant. Without a clean Dream Act, my U.S. citizen 
brother is forced to choose between having his sister or his parents 
  Oh, we do have a picture here. How lovely. How cute the little 
brother is. How lovely.
  I thank Terri Sewell for that and thank her for her extraordinary 
leadership from Alabama about a DREAMer.
  The DREAMers are all over our country, Mr. Speaker. They are a 
blessing so across the board.
  From the heartland of America, we have many from Michigan, from 
Illinois, from Alabama, of course Texas heartland as well, but it is 
also a border State.
  Lara Alvarado was 8 years old. Her family brought her to the United 
States from Mexico. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois. In high school, 
Lara was an excellent student and was involved in many extracurricular 
and volunteer activities. She was a member of the National Honor 
Society--the National Honor Society, the resounding theme of all of 
this, a member of the National Honor Society.
  She played soccer, tennis, and basketball, and she was a member of 
the student government, the school newspaper, the chess club and the 
yearbook club.
  Lara went to Northeastern Illinois University. In college, she worked 
two jobs to pay for her college tuition. Keep in mind, she is 
ineligible for Federal financial assistance because of her immigration 
status. In 2006, Lara graduated with honors with a major in justice 
studies; but then she was stuck. Lara wanted to become a lawyer but was 
unable to pursue this dream, Mr. Speaker, because she was undocumented.
  Six long years later, in 2012, President Obama established DACA, and 
Lara's life changed. In 2013, Lara received DACA and enrolled in law 
school at Southern Illinois University. In law school, Lara won the 
moot court competition. She won the moot court competition--how about 
that--and was selected for the Order of Barristers, a legal honor 
  This spring, 10 years after she graduated from college, Lara received 
her law degree. Over the summer, she passed her bar exam; and just last 
month, Lara received her Illinois law license, which she is proudly 
holding in this picture.
  You see, Lara never gave up on her dream of becoming a lawyer, and 
thanks to DACA and her hard work, this dream has become a reality. Now 
Lara is planning a career in public interest law. She says: ``I would 
like to be of service to others.''
  In her letter, she says: ``DACA has opened the door.''
  I keep hearing that theme: open the door, open the door. Let the 
Speaker please open the door so we can have that debate here, as Mitch 
McConnell has done in the Senate.
  Lara writes: ``DACA has opened the door to possibilities that were 
beyond my reach. DACA represents a better life and the opportunity to 
achieve the American Dream. DACA has given me the freedom to live 
without fear. I now have the confidence to know that my hard work, 
dedication, and achievements can be recognized. I will continue to work 
hard and lead by the example of what I can accomplish if given the 
  Lara and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our country. 
Will America be a stronger country if we deport Lara? I don't think so.
  This is from Representative Engel from New York; it is one of his 
  ``My name is Diana, a constituent of yours from Yonkers, New York. I 
am a DACA recipient who is currently in limbo not knowing what my 
future holds. I was able to obtain a driver's license and put myself 
through tech school where I obtained my EMT license. I also obtained 
phlebotomy and

[[Page H948]]

EKG certifications, which have certified me to work in the emergency 
room. If Congress approves a path to citizenship, I would be able to 
accomplish so much more to give back to my family and community. I love 
what I am doing and do not want to lose all that I have worked for. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my message. Sincerely, Diana.''
  Another from Congressman Engel, a constituent.
  ``My name is Justa, from the Bronx, New York. I applied for DACA in 
July after finding out from an ICE officer that I had 60 days to leave 
the country or face deportation. I am also about to lose my job because 
I have not received my new EAD card. DACA is my only hope.''
  Elizabeth, again from Eliot Engel, from Yonkers. She writes to 
Congress: ``I am contacting you because I submitted my initial DACA 
application earlier in 2017 and completed my biometrics in April. I 
have yet to receive any other guidance. I humbly ask if there's any way 
that you can help me out. I am absolutely heartbroken and in deep 
emotional stress because of everything that is going on at the moment 
with DACA. I have two children in 4th and 6th grades. I would not be 
able to imagine my life without them. I arrived in the U.S. when I was 
9 months old and am now 28. I have called USCIS, and the only 
information they provided was the one already on their website. I just 
asked if it was possible to request an inquiry, and they said it 
wouldn't be possible. I just had to wait.''
  Another one, Stephanie. Stephanie is the girlfriend of an unnamed 
DREAMer in Eliot Engel's district. ``I write to you today about DACA. 
My boyfriend is a DACA recipient. He is a building engineer who lives 
in New Rochelle, New York. He is a high school graduate and has his 
associate's degree. He has no criminal record. He pays taxes yet reaps 
none of the benefits available to citizens, welfare, Social Security, 
et cetera. He is a good person from a good family. I am terrified that 
Congress will not be able to come to an agreement over DACA and his 
safety will hang in the balance; that he could be sent back to a 
country he barely knows. I understand that you are against the decision 
to end DACA, but I beg you, please do not party lines and bargaining 
chips get in the way of fixing this. Do whatever is necessary. This has 
been a horrible day, but, in 6 months, it could get so much worse.''

  I thank Eliot Engel for giving us those stories from his district.
  This is from Barbara. In 2002, when Barbara was 5 years old, her 
family brought her to the United States from Mexico. Barbara grew up in 
Phoenix, Arizona, and she knew she would face challenges because she 
was a DREAMer.
  Her older sister had been accepted at a State university but could 
not afford to attend. As an undocumented immigrant, she is not eligible 
for Federal financial assistance, and Arizona law prohibits State 
financial assistance to DREAMers like Barbara and her sister.
  During her freshman year in high school, the mentor told her that, as 
a DREAMer: ``You're going to have to try harder than everyone else.'' 
She says: ``Those words confirmed what I had known all along. Although 
I was only starting high school, I began to dread what most students 
anticipate with excitement, graduation day. What if I got into my dream 
school, but I couldn't go because I couldn't afford it?''
  In high school, Barbara was an excellent student and was involved in 
many extracurricular and volunteer activities. She was a member of the 
Academic Decathlon team for 4 years and was a team captain during her 
senior year. She was a member of the student government, the yearbook 
club, the homecoming court; she volunteered to tutor middle school 
students and worked part-time to save money for her education.
  Barbara also participated in a number of programs at Arizona State 
University, including the Walter Cronkite journalism institute. She 
recorded a story about her life, and it was aired around the country on 
National Public Radio. This experience sparked her interest in 
journalism and led to an internship at KJZZ, the Phoenix affiliate of 
National Public Radio.
  Last year, Barbara graduated as valedictorian of her high school with 
a 4.5 GPA. As a result of her accomplishments, Barbara was accepted at 
Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school, where she is now a sophomore--
a great Ivy League school.
  Barbara writes: ``I'm very grateful for DACA allowing me to work and 
not be deported to a country I didn't know and have not been since I 
was 5. Just like thousands of other undocumented students, I have grown 
and become accustomed to the culture here; this is where I belong. I 
want to be a contributing member of society, as I have proven in my 13 
  As we know, Barbara and DREAMers have so much to contribute to our 
  We have a little boy here, Aciel. He was a 5-year-old boy. His family 
brought him to the United States from Mexico. He grew up on the north 
side of Chicago. We have got a lot of Chicago, a lot of New Jersey 
here. Aciel was a bright child, but when he learned that he was 
undocumented, his life took a downturn. He was failing his classes and 
dropped out of high school for 6 months.
  He wrote: ``I felt that because of my status I had no future. As a 
result, my grades and attendance plummeted, and I struggled to do 
anything productive.''
  Then, in 2012, President Obama announced DACA and everything changed 
for him. Here is how Aciel explained it. ``DACA meant I had a future 
worth fighting for and, because of that, I returned to school and 
reignited my passion for studying. Because of DACA, I want to do 
whatever I can to contribute to my country.''
  In his senior year in high school, he turned his life around; he 
improved his grades; very active in the community, head of the school 
fundraising committee, and volunteered with the mentoring program. He 
also worked full time to support himself and his family.
  He is in his sophomore year in Honors College at the University of 
Illinois in Chicago. He has a double major in psychology and political 
science. He has a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He is involved with 
student government, and leads a recreational bike club.
  Every week, he delivers food from the college dining hall to a 
homeless shelter. He mentors middle school students. He is a part-time 
security guard at local events. He dreams of working in Chicago city 
government. He gives hope to people who need it to turn their lives 
around. Now he wants to give back to the city and country he loves.
  I do note that we will have an opportunity to hear from the Vice 
President. Do we have to have the vote here first before Members can 
go--the floor vote will occur soon after I yield back. I have no 
intention of yielding back, Mr. Speaker. I have a lot more.
  Do we know yet if there is any possibility of a Special Order later? 
We asked about 3 hours ago. There are other Members to participate.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Harper). The gentlewoman from California 
is free to consult with leadership on that issue.
  Ms. PELOSI. Well, that is what we asked earlier, and we had made that 
overture but never did get an answer back.
  We have been joined by Congresswoman Judy Chu who, as I mentioned 
earlier, is the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American 
Caucus, a leader fighting for family fairness and the issue of family 
unification in any of our immigration discussions; Congresswoman Nita 
Lowey, our ranking member on appropriations and really central to all 
the discussion this is about, about the appropriations bill that will 
come back from the Senate.
  It will come back from the Senate with a promise from their leader, 
Mitch McConnell, that we would--that they, in the Senate, would have a 
vote on a DREAMers bill to be debated, and the chips will fall where 
they may. We are simply asking the Speaker for the same opportunity.

  So I thank Mrs. Lowey for her leadership. Congresswoman Roybal-
Allard, as I mentioned earlier, was the original--I called her the 
godmother--of the DREAM Act. She had the original bill, and then she 
joined with Senator Durbin in advancing it in 2001.
  Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, part of our communications group on this

[[Page H949]]

and other subjects, I thank Hakeem Jeffries from New York.
  Congressman Gonzalez from Texas who knows firsthand the border, the 
challenges that we face; Congressman Joe Kennedy from Massachusetts, 
again, a strong supporter, mentioned again in his response to the 
  I mentioned Adam Schiff earlier about his being involved in our 
discussions and our earlier meetings today on the subject; and 
Congresswoman Hanabusa from Hawaii, of course, very involved in this 
issue, as you would suspect.
  So I thank so many of our colleagues for joining here on the floor. I 
don't know if they have--I have so many more, but I didn't know if they 
had any. These are from my colleagues. This is my stack, but these are 
from my colleagues; so I will go to those.
  From Congresswoman Lowey, this is a letter from a DREAMer to 
Congresswoman Nita Lowey. ``I want to thank you for your support of 
DACA. I know you are doing all you can to fight heartless legislation 
and initiatives that would deport a potential 800,000 young people. I 
am 28 years old, and I am one of the DREAMers, having come to America 
from El Salvador when I was 15 years old.
  ``I attended school in Ramapo, New York, and now make my home with my 
wife in Pearl River. Life in El Salvador, where I was born, was 
dangerous and brutal, which is why my father moved us to America in 
  And this is a story we have heard over and over.
  ``I am grateful every day for all the opportunities presented to me 
here. I currently work as a technology specialist at Apple and feel it 
is so important to continue achieving, setting goals, and giving back 
to my community.''

                              {time}  1545

  ``It would break my heart to lose my home and life here in New York.
  ``The prognosis on DACA seems to be changing daily, adding to growing 
uncertainty. My status expires in November.
  ``What will my future be?
  ``I am reaching out to you to ask if I could meet with you at one of 
your local offices to discuss DACA.
  ``My employer has offered support and legal assistance. . . .''
  That is from Hugo Alexander Acosta Mazariego.
  And as I said earlier, our business community has been superlative in 
all of this.
  Representative Torres sent a story from Leydy Rangel: ``My name is 
Leydy Rangel, and I have lived in the United States since I was 8. I am 
now 22. In June, I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona, where I earned a 
degree in journalism. I have always known I am undocumented because I 
remember the first day of elementary school and how kids pointed out my 
brown skin so much.''
  I told you my story about that before.
  Leydy says: ``I know that my parents moving to the States was 
extremely horrifying and leaving everything behind was difficult, but 
it makes me feel better knowing that my future here was brighter than 
the one I could've ever had in Mexico.
  ``Regardless of not having enough food on the table, not having help 
on my homework, not having any resources to help me apply to college, I 
managed and got accepted to college and moved hours away from home with 
the purpose of bettering myself and my family.''
  This is really the American Dream story over and over again.
  She references when DACA was created, she had stability, if only 
temporarily, in America, the only country she knows. By repealing DACA, 
her hopes and aspirations were forced into another place.
  Leydy says: ``I do not have any clear memories of Mexico, and I do 
not know anyone in Mexico. My entire life is in the United States. Here 
is where I have made my life for myself, and taking that away from me 
is inhumane. This Nation is the only one that I aspire to contribute to 
and the only one I belong to.''
  Graciela Nunez is a 22-year-old student, a Washington graduate, who 
works at a humanitarian law firm. She is a driven person with a desire 
to give back, and she has big ambitions for the future. She is also a 
DREAMer and DACA recipient who was born in Venezuela.
  When Graciela was 7 years old, her parents moved. They told her that 
her family was going to the U.S. to visit Disney World on a short 
vacation. Only as she got off the plane did she realize that she was 
not going back to Venezuela. They were fleeing the Chavez regime, and 
they were in the United States to stay.
  This is the only country Graciela knows. She, like 1.8 million other 
DREAMers in this country, has built her life here. She is as American 
as it gets. A piece of paper could not negate her participation in all 
of the things that make this country great. Graciela feels little 
connection to Venezuela. She doesn't know how many Presidents that 
country has had. She is unfamiliar with the geography, but she has got 
a 5 in AP U.S. history and she can talk about the documents that built 
this Nation with more detail than any of us.
  In Graciela's words, she has been living under constant heightened 
stress because of the fate of DACA. And we know what that program is 
  Graciela says DACA has let people know that undocumented youth have 
potential. It gives them upward social mobility and a way out. It 
allows DREAMers to do exactly what their name implies: to dream for a 
better life and to not let paper limit potential.
  Jimmy Panetta has sent us a story from Katherine from Salinas. I 
mentioned Jimmy earlier and his work in trying to find a bipartisan 
  Katherine says: ``I'm very grateful for all the things this country 
has done for me, but I think it's not their turn to see what I have 
done for them, to see everything that I've accomplished: the awards, 
the high GPAs, and all the amazing people that are DACA recipients. The 
process you have to go through and the strictness to obtain DACA is so 
hard. If you have just a little detail on your record, that's it, 
you're out.
  ``We're some of America's best. And I want to know why they are 
taking this away from us.
  ``Why don't you want us here? Don't you want people with degrees? 
Don't you want people with cool internships and cool jobs? Why don't 
you want me here?
  ``Our parents are original DREAMers, and we're here trying to 
accomplish their dreams. Please be able to see that for yourselves.''
  So this is that same thing about parents.
  Mr. Hoyer has a story from Ivy Teng Lei, a Chinese American DACA 
recipient raised in Manhattan's Chinatown. She is the youngest of three 
and became the second to graduate college in her family from Baruch 
College. Today, she continues to devote her free time to empowering 
underserved communities. She chairs the Professional Leadership Council 
on Asian American Federation, hosts seminars and workshops on 
professional and cultural engagement activities. She is now an 
independent consultant for small business, nonprofits, and immigrant 
organizations. She just devotes so much of her free time to empowering 
underserved communities.
  Ivy Teng Lei's story is just what this country needs. I thank Mr. 
Hoyer for referring her to us. She is a Chinese American.
  Jung Bin Cho's family emigrated to the United States in 2001 from 
South Korea. They decided to leave to attain the American Dream for 
their children. He enrolled in first grade in Virginia, and, in 2016, 
proudly graduated from Virginia Tech.
  Jung Cho says: ``The U.S. is the only home I know. Because of DACA, I 
worked and could save money to help pay for college. Where I live in 
Northern Virginia, you need a car to get anywhere. Because of DACA, I 
can drive, giving my family rides or to study.''
  Anyway, these are all just very personal stories about the struggles, 
the obstacles, but the optimism, the determination, and the hope that 
all of these people have. Isn't that what America is about? America is 
about optimism and hope.

  This one is from Representative Esty about Carolina Bortolleto. She 
had other testimony earlier. Elizabeth Esty from Connecticut has been a 
champion on this issue, and she sends this other testimony.
  Carolina says: ``I was born in Brazil and moved to the U.S. with my 

[[Page H950]]

and my twin sister when I was 9 years old. I came to Connecticut. I 
knew I was undocumented, and so I'd face a tougher path to college, but 
I made the decision to keep fighting.
  ``I was able to graduate in top 5 percent of my class and got a 
scholarship to Western Connecticut State University, where I graduated 
in 2010 with a degree in biology. In 2010, I cofounded a local 
organization working for the rights of undocumented students in 
  ``I was able to buy my first car and obtain a driver's license. At 
the end of 2014, I suffered a severe medical emergency and spent 8 
months in the hospital. But due to DACA, I was able to get a job that 
offered health insurance with the national organization United We 
  Here we are again with United We Dream.
  Carolina says: ``Now my DACA expires on March 2019, and, with it, I 
will lose my health insurance that I need to live.''
  Again, these stories go on and on. I think, really, the point is that 
these young people have accomplished things that I think many of us 
would not have been able to accomplish. Perhaps some. I give everyone 
credit for obstacles they have overcome. But if you have all of the 
obstacles of economic disadvantage, plus being undocumented, 
uncertainty in your family, and all the emotional unrest that that 
causes, and to see them in the National Honor Society, the top 1 
percent, the top 10 percent, the top 5 percent of their classes, giving 
back, volunteering over and over again in their communities, these are 
the best of the best. They are so fabulous.
  Again, their parents were so courageous. They had a dream for their 
children, and some of these children are now reflecting that they are 
living their parents' dream for them. And that is what America has 
always been about.
  Mr. Speaker, I have plenty more stories to tell. Some of them 
submitted by our colleagues, but I know that there is supposed to be a 
vote sometime soon.
  Is that correct? Or can we just go on?
  Mr. Speaker, may I ask what the order of things is here? Do I have 
just time to go on and on? Or is there a vote being called? Or what?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rice of South Carolina). The House is 
currently considering H.R. 1153.
  Ms. PELOSI. Aldo Solano was at the State of the Union address. He was 
the guest of Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Aldo moved from Mexico when 
he was 6. He grew up in one of the Farmworker Housing Development 
Corporation's affordable housing communities in Woodburn, Oregon. At 
15, he started volunteering at FHDC's afterschool program and later 
interned for its Funds Development Department, creating his pathway to 
a career in community development and a passion for social equity.
  After graduating from Woodburn High School, Aldo became a DACA 
recipient. He has extensive experience with electoral and community-
based organizing in areas of farmworkers' rights, immigrants' rights, 
youth employment, and education.
  Aldo currently serves as the policy director for the Oregon Latino 
Health Coalition, where he is part of a team that helped pass State 
legislation that extends health coverage to undocumented children in 
  God bless you for that, Aldo.
  We have been joined by Congressman Eric Swalwell from California, and 
we thank him for his leadership on this very important issue working 
with the Future Forum, visiting with DREAMers all over the country.
  Also, Keith Ellison joined us, who I referenced earlier his testimony 
from his constituent in Minnesota as well.
  Mr. Hoyer has another testimony from Chirayu Patel, an Indian 
American who arrived here when he was 11 years old. For 23 years he has 
lived here. He was from Gujarat.
  Isn't that where the Prime Minister is from in India?
  Chirayu has spent years and thousands of dollars to resolve our 
status. He says: ``However, due to incorrect filing by a notary that 
took advantage of my father's lack of knowledge about U.S. immigration 
process, our current lawyer has said that there is simply no way for us 
to get right with the law unless there is a change in law by the 
  Again, I won't read the whole statement, but Chirayu says: ``Over the 
years, our family has built a life here and given back to the only 
country we know as home. My parents have paid income taxes, property 
taxes, and even business taxes. I was also the first person in my 
family to graduate from college. The introduction of DACA in 2012 was a 
consequential day for me.
  ``The President's decision to rescind the DACA program was a punch in 
the gut, and I felt the floor disappear under my feet.''
  Chirayu says:

       After 23 years, my life may be destroyed overnight. I 
     continue to raise awareness on this issue by sharing our 
     stories and asking our families, friends, and neighbors to 
     continue pushing Congress. In return, we hope that Congress 
     can deliver.

  I thank Mr. Hoyer for submitting that.
  Mr. Swalwell's testimony is from Jose from Hayward, California. He 
came to the United States as a child from Mexico. He has only pledged 
allegiance to the United States of America. He is headed to college 
soon and wants to be a police officer in the only country he has called 
  Thank you, Mr. Swalwell, for bringing that to our attention.
  Valentina Garcia Gonzalez was only 6 years old when her family 
brought her to the United States from Uruguay. She grew up in the 
suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. She was a bright child and learned English 
after a few months of college. Valentina says: ``After that, I became 
my parents' right hand. Everything and anything that involved speaking 
to the outside world meant I was in the front translating and 
representing my parents. It was a lot of responsibility for a young 
undocumented kid.''

  In addition to this responsibility, Valentina was an excellent 
student. She received the President's Education Award twice, once from 
President Bush and once from President Obama. In high school, she was 
an honors graduate in advanced placement, a leader in student 
government, a member of the Beta Club.
  Somehow Valentina found time to be the president of the school's 
environmental group and manager of the varsity basketball team.
  They have so many hours in a day, these DREAMers. She was a very 
accomplished student, but Georgia State law bans undocumenteds from 
attending the State's top public universities. As a result, Valentina 
applied and was accepted to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New 
  Congratulations, Valentina.
  She is now a sophomore there. To help pay her tuition, she works as a 
projectionist at a theater, as an undocumented student. She still finds 
time to volunteer and mentor children.
  In her letter, she wrote: ``I am beyond grateful because, by 
receiving DACA, the U.S. has given me an opportunity to give back to 
this country that has given me so much. This is my country. I have 
worked hard to prove myself worthy in the eyes of my American 
counterparts, and knowing that I am in a weird limbo in regards to my 
legal status doesn't make me sleep any easier. My name is registered 
with the government, so I might be deported if they decide to end 
  It would be so sad if she were deported back to Uruguay, a country 
where she hasn't lived since she was 6 years old. I don't think our 
country would be stronger without that.
  Oscar Cornejo, Jr., was 5 years old when his family came to the 
United States from Mexico. He grew up in Park City, a small northern 
suburb of Chicago. He became an excellent student in high school. He 
was a member of, again, the National Honor Society, and he was an 
Illinois State Scholar. He received several advanced placement awards. 
He graduated magna cum laude.
  What he says is: ``My parents always instilled in me the value of an 
education, which is one of the main reasons they decided to leave 
everything in Mexico and come to the United States. I dedicate myself 
to my education to honor the sacrifices my parents made.''

                              {time}  1600

  Because of his outstanding academic achievements, he was admitted to 
Dartmouth. He is the first member of

[[Page H951]]

his family to attend college. He excelled at Dartmouth. During freshman 
year, he received the William S. Churchill prize for outstanding 
academic achievement.
  Just absolutely fabulous. Thank you. Thank you for submitting Oscar's 
  He says: ``When I received my DACA, the threat of deportation had 
been lifted and I felt I could actually achieve my dreams. DACA has 
allowed me to work for the first time, and the money I earn goes to 
support my education and my family.''
  Again, a valuable asset.
  Let me just recap a little bit of this, Mr. Speaker.
  So many of our DREAMers are interested in becoming doctors and 
healthcare professionals, whether it be researchers, nurses, or other 
healthcare professionals.
  I just want to read once again this statement from the Association of 
American Medical Colleges:
  The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that the 
Nation's doctor shortage will rise to between 40,000 and 105,000 by the 
year 2030. Both the American Medical Association and the Association of 
American Medical Colleges warn that ending DACA will exacerbate this 
physician shortage in the United States, and they have urged Congress 
to pass legislation to protect DREAMers.
  Listen to what the AMA says: ``Estimates have shown that the DACA 
initiative could help introduce 5,400 previously ineligible physicians 
into the U.S. healthcare system in the coming decades to address these 
shortages and ensure patient access to care.
  ``Removing those with DACA status will particularly create care 
shortages for rural and other underserved areas. . . . Without these 
physicians, the AMA is concerned that the quality of care provided in 
these communities would be negatively impacted and that patient access 
to care will suffer.''
  That is a quote. They are saying there could be as many as 40,000 to 
over double that number by 2030, and 5,400 previously ineligible 
physicians come to us by making DACA, by passing protection for our 
DREAMers, 5,400 previously ineligible physicians. That is quite 
  So when you see the need and you see the ambition and the vocation 
and the dedication, especially to help in underserved areas, it is 
quite remarkable.
  This is another of Senator Durbin's. He wanted to introduce to the 
Senate a DREAMer from Speaker Ryan's home State of Wisconsin. Her name 
is Maricela Aguilar.
  In 1995, when Maricela was 3 years old, her mother brought her to the 
United States with the hope of giving her a chance for a better life. 
Maricela's family settled in Milwaukee. Maricela worked hard, and she 
excelled in school.
  During high school, she was on the honor roll and was a member of the 
National Honor Society--we keep hearing that over and over--and captain 
of the cross country team. At the same time, Maricela was active in her 
community, volunteering at a local homeless shelter.
  When it came time to apply for colleges, Maricela knew she wanted to 
stay close to her family in the only home she'd ever known, Wisconsin. 
She applied to many local schools and was offered a full-tuition 
scholarship to Marquette University in Milwaukee.
  At Marquette, Maricela was on the dean's list and was a double major 
in political science and English literature. She also worked part-time 
as a waitress to support herself and her family.
  Maricela became involved in advocating for immigration reform. In 
December 2010, Maricela was here in the Senate gallery, along with 
hundreds of other DREAMers, when the Senate failed to pass the DREAM 
Act due to a Republican filibuster.
  I remind that, just shortly before that, we passed it in the House. 
It got over 50 votes in the Senate, but it did not get to the 60th 
vote. She came to raise concerns about the DREAMers again and again.
  She graduated with honors in her graduating class. She is now in 
graduate school at Brandeis University in Boston. She plans to return 
to Milwaukee when she graduates. She wants to become a public 
  Maricela and other DREAMers have so much to contribute to our 
  Could we use more public schoolteachers like Maricela? I think so.
  Would we be a stronger country if we deported her? I don't think so.
  So we have another one from Mr. Durbin. Her name is Naomi Florentino. 
Her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico when she was 
10 years old. Naomi grew up in the town of Smyrna, Tennessee.
  Naomi was an excellent student and active in her community. In high 
school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, and she 
received Student of the Year awards for algebra and art. She served on 
the student council and played on the varsity soccer team and the 
varsity track and field team. She was also a shot put and discus 
  These people are so accomplished, I just don't know how many hours 
they have in the day.
  Naomi's dream was to become a robotics engineer. She participated in 
the NASA Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy and 
performed so well that she won the Next Generation Pioneer Award.
  She graduated high school with honors, but her immigration status 
limited her. She didn't give up. She took mechanical engineering 
courses at Lipscomb University in Nashville. She then went to community 
college. In the spring, she is graduating with an associate's degree in 
mechatronics technology, a field that combines mechanical engineering, 
electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control 
engineering, and computer engineering.
  Could you do that? Could any of us do that?
  Naomi is now working on her bachelor's degree at Middle Tennessee 
State University. In her spare time, she is also involved in her 
community doing all kinds of wonderful things.
  She says: ``DACA has meant the opportunity of a lifetime for my 
academic and professional career. As a student at Smyrna High School, 
driving past the Nissan plant motivated me to be a better student with 
hopes of, one day, being part of a company that is highly regarded in 
my community. However, without proper work authorization, that goal 
seemed far-fetched. Today, it is a reality for me.''
  So, hopefully, we can continue to make that a reality for Naomi 
Florentino, and I submit her statement for the Record.
  I wish I could excuse my colleagues, but they have all been such 
champions on this issue, and their dedication to it is obviously 
demonstrated here, as it is with some of those who can't be with us 
right now.
  This is another story that is about a DREAMer, and I want to tell the 
story of how DACA has given one DREAMer the chance to contribute to the 
country she loves.
  This is Maria Ibarra-Frayre. Maria's parents brought her to the 
United States from Mexico at 9 years old. She grew up in Detroit, 
Michigan, the heartland. She was an excellent student who was dedicated 
to community service.
  In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society--you 
keep hearing that, Mr. Speaker. I have been here all day, but all day 
you have been hearing members of the National Honor Society--Key Club, 
and the school newspaper. She volunteered twice a week tutoring middle 
school students and performed over 300 hours of community service. She 
graduated with a 3.97 GPA and was admitted to the University of 
Michigan, but was unable to enroll at Michigan because of her 
immigration status.
  She entered the University of Detroit Mercy, a private Catholic 
school. She was elected vice president of the student senate. She 
helped found Campus Kitchen to take leftover meals to the homeless--not 
to the homeless, but other people who have a hard time leaving home and 
needed meals to be brought to them.
  She participated in helping elderly couples, homeless people, et 
cetera, and graduated valedictorian of her class. Her options were 
limited because of her immigration status.
  When she got DACA, she wrote: ``DACA means showing the rest of the 
country, society, and my community what I can do. I have always known 
what I'm capable of, but DACA has allowed me to show others that the 
investment and opportunity that DACA provides is worth it.''

[[Page H952]]

  Maria and other DREAMers like her have so much to contribute to our 
  Will America be a stronger country if we send Maria away? No, I don't 
think so, and I think you would agree.
  Juan Vargas from California. I acknowledged him earlier. He is here. 
Congressman Juan Vargas, 51st Congressional District, would like me to 
read a statement from a constituent, former intern, and a DREAMer:

       My name is name Jacqueline Olivares. I was brought to the 
     United States at age 2.

  Now, you know, age 2.

       I was raised in San Diego and never felt different from 
     anyone else. I speak the language and know the culture. I 
     knew I had no papers, but I never really knew what that 
     meant. I didn't realize the importance of those documents 
     until I wanted to go to college.
       I always knew I wanted to move forward with my education. I 
     was an avid student in high school and was always encouraged 
     to apply to universities because I had the grades to compete. 
     Then my parents told me that it wasn't a possibility. I 
     realized I was different. I would always ask myself: Why me? 
     But when DACA was announced in 2012, it gave me relief. I am 
     proud to call myself a DREAMer.

  Jacqueline says:

       I am proud to call myself a DREAMer. DACA gave me hope, 
     opportunity, and motivation, and that won't be taken away.
       My name is Jacqueline Olivares, and DREAMers are American, 

  I thank Mr. Vargas for that.
  Another one, from Keith Ellison from Minnesota:
  Itzel came to the United States when she was only 15 years old. 
Despite initial language difficulties, she worked hard and graduated 
from high school with honors. She completed one semester of college 
after high school, but economic difficulties forced her to focus on 
work instead.
  However, when she was granted DACA in 2012, she got a better-paying 
job, was able to go back to college, and graduated with honors. The 
last 2 years, Itzel has been working for the State of Minnesota as a 
senior court clerk. She bought a house and supports her family.
  The week before DACA was terminated Itzel applied for a job as a 
probation officer, her dream job, a probation officer. But the 
elimination of DACA now makes that goal appear impossible.
  Itzel was also planning to start a master's degree in criminal 
justice next semester. That, too, now seems impossible.
  Itzel told me, ``I don't want to go back to dreaming of a better 
future. I want to be part of a better future for me, for my family, and 
for my country.''
  Again and again, for our country.
  I thank Mr. Ellison and Itzel.
  From Congresswoman Matsui of California, acknowledged earlier, an 
unnamed DREAMer from her district says: ``September 1990 my life would 
change forever.''
  This is her story: ``My family and I had migrated to the United 
  ``The first six years of my life pales in comparison to what I have 
been introduced to within a few months of living in the U.S. All I do 
know is that my clear, joyful memories started when we moved to 
America. I was living in the best country in the world, a place I would 
call my home, and yet I didn't even know it.
  ``Fast-forward 27 years later, and today my family sit here in 
deportation proceedings, given 45 days to pack up their lives and 
leave. The past few weeks have been the most painful, fearful, 
helpless, and hopeless days of my life.''

                              {time}  1615

  ``My parents and sisters are being deported, and I most likely have a 
few months left before I will be deported as well. I am considered a 
DREAMer, probably one of the oldest DREAMers in the United States; had 
my oldest sister been eligible, she would have been the oldest of us 
  ``However, I was the only one of the three to be granted protection 
with DACA, and now my family has been ordered to leave the United 
States with a 10-year ban on reentry.''
  The 10-year ban on reentry--you are probably familiar with this, Mr. 
Speaker--this 10-year ban is just deadly.
  ``I can't separate from my family and have them do this on their own. 
My family and I are one cohesive unit--family always stick together, 
it's what we believe in, so there is no choice but to go with my 
family, to help each other reconstruct what we built here over the last 
27 years. At this point, I don't know what to do. What am I supposed to 
do? We have exhausted all of our options and met failure at each end. 
All I can do is leave it in God's hands, pray for strength and 
guidance, and hope my prayers are heard with a miracle.
  ``I understand that there are those who commit horrible crimes and 
shouldn't be given the opportunity to stay. However, for us as a 
family, we didn't do anything to harm our country. We went to school, 
educated ourselves, had good jobs, pushed our limits, helped others, 
are great Samaritans''--there we are with great Samaritan again--``pay 
and paid our taxes, and strive to better ourselves and our country and 
the community we live in.
  ``As for my family and I, no matter the distance, no matter the 10-
year ban, no matter what . . . our heart and spirit will always be here 
in the United States.''
  `` . . . the place I call home. I have spent the majority of my life 
here, and it has shaped me into the woman I am now.''
  These people are being deported, and that is why we need to have 
comprehensive immigration reform to address the bigger issue. But we 
can do something today to at least make whole the children.
  This is another one, a Sacramento State graduate that Congresswoman 
Matsui submitted to us.
  She said that DACA gave him peace of mind. He currently holds a 
master's degree and plans to pursue a doctoral degree. He wants to work 
in the field of education and is worried that the President's decision 
to rescind DACA will lead to less people becoming teachers. He said 
that he believes ``there is something good in all of us.'' Oswaldo 
deserves to continue to fulfill his dreams in his community.
  Gustavo, also from Sac State, came to the United States at the age of 
7 with his brothers and parents.
  He said: ``I am happy to say that my parents' courage and willingness 
to risk it all for their children's future was worth it.''
  Gustavo recently graduated from Sacramento State with a bachelor's in 
psychology and a minor in counseling and would like to pursue a 
master's degree. Gustavo said: ``We as DREAMers are here to build a 
better society, to change the cycle of our family's struggles, to 
better ourselves, to help build bridges amongst society and to be 
educated individuals with the hunger of striving for a better 
  Another from Congresswoman Matsui. Jesus is a DREAMer and DACA 
recipient from Sacramento who was brought to this country by his mother 
at the age of 8. He is also a full-time English professor at Sacramento 
City College and part-time lecturer at Sacramento State University.
  He has devoted himself to the classroom, oftentimes working with 
young DREAMers.
  He said: ``I am honored to have the opportunity to teach the youth of 
my community, to empower the reentry students, and to help improve the 
culture of both local campuses who gave me an education.''
  Juana from Congresswoman Matsui's district: ``DACA has allowed me to 
feel protected from being deported, to feel accepted and acknowledged 
in this country we grew up in and love. My DACA status has provided me 
the opportunity to pursue my dreams like many other people.
  ``Thanks to DACA, I was able to work and go to school. I just 
recently graduated from Sacramento State, this spring 2017, with my 
B.A. in sociology. I graduated from high school in 2006 and had to put 
my dreams aside because I was not able to continue my education; but 
once I got DACA status, I was able to go to a university. Now that I 
just graduated and would like to start my career, it would be horrible 
if my status was rescinded.
  ``I've been in the U.S. for 27 years. I have never left America. I 
was born in Mexico but have no clue what it is like. The only place I 
know is California. This is my home and all I know.''
  From Representative Lofgren, whom I mentioned earlier, who has been 
such a champion on the Judiciary Committee on this, a former chair of 

[[Page H953]]

Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee. She has taught 
immigration law. She has been an immigration lawyer. She knows it all. 
She has just been a tremendous leader and very dedicated advocate and 
  She submits this from Ms. Mandy Lau: ``I wanted to take a moment to 
express my frustration with the repeal of DACA. As an educator, I have 
seen how DACA has improved the lives of the students and families in 
our community here in San Jose. DACA has been a resounding success, and 
this administration should not end this crucial program. Nearly 800,000 
young men and women have been able to contribute to their communities, 
to work, go to school, and to live their lives without fear of being 
ripped away from their families and from a country they consider home.
  Ms. Lau, Mandy that is, went on to say: ``Recently, I held a crying 
student who was disheartened that although she worked hard to maintain 
her 4.0 GPA throughout high school, fought stereotypes of gang 
affiliation, and resisted negative influences to create better 
opportunities for herself and her family, there would also be a 
possibility that her dream of attending college would no longer be an 
option. She asked me how this was possible in the land of the free, how 
quickly an opportunity could be stripped from a person with ambition, 
hopes, and dreams. DACA has given these young adults a lifeline and 
hope for the future. Ending the program would be devastating for 
DREAMers and their families. Without DACA, these 800,000 DREAMers would 
be subject to deportation to countries they may not even remember and 
no longer able to work legally to support themselves and their 
families''--in the place they call home, Mandy says.

  ``I have spent the majority of my life here. It shaped me into the 
woman I am.''
  So I thank the lady very much. These are beautiful, beautiful 
statements from some of these DACA recipients, from our DREAMers, but 
it is even beyond those who are recipients.
  Two brothers, Jhon Magdaleno and Nelson, his brother. Let me tell you 
about Nelson and Jhon. These brothers came to the United States from 
Venezuela when Nelson was 11 and Jhon was 9. They are both honor 
students at Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Here is a picture 
of Nelson.
  Jhon served with distinction in the Air Force Junior Officer Reserve 
Corps. He was the fourth highest ranking in a 175-cadet unit and 
commander of the Air Honor Society in his unit. Here is a picture of 
Jhon in his ROTC uniform.
  They went on to both become honor students at Georgia Tech 
University--Nelson in computer engineering, Jhon in biomedical 
engineering with a 4.0. In 2012, he graduated from Georgia Tech with 
  Do you understand being graduated with honors from Georgia Tech in 
computer engineering, and Jhon in a biomedical engineering major from 
Georgia Tech, and they have 3.6 GPA and 4.0 GPA? Thanks to DACA, they 
have been working as computer engineers for a Fortune 500 semiconductor 
  Jhon received DACA in 2012, while he was still a student at Georgia 
Tech. He then worked for 2 years as a researcher in a biomedical 
engineering lab at Georgia Tech researching glaucoma, a leading cause 
of blindness. In 2014, Jhon graduated from Georgia Tech with a major in 
chemical and biological engineering with highest honors--highest honors 
in chemical and biological engineering from Georgia Tech. He is now 
working as a process engineer with a Fortune 500 company, too.
  Both have written letters. Nelson wrote: ``To me, DACA means an 
opportunity to be able to live my dreams and contribute to society in 
ways that I could not have imagined. DACA means that one of my life 
goals, owning my own company, could be a possibility in the future. 
DACA means a chance. DACA means the American Dream.''
  Jhon wrote: ``I consider an American to be someone who loves and 
wholeheartedly dedicates themselves to the development of this country. 
From age 9, I have made the United States my home, and it has made me 
the man I am today. I proudly call myself an American.''
  As I read some of these stories, you hear a recurring theme. Again, 
it is a theme about honoring the vows of our Founders for a new order 
for the ages that every generation would take the responsibility to 
make the future better for future generations. That is exactly what the 
families of these DREAMers did.
  Family members took risks, had courage, hope, optimism, and 
determination to make the future better for their families. Doing that 
for their families, they were doing that for America, too.
  You see such a similarity to previous generations. I see it as an 
Italian American--education, education, education, the key to upward 
mobility. Talent, talent, talent, but not underutilized; educated to 
reach its full potential to reach the aspirations of these young people 
to do so in a way that is about giving back.
  What you see here is what our families were all about that had come 
before, that idealism and hope springs in optimism and aspirations of 
immigrants coming to our country. That is why I always say that we are 
a great country because we are constantly reinvigorated by immigrants 
coming to our country. Their courage and commitment to the American 
Dream which drew them here in the first place strengthens the American 
  These newcomers with all of that hope and aspiration make America 
more American when they come here. That is why our country will not 
stagnate. That is why our country will continue to blossom, to respect 
our traditions, our past, and our sense of community.
  In every one of these letters there is gratitude back to the United 
States for what it has done for these people. There is no sense of 
entitlement. It is all about working hard and paying back. That is why 
if we can just do this piece which has urgency to it because it has a 
timetable that the President has put forth, just doing this piece would 
be the smart thing to do, to find a solution that then builds trust in 
a bipartisan way with transparency and openness as to what it actually 
is about. That is why we want people to know this is who these people 
are. That is why they are called DREAMers. That is why the name has 
  We have been the country of the American Dream forever. Yes, I agree 
with the President. We are all DREAMers in America. This is part of the 
future. Of course, I think of my grandchildren as the future. They 
didn't have to face the struggles that these young people are facing. 
God bless them for their courage to make the struggle, but it is, 
again, faith, family, faith in the future, faith in America, faith in 
themselves, faith which gives people hope, hope because they have faith 
in the kindness of others. Faith, hope, charity, and hope is right 
there in the middle.
  I think that people who have hope, much of it springs from their 
faith, and these clearly are people of great faith. That is why the 
Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomes them. That is why the 
evangelical community speaks so clearly and passionately about the need 
to protect them.
  These are precious gems. They are absolutely outstanding, and they 
write their stories so eloquently that nothing any of us can say about 
the subject is to even compare to the power of their stories.
  For example, Johana was brought to the United States from Venezuela 
when she was a child. She grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She played in 
her high school softball team, played viola in the orchestra, and 
dreamed of becoming a doctor.
  Here is what Johana said about her childhood: ``I've become a 
Boulderite in all aspects of that word. That town, with those beautiful 
mountains, is truly my home.'' In 2011, Johana graduated from the 
University of Colorado at Boulder with a double major in molecular, 
cellular, and developmental biology and psychology neuroscience.
  They are so talented. But after graduating from college, Johana was 
unable to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor because she was 
undocumented. Then in 2012, with DACA, she heard that Loyola University 
in Chicago would accept students who had received DACA into its medical 
schools. I thank Loyola University and the University of Chicago.
  Like many States across the country, Illinois faces a shortage of 
physicians in some communities. The Loyola University DACA program sees 
this as an opportunity to address the problem. The State of Illinois 
has created a

[[Page H954]]

DACA loan program. Under this program, Loyola DACA med students can 
receive loans to help cover the cost of their medical education. For 
every year of loans, the DACA student must work a year in a medically 
underserved area in Illinois--again giving back.

                              {time}  1630

  Last fall, Johana went to med school at Loyola. After graduating, she 
will stay in Illinois and help serve parts of Illinois that have a 
shortage of doctors.
  This is, of course, one of Senator Durbin's constituents.
  Here is what Johana had to say: ``When the year 2012 came along, my 
life changed. My dreams of becoming a doctor became a possibility again 
because of DACA. I am now able to apply to medical internship programs, 
take the medical school entrance exam, and apply to medical school, all 
because of my DACA status. DACA has defined my path. DACA has relit a 
fire within to succeed and to continue to pursue my dreams.''
  Will America be a stronger country if we deport Johana? I don't think 
  This is Everardo Arias. Everardo was brought to the United States 
from Mexico in 1997 when he was 7 years old.
  Just imagine these adorable children.
  He grew up in Costa Mesa, California, and was an excellent student. 
He dreamed of becoming a doctor.
  A doctor, again.
  It was not until he applied to college that Everardo learned that he 
was undocumented. He was accepted at the University of California, 
Riverside, but because of his immigration status, however, Everardo 
didn't qualify for any Federal assistance.
  When Everardo was a sophomore, he met with a counselor, who told him 
he had no chance of becoming a doctor because he was undocumented. But 
Everardo didn't give up on his dream. In 2012, he graduated from the 
University of California, Riverside with a chemistry major and research 
  Shortly after he graduated, DACA was established. He received DACA. 
He worked for a year as a mentor for at-risk students in his hometown 
of Costa Mesa. The following year, through AmeriCorps, he worked as a 
health educator with several local clinics. He gave classes to hundreds 
of people in both English and Spanish on topics ranging from diabetes 
to family nutrition to depression.
  During his year as a health educator, he applied and was accepted in 
medical school. He is currently in his first year at the Loyola 
University Chicago School of Medicine. In his free time, he volunteers 
at a local clinic. He takes time to teach medical Spanish to some of 
his classmates.
  Here is what he had to say about DACA:
  ``DACA changed my life. It opened the door to the future ahead of me. 
If it weren't for DACA, I would not be here and I probably would not 
have pursued medicine. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to do what I 
love to do and to give back to the country that has given me so much.''
  Will America be a stronger country if we deport Everardo Arias and 
others like him? Of course not.
  This is from Congresswoman Diana DeGette, who is with us. This is her 
story from Colorado:
  Marco Dorado was born in Mexico and moved to Denver's Globeville 
neighborhood at the age of 3. After attending Thornton High School as a 
student in the International Baccalaureate program, Marco attended the 
University of Colorado Boulder and graduated as student body president 
with a degree in finance.
  During his time at University of Colorado, Marco received DACA, which 
has allowed him to begin his professional career while contributing 
back to his community. Currently, Marco is the program coordinator for 
the Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver.
  It is a beautiful story, once again demonstrating not only a 
commitment to education, but a commitment to give back, become doctors, 
whatever, but leadership. Every one of these has leadership, whether it 
is leadership in the student government, leadership in community 
activity, leadership on the sports field, leadership in every possible 
way in extracurricular activities and the rest. Certainly, Marco has 
demonstrated that trait typical of our DREAMers.
  We have been joined by Ted Lieu from California and Ms. Bordallo from 
Guam. I think we have acknowledged so many Members who have come and 
gone. I thank them all for their ongoing support of our DREAMers.
  This is from an unknown DREAMer to Brad Sherman. It says: ``I am 
writing this letter to you because I am fearful of what might happen 
next. I am a Canadian who was brought here when I was 11 years old. I 
am 28 now and DACA has allowed me to come out of the shadows.''
  You hear that expression, ``come out of the shadows.''
  ``I have worked hard my whole life. I am a senior at UCLA majoring in 
civil engineering. I am an engineering intern at the City of Stanton, 
and I also work at an animal emergency hospital on weekends. I often 
time go weeks where I do not have a day off.''
  I love this recurring animal assistance, too, that we hear.
  ``All I ask for is a fair shake, and with this new administration, I 
fear I won't be given that. I am not a criminal. I am not a danger to 
my community, nor am I someone trying to take advantage of public 
benefits. I am a victim to a situation I had no say over. I want to do 
my share: pay taxes, inspire others, and any other help I can provide.
  ``Congressman, thank you for your time and for listening.''
  I thank Brad for submitting this enthusiastic statement from an 
unknown DREAMer from his district, a Canadian.
  This is from Ted Lieu. I thank him for being here.
  To Ted Lieu, a testimonial from Representative Lieu's district:

       My name is Nicole, and I am a student at UCLA. My parents 
     brought me to the United States when I was 3 years old.
       For the 16 years that I have lived in the United States, I 
     grew up like any other U.S. citizen. I finished my K-12 
     schooling, and I volunteered around my community.
       For my first year of college, I was fortunate enough to 
     receive a substantial amount of financial aid from both UCLA 
     and the California Dream Act. This aid alleviated my 
     parents from the fiscal burden of paying for college.
       Although my tuition was covered, my parents still had to 
     pay out of pocket to cover the expense of living on campus. 
     The scholarship money I received for my sophomore year was 
     steadily decreased, which means there was more pressure on my 
     parents to keep up with the growing cost.
       To lighten this load, I acquired a full-time summer job. I 
     have become dependent on my job and my paycheck to pay off my 
     school, but how do I remain debt free if DACA is rescinded?
       Terminating DACA would turn my world upside down, it will 
     undo the progress I have made at UCLA and challenge my access 
     to higher education.

  Nicole goes on to say:

       Although I am grateful for the opportunities I have been 
     given under DACA, like a Social Security number and relief 
     from deportation, I cannot reconcile that the very government 
     I one day hope to work for continues to exclude me from 
     living the American Dream.
       The President and U.S. legislators need to look beyond 
     their biases and stand up for the children who have 
     continuously pledged allegiance to the only country they have 
     ever called home.

  I thank Ted Lieu for Nicole's beautiful story.
  Mr. Lieu also submitted testimony from Martin. Martin says, Mr. 

       My name is Martin and I grew up in an undocumented 
     household. When I was in grade school, I loved listening to 
     the news with my father. It became a daily routine to tune in 
     to Univision or television after both of our days of work.
       It was extremely difficult for me to comprehend many issues 
     discussed on mainstream news, mainly because I generally 
     didn't understand the content. However, one particular word 
     was mentioned almost every day, ``deportation.''
       I had asked my father what it meant, but he refused to 
     answer, and so did my mother. After hearing the cold, hard 
     truth from my teacher in grade school, I felt vulnerable for 
     the first time in my life.
       As I grew older, I became more and more concerned. I walked 
     to school every day worried that my parents might 
     unexpectedly be taken away from me.

  How many times have we heard that story?

       Two hardworking parents that had lived and contributed to 
     this country for more than 30 years might be forcibly removed 
     from the United States. Now, I have never felt more fearful 
     for the future of my family.

  That word ``fear'' is terrifying, tears in the eyes of the Statue of 
Liberty, fear in the hearts of people who should be able to just make 
their contribution to our country.

[[Page H955]]

  Hakeem Jeffries submits this testimony from Ashelle.
  Let me just once again thank my colleagues for being here. I wish you 
could be reading these stories. I feel very privileged to be reading so 
many of them, but the rules are that I cannot yield on the special 1 
  This is Ashelle King's story: ``I came to the United States from St. 
Lucia in the Caribbean at the age of 7, and I've been living in 
Brooklyn for 16 years. I currently attend Baruch College, where I pay 
tuition out of my pocket by working because I am not eligible for 
certain types of aid for school.
  ``I am studying computer information systems and political science, 
and I want to apply my studies to help people. I try to be involved in 
the community, which is why I interned in Mr. Jeffries' office.''
  I again thank Mr. Jeffries for this testimony.
  ``I felt like Mr. Jeffries had a real connection with the people, and 
I wanted to learn how I can assist and give back in that regard. 
Hopefully, I will be graduating in the spring. I don't want to be 
fearful of not graduating or of leaving school because DACA ends.
  ``Fixing DACA is important to me because I would not have been able 
to work if it weren't for DACA. Because I have a working permit, I am 
able to pay for school and be exposed to more things in the U.S. You 
know, I've been here since a very young age, so I don't know much about 
St. Lucia. I grew up in Brooklyn. I know more about Brooklyn, and I 
want to stay here.''
  I know that is music to the ears of Hakeem Jeffries, who is always 
bragging about Brooklyn. And, by the way, so is the Democratic leader 
in the Senate. Mr. Schumer is always singing the praises of Brooklyn.
  This is from Mr. Durbin. This is Pablo da Silva.
  Pablo was brought to the United States from Brazil in 2001, when he 
was 13 years old. He grew up in New Jersey. Here is what Pablo has to 
say about his childhood:
  ``The same as every other kid growing up in the U.S., I attended 
middle school, pledged allegiance to the American flag, and sang the 
national anthem. As I grew older, I came to understand that one thing 
about me differed from my classmates. I was undocumented. However, my 
parents always taught me to see barriers as a measure of perseverance 
and an opportunity to thrive.''
  Pablo was an excellent student. He dreamed of becoming a doctor. 
During high school and college, Pablo volunteered at a nursing home 
every week. He also was a member of a group called Doctor Red Nose. 
Pablo and other members of the group would dress up as clowns and visit 
hospitals and nursing homes to cheer up patients and healthcare 
  Pablo was accepted at Rutgers University, but because he was 
undocumented, he didn't qualify financially.
  You have heard that sentence over and over.
  And although he grew up in New Jersey, he would have been required to 
pay out-of-state tuition. As a result, Pablo couldn't afford to attend 
Rutgers and instead enrolled in community college. Because he had taken 
college courses when he was in high school, Pablo was able to complete 
a 2-year associate's degree in only 1 year.
  With his associate's degree, Pablo was able to transfer to Kean 
University in New Jersey. In 2011, Pablo graduated at the top of his 
class with a major in biology, summa cum laude. He received an award 
for the highest grade point average in the biology department. He was 
on the dean's list every semester of college and was a member of the 
honor society Phi Kappa Phi.

  After graduating from college, he was unable to pursue his dream of 
becoming a doctor. Instead, he worked in a variety of manual labor 
jobs. Then, in 2012, President Obama established DACA. Pablo heard that 
Loyola University of Chicago accepts students that receive DACA.
  Like many States across the country, Illinois faces a shortage of 
physicians in some communities. Loyola University's DACA program is an 
opportunity to address this problem.
  I have described this problem again and again, but let me say the 
State of Illinois has created a DACA loan program. Under this program, 
Loyola's DACA med students can receive loans to cover the costs of 
their medical education. For every year of loan, the students must work 
for a year in a medically underserved area in Illinois.
  I said that earlier, but I just want people to know how creative 
people have become in not only helping educate, alleviate the cost, but 
serve the community.
  As a result, some of the best and brightest students in the country 
have come to Loyola to get a medical education. They will stay in 
Illinois to help serve parts of the State that have a shortage of 

                              {time}  1645

  And then more on Pablo. Last fall, Pablo da Silva began med school at 
Loyola. He is pursuing his dream to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. 
This is what he had to say: ``DACA has allowed me to fulfill my long-
lasting aspiration to pursue a career in medicine. It has truly changed 
my future, and for that, I'm truly grateful. I'm eager to contribute my 
share to the country I call my own.''
  Thank you, Pablo.
  This is Karen Villagomez. Karen was brought to the United States when 
she was only 2 years old. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She is an 
outstanding student and interested in public service. In May 2012, 
Karen graduated from the University of Rochester in New York with a 
major in political science. She is the first person in her family to 
graduate from a 4-year college.
  Just 1 month after she graduated, President Obama announced the DACA 
program. After she received DACA, Karen found a job as a paralegal in a 
law firm in Chicago, where she has been working for the last 2 years. 
This fall, she will begin law school.
  How about that?
  But if the House of Representatives have--if we could pass this bill, 
she would be able to attend law school and become an attorney. Instead, 
she could be deported back to Mexico, a country she hasn't lived in 
since she was a toddler.
  Here is what Karen had to say: ``DACA represents the values and 
heritage of this country of immigrants; it was the right thing to do, 
and it has changed my life by replacing fear with hope. This executive 
action gave me an overwhelming sense of relief and hope. It lifted me 
from the shadows.''
  I just want to repeat her first sentence: ``DACA represents the 
values and heritage of this country of immigrants; it was the right 
thing to do, and it has changed my life by replacing fear with hope.''
  Now, will America be strong if Karen is deported?
  No, I don't think so.
  This one is from Representative Foster. Mr. Foster is also from 
Illinois, and this was his State of the Union guest, Ana Campa 
Castillo. She is a student at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, 
Illinois. Ana is a graduate of Bolingbrook High School and is currently 
pursuing an associate's degree in psychology at Joliet Junior College. 
She serves as the vice president of Latinos Unidos, one of the largest 
student organizations.
  I had the occasion to meet her when Representative Foster brought her 
to the State of the Union. I wish more Members of Congress could meet 
more of these DREAMers.
  Aren't you impressed by the cumulative effect that they are making on 
our country, each of them with their individual contribution to the 
greatness of America?
  So exciting. I am so proud of them.
  Representative Polis' State of the Union guest was Anarely, a student 
at the Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She was a guest of 
Jared Polis. Anarely was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and came to the 
United States when she was a young child. Her family stayed in Colorado 
to care for her grandmother, who suffered from breast cancer.
  Anarely has flourished in Colorado, graduating high school with a 4.3 
GPA, where she participated in Reserve Officers' Training Corps. She 
went on to thrive at Colorado State University, triple majoring in 
political science, ethnic studies, and international relations.
  I thank Representative Polis and Representative Foster for their very 
distinguished guests at the State of the Union address.
  I did mention to the President, when I welcomed him to the Capitol, 
that we

[[Page H956]]

had many DREAMers and supporters of DREAMers in the audience here, also 
supporters of fairness for Mexico. So I hope we are doing better as far 
as our negotiations go in terms of Puerto Rico.
  I see we have been joined by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier from 
California. Thank you for being here, Mark, as well.
  Arisaid Gonzalez Porras was a guest of Raul Grijalva. Arisaid came to 
the United States in 2000 from Mexico and currently resides in Arizona. 
That is the State that Raul Grijalva represents in Congress.
  Arisaid is a freshman at Georgetown University. As a first-generation 
student, she relied on the help of counselors and teachers to help 
apply to college. Growing up undocumented, she lived in fear of what 
would happen to her and her family. In her first semester in college, 
Arisaid has become more outspoken about her status as a DACA recipient 
and became an advocate for the rights of the undocumented youth.
  As a student with the privilege to go to school right in the center 
of politics, she plans to continue her advocacy until Congress passes 
DREAMers legislation.
  Hopefully, Arisaid, that will be very soon.
  Here are some testimonies from other Members of Congress. Leticia 
Herrera-Mendez is a student at California State University, San 
Bernardino she was a guest of Congressman Pete Aguilar from California 
at the State of the Union address. Congressman Aguilar is a cosponsor 
with Congressman Hurd from Texas of the legislation that has strong 
bipartisan support in the Congress and one bill that we would hope that 
the Speaker would give us an opportunity to vote on the floor of the 
House. I thank Congressman Aguilar.
  Leticia Herrera-Mendez was born in Mexico and arrived in the United 
States at the age of 8. She is a DREAMer and a student at California 
State University, San Bernardino.
  In June 2019, she will obtain a bachelor's degree in sociology and 
two certificates, one in Spanish public services and another in social 
services. She is committed to helping and spreading awareness about the 
Latino community. She is an immigrant activist and is the vice 
president of the student organization, Undocumented Advocates at Cal 
State University, San Bernardino, where she advocates for the rights of 
undocumented immigrants.
  Her work and dedication to her community has granted her the 
opportunity to serve as the California delegat for Fuerza Migrante 
National Political Group and student assistant of the Undocumented 
Student Success Center at CSUSB.

  Again, leadership, leadership, leadership. Education, leadership, how 
  Leslie Martinez is a student at UC Irvine, and she was a guest of 
Congressman Lou Correa at the State of the Union. Leslie Martinez is a 
freshman in college who is passionate about her studies. She was 
brought to the United States at the age of 2. Growing up, she was alone 
most of the time due to her parents always working, but this allowed 
her to become independent at a very young age.
  She found out she was undocumented during middle school, when she was 
trying to apply for a scholarship but needed a Social Security number. 
Luckily, DACA came around during her high school years, opening several 
opportunities for her, such as an internship at UCI Medical Center, 
where she--that would be University of California, Irvine--where she 
was able to shadow medical professionals, and it opened up her love for 
the medical field.
  DACA also made her college application a smooth process. Now she is a 
freshman in college and is passionate about, again, her studies. She 
attends the University of California, Irvine, and is majoring in 
chemistry. Leslie hopes to attend medical school after college in hopes 
of becoming a general surgeon or a pediatrician.
  Again, doctors, doctors, doctors. Maybe she could find out about 
Loyola University School of Medicine. Maybe she will have many more 
options by then, hopefully, when we pass this legislation.
  Karen Bahena was a State of the Union guest of Congressman Scott 
Peters. Karen lived in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, for 8 years, until 
2001, when her family migrated to San Diego. Thanks to DACA, Karen has 
been able to graduate college with a degree in public health and 
nutrition at San Diego State University, find work as a research 
coordinator at the University of California, San Diego, and pursue her 
dreams in the field of medicine. She hopes to one day help 
underprivileged communities with healthcare needs.
  God bless you, Karen.
  Again, another example, universally, giving back, giving back, giving 
  State of the Union guest of Judy Chu, Jung Bin Cho and his family 
immigrated to the United States when he was 7 years old from South 
Korea. Thanks to DACA, Jung Bin Cho was able to work and save money 
that allowed him to graduate from Virginia Tech with a bachelor's 
degree in business information technology. Currently, he is an 
Immigrant Rights Fellow at the National Korean American Service & 
Education Consortium--this is quite an acronym, NAKASEC, National 
Korean American Service & Education Consortium--organizing and 
advocating for economic, social, and racial justice for all, with a 
focus on Asian American and Pacific Coast Islander communities. His 
dream is to attend law school in order to help his community in 
  Thank you, Jung.
  The guest of Gerry Connolly, Nicolle Uria, she spoke at our press 
conference that we had before the State of the Union. I made a joke 
with Gerry Connolly because somebody there referenced him as 
Congressman Cannoli. So I welcomed him with great pride of being an 
Italian American, but he is Connolly.
  Nicolle moved to the United States from La Paz, Bolivia, at the age 
of 1 with both of her parents and her sisters. For her entire life, she 
has lived here. The United States is her home. Nicolle grew up living 
the American Dream just like any other American citizen. She celebrated 
the same traditions, ate the same food, enjoyed from the same 
activities as any of my other friends. Throughout her education, she 
has always been a good student and always very active with not just 
school activities, but also with the community. She has been a Girl 
Scout since the age of 4, she has played both soccer and volleyball for 
many years, and now as a high school student. Nicolle spent many hours 
volunteering in the community and getting involved with organizations 
such as the DREAM Project, LULAC, UnidosUS, and many more. After 
finding out that she was undocumented, she thought all her hard work 
and effort was for nothing. But then, thanks to President Obama, she 
was able to apply for DACA.
  And she told her story very brilliantly at our press conference 
before the State of the Union.
  Really, if you could hear them tell their own stories, there is a 
great humility about conveying their stories to you. Because when you 
see them and they tell their stories and the passion and the pride and 
just the patriotism--passion, pride, patriotism--that they demonstrate, 
you will see why anyone, who has had the wonderful experience of being 
in conversation or observing our DREAMers, understands why they have 
had such a high reputation among the American people: some of them who 
have met them, some of them who have heard about them, some of them who 
have just caught the spark, recognize, again, the hard work ethic, the 
commitment to education, to community service, to faith, to family, to 
the United States of America. It is a beautiful thing. It just isn't, 
let's take a small number of people and try to do something with it. 
This is something very, very special, and it says a lot about our 
country to be able to give protection in a way that has some certainty 
to our DREAMers.
  Itayu Torres is a student at Pasadena City College. She was a guest 
at the State of the Union of Congressman Jimmy Gomez.
  Itayu Torres came to the United States from Mexico as a 6-month-old 
  She was completely carried into this country.
  She learned she was undocumented when she was 14 years old and, in 
2014, became eligible to apply for DACA. Earning DACA protections has 
allowed Itayu to access a government-issued ID

[[Page H957]]

card, work authorization, healthcare and protection from deportation. 
With DACA, Itayu had the opportunity to travel across the country. She 
is currently studying political science and business at Pasadena City 
College and plans to continue her education at Hood College in 
Frederick, Maryland.
  A wonderful school.
  Itayu was part of the California Dream Network Steering Committee and 
one day hopes to run for a seat in the United States Senate.
  You go, girl. United States Senate. Why not President? Well, she 
wasn't born here, so she can't be President of the United States.
  Again, Gabriela Hernandez was a State of the Union guest of our great 
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.
  Gabriela, 19, is a college student at Prince George's Community 
College. She came here with her mother from El Salvador at the age of 
4. Her goal is to transfer to a four-year university in the fall, study 
to be a social worker, and just have an opportunity to thrive. She has 
lived her entire life in this country, having attended schools in 
Prince George's County since kindergarten. Because many family members 
already live here, she doesn't have a lot of family left in her home 
  The country she came from is El Salvador. And the situation probably 
has only gotten worse there since she came.
  In any event, I thank Mr. Hoyer for giving us her story.

                              {time}  1700

  Mr. Frank Pallone, who spent a lot of time with us, it seems like 6 
or 7 hours ago, in the beginning of this, he was with us early in the 
presentation, and his guest at the State of the Union was Esder Chong, 
a student at Rutgers University-Newark.
  When Esder was 6 years old, she and her family immigrated to the 
States from South Korea. Unfortunately, after the 2008 economic 
recession, her mom lost her position working at a hospital and they 
lost their legal status. Esder first realized the implications of 
having an undocumented status when her mom got into a bike accident. It 
was an emergency situation and she needed treatment. However, because 
they were uninsured, she treated herself through home remedies and 
prayer. Fast forward one decade, Esder is now a sophomore at Rutgers 
University-Newark on a full ride thanks to private, external 
scholarships and donors, including and twenty others. She 
currently serves as the founder/president of RU Dreamers, a Rutgers 
University-Newark student organization that advocates for undocumented 
students' rights to higher education. Esder is also a student-athlete 
competing for the Rutgers University-Newark cross country/track and 
field team and the news editor for Rutgers University-Newark Newark 
newspaper, the Observer.
  How many hours does Esder have in a day? I would like to know.
  I want to talk about my own guest at the State of the Union. I am so 
proud of her. Melody Klingenfuss. She is a statewide organizer for 
CHIRLA's California Dream Network. I am so proud of them. And Angelica 
Salas heads up the organization. They have done so much to protect our 
DREAMers to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.
  Melody was at our press conference. I am proud of her.
  Melody was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. After growing up 
without pardons, she was reunited with her mother in the heart of Los 
Angeles when she was 9 years old.
  Can you just imagine.
  She earned her bachelor's degree in communications and political 
science at California State University, Los Angeles. She graduated with 
a master of nonprofit leadership and management from the University of 
Southern California. She has conducted a research thesis focused on the 
representation of undocumented students in mass communication. Melody 
works as CHIRLA's California Dream Network statewide youth organizer as 
a devoted advocate for human and immigration rights. She is a DACA 
recipient since 2015. Her life goal is to continue bending the arc of 
the moral universe towards justice.
  I just got word that the House Historian confirmed: ``You have now 
set the record for the longest continuous speech in the House since at 
least 1909.'' I wonder what that was.
  This is Congresswoman Watson Coleman, who spent so much time with us 
here today. I want to read from her testimony. Parthiv Patel from Mount 
Laurel, New Jersey.
  Parthiv is a DREAMer who has been in the DACA program since 2012 and 
graduated from Drexel University's Thomas R. Kline School of Law in May 
  Parthiv was brought to the United States when he was 5 years old and 
has lived in the United States continuously since then.
  He was admitted to the New Jersey State Bar on January 24, 2018.
  Congratulations, Parthiv.
  He was previously admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar on December 
18, 2017. He is the first DREAMer admitted to the New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania bars.
  When Parthiv's DACA status expires on August 9, 2018, he could be 
deported from the only country he knows and ripped away from his 
family. Even if he is not picked up for deportation, without work 
authorization or legal status, his employment options and his ability 
to put his law degree to use serving the community will also be 
substantially limited.
  Parthiv wants to make sure White House Chief of Staff Kelly knows 
that he is far from lazy--he should just look at his college and law 
school records.
  Thank you, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.
  This is from Congresswoman Susan Davis from California. This is the 
story of her constituent, Itso. Itso says:

       I just graduated from high school 3 days before Deferred 
     Action on DACA arrivals was announced, and already been 
     accepted to San Diego State University. I wasn't sure if I 
     would be able to afford going to college. But there is some 
     uncertainty in applying for DACA, but it was a risk worth 
       After DACA, I was very enthusiastic to be able to work, 
     serve my community, and attend San Diego State University. I 
     graduated this year with a political science degree.
       As a border resident, I have seen the toll that harsh 
     immigration enforcement has taken in my community. Many 
     times, in the midst of the rhetoric, we lose sight of the 
     real impact that harsh enforcement has on the lives of 
     hardworking families. My work with the community is deeply 
     rewarding. I have been part of helping thousands of San 
     Diegans, and I have also seen the suffering that many 
     families have to go through because there are failed and 
     inhumane immigration policies.
       I remain fully committed to continuing to serve my 
     community and ensure that we continue to build a movement 
     that affords immigrants, refugees, and citizens alike the 
     right to live with dignity in the United States.

  How beautiful. These statements themselves are so beautiful.
  I don't know who made that speech in 1909, or other speeches competed 
for the longest in the meantime, that was not my goal today.
  But we have so many testimonies, real testimony in the words of the 
DREAMers, as I say, the most eloquent of all.
  I did ask my staff to say that when I came to the floor earlier, I 
wanted to make sure that we were filling our 40 hours between 8 this 
morning and tomorrow night with the words to convince or the prayers to 
inspire. So I thought when I came to the floor, I would be like reading 
the Bible, because the Bible is so fraught with so many passages that 
take us to a higher place to have a conversation about human beings, 
all of God's children, at a higher place.
  Again, referencing the 40 days in the Old Testament, the 40 years in 
the desert in the New Testament, the 40 days, the Gospel of Matthew, 
which is so, so beautiful in terms of its inspiration.
  But I know that many people quote the Gospel of Matthew many times. 
But they always just quote the first part where they talk about when I 
was hungry. In the Gospel of Matthew, most people know when a person 
comes before the Lord, he says: We have a place for you in Heaven, for 
when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was thirsty, you gave me a drink, 
when I was naked, you clothed me, when I was in prison, you visited me. 
That whole list of corporal works of mercy.
  And then the person says: When did I do this, Lord, I didn't see you? 
And then the Lord says: When you did this for the least of my brethren, 
you did it for me.
  Okay, I am just going to read it right from the Bible here. So that 
was the

[[Page H958]]

first part. But the very first part of it is:
  ``But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with 
Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be 
gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another 
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep 
on His right, the goats on His left.
  ``Then the King will say to those on His right''--the King being the 
Lord, the Son of Man--`` `Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take 
your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of 
the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was 
thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you 
invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you 
looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the 
righteous will answer Him, `Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed 
you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a 
stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did 
we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 
`Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these 
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.''

  This is the part that I really find challenging and we should all pay 
attention to.
  ``Then He will say to those on His left, `Depart from me, you who are 
cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you 
gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me 
in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in 
prison and you did not look after me.' They will also answer, `Lord, 
when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes 
or sick or in prison and did not help you?' He will reply, `Truly I 
tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you 
did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but 
the righteous to eternal life.''
  So it is not just what we do to take the opportunity to help and feed 
and clothe, it is what we do not do that the judgment was made about. 
Opportunities missed.
  As I said earlier, to minister to the needs of God's creation--and we 
are all God's creation--is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is 
to dishonor the God who made us. Very clear in the Gospel of Matthew.
  As people of faith, as we all profess to be, and we believe--I mean, 
a faith is a gift, but we do believe that we are all God's children--
whatever we are, we are all, whatever it is. We are all God's children, 
we are all created in the image and likeness of God, we all carry a 
spark of divinity. When Christ came down from Heaven to participate in 
our humanity, He enabled us to participate in His divinity, that spark. 
So we respect it in people, but we have to also recognize it in 
ourselves and the responsibility it carries with us.
  So I choose to go back to a place where we had a much better 
reception all over Washington, D.C., for loving the DREAMers and 
wanting to get the job done for them. Because in addressing their 
needs, we are talking about who we are as a nation.
  I have another statement from Bonnie Watson Coleman. It was her 
birthday yesterday, so she will have about two or three statements 
today. She talks about the Velez sisters from Burlington, New Jersey.
  The Velez sisters came to the United States at 4 and 9 years old, 
respectively, with their father fleeing the Chavez regime in Venezuela.
  Daniela has earned two associates' degrees in engineering and 
business administration from Rowan College in New Jersey. She is now 
pursuing an undergraduate degree in business administration at Rutgers 
Business School while she works full time for the New Jersey Business 
and Industry Association.
  Daniela also cofounded a business that sells take-home kits for 
physics labs in Rowan College.
  How many of us could do that?
  The kits allow students who can't attend college lab courses to take 
an online version at home.
  Alex is awaiting word this spring on college acceptance at Camden 
County College, with her dreams to be a vet-tech. But without valid 
DACA status, Alex won't be able to legally drive, attend the vet-tech 
program, or work. Alex said in an article with CNN: ``In all honesty, 
it is scary to think about leaving,'' she said. ``My mom cried for the 
first time since we talked about our situation. She's a positive person 
and is hoping that something good will happen for us.''

                              {time}  1715

  Unfortunately, if the President doesn't extend DACA protections, they 
said they will be forced to leave. Daniela recently told CNN: ``If DACA 
ends, I will leave with Alex. I will close my business, leave work and 
  That is why we have to pass a bill, and that is why I would hope that 
the Speaker of the House would honor the House he is Speaker of by 
giving us a chance to vote on a DREAMer bill, a bipartisan DREAMer bill 
on the floor of the House.
  Carolyn Maloney is with us. I thank her for this testimony. It is 
about Diego de la Vega. Diego is a DREAMer who is an intern in 
Congresswoman Maloney's office and was the Congresswoman's guest at the 
State of the Union. Here is his story.
  ``Our family history traces generations of Ecuadorians since the 
early decades of the republic. Immigration was not common for us, and 
my parents and grandparents endured great periods of political 
instability and bleak futures. In 1999, at the age of 6, following an 
economic crash, hyperinflation, and a coup d'etat, my mother began 
making plans to move to the United States.
  ``By August 2001, I arrived in New York City, and we settled in 
Queens. I was quickly enrolled in public school. I learned English 
within a year, and I blended in with the rest of the children. But I 
was always aware of my status, and I quickly learned how long and how 
extremely difficult any real immigration reform in Congress would be. 
By 2011, at 17 and after another fresh defeat of the DREAM Act, I faced 
the devastating feeling of being denied the opportunity of accepting 
scholarships and student loans that effectively denied my shot at the 
colleges of my choice. Yet I continued, attended Hunter College where 
all I wanted to do was study government and politics.
  ``Shortly afterwards, President Obama's announcement of DACA was 
almost miraculous. I thought I could finally step out of the shadows, 
no longer with fear but with excitement. I then entered the workforce 
immediately and found myself employment in one of the leader wine 
retailers in the country, where I still work today. I also entered an 
internship with the district office of Congresswoman Maloney, which 
further cemented my belief that good government is one that helps 
people. The high cost of living in New York and the strains of paying 
tuition out-of-pocket still brought great challenges, but with DACA I 
felt that anything was possible.
  ``Now that DACA is on its last breaths, I have no doubt that the 
courage and hope it has given us will carry us on until we all take our 
oath of allegiance.''
  So beautiful. Thank you, Diego de la Vega.
  From Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, another proud Brooklyn 
Representative. She was here before, but I thank Congresswoman Clarke.
  Joel Perez Hernandez is a New York public school graduate and proud 
New Yorker whose parents brought him to Brooklyn as a young child. In 
September 2015, his Deferred Action was expiring. He set an appointment 
to renew his status and was beginning to save his money to pay for the 
associated fees.
  Around this time, a small family emergency arose among his mother and 
her family in Mexico. With a fatal misunderstanding of the protections 
afforded by DACA, he and his family decided he was in the best position 
to travel to Mexico and still be allowed to return to the United 
  Unfortunately, he and his family did not have a strong understanding 
of how our immigration system currently works. As a result, 2 years 
after the Senate voted to protect DREAMers, Joel is now stuck in 
Mexico, a country that he does not know, with his girlfriend and life 
partner, Ambien, an American citizen.

[[Page H959]]

  Joel had no intention to break our immigration laws and would never 
have been in this position if this body had simply done its job back in 
2013. Joel's story illustrates the cost of our decisions and reminds us 
why we must take action now to protect DREAMers.
  This is not an unusual thing where there are family emergencies or a 
death in the family across the border or something and people don't 
fully understand that just going for that just destroys--under current 
law, makes it very hard for them to come back.
  This is from Representative Cardenas, who was with us earlier. I 
thank him for being with us earlier. This is a letter to him from a 
graduate student:
  ``I am a current graduate student at the University of Southern 
California School of Social Work. As part of my curriculum, I am taking 
a class on policy and advocacy where I am doing a project on a piece of 
legislation. My focus for this project is on immigration, particularly 
on the newly introduced bill known as the BRIDGE Act, which will expand 
DACA for 3 years.
  ``As an undocumented student, I am worried about my future here in 
the United States. I came to the United States at age 9, in 2001. I 
graduated with a B.A.''--bachelor of arts--``in sociology, with a minor 
in Women's Studies from Cal State Northridge in 2015. Thanks to DACA, I 
have been able to achieve my dreams of obtaining higher education as 
well as to be able to work here legally.''
  That is so important, to get an education, to work legally to serve 
in the military.
  ``Having lived and attended public school all my life here, I don't 
know any other country I can call home.
  ``I had a very supportive system during my high school years. I 
graduated from San Fernando High School with honors. I volunteered. I 
served in the community, student body, and to this day, I am working 
for the betterment of my community working for the Los Angeles Family 
  ``Now that Donald Trump is President, I am concerned about my future 
and that of my community. I want for others to have the same 
opportunities that I have had so far.
  ``I hope that you can allocate some of your time for me to talk to 
you about the importance of this bill and why it matters, not only to 
me, but to the entire community.
  ``Alejandro Castro, Master's of Social Work Candidate.''
  And this is from Grace Napolitano.
  Are you still with us? Thank you, Grace.
  I see we have been joined by Albio Sires from New Jersey. We have had 
many DREAMers from New Jersey's testimony.
  And Donald Payne, I read your testimony earlier, Donald. Thank you 
for being with us.
  Congresswoman, I have been referring to you as the godmother of all 
of this all day. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
  I acknowledged Congressman Garamendi who was here before and came 
back again, thank you.
  Mr. Green, I acknowledged him before when he was here, thank you.
  They are coming and going.
  Congresswoman Napolitano of California's constituents have said this: 
Diego Garcia Ramirez, 31-year old man from El Monte, provider for his 
wife and three kids. He just had DACA approved at the end of July and 
considers the opportunity of DACA a blessing from God. He has been able 
to provide a stable living for his family. He was brought to the U.S. 
at age 3.
  A real statement of it can work.
  Cynthia Lopez Lopez, 26-year-old woman from El Monte also, waiting 
for her work authorization document to renew and fears she would lose 
her job at Wells Fargo. She is the caregiver for her mom, who is 
awaiting a lung transplant. She is the only source of income and pays 
for rent, medical bills, and essentials.
  Imagine that, to have all of that challenged. But it is, again, it is 
the strength, the commitment to family that all of these people have 
that strengthens America, and that is what argues for family 
unification in our immigration policy. That is a subject for another 
day. For today, we are talking about the DREAMers.
  Again, from Mike Thompson, whom I acknowledged earlier, he has 
another testimony, Mike Thompson of California.
  Denia Candela was born in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico. Today she lives 
in Sonoma Valley, California, and is his constituent. Denia is a 2011 
alumni of 10,000 Degrees, an organization that serves low-income and 
first-generation students.
  10,000 Degrees, that means degrees from college, not temperature.
  She graduated from Sonoma State University in 2016 with a B.A. in 
applied statistics and a concentration in the actuarial field.
  She is currently involved in several different organizations and 
serves as a board member of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation in 
the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. She is also involved as a 
commissioner for Sonoma County Regional Parks.
  Her current position as the enrollment and outreach manager for a 
nonprofit has allowed her to serve families who need early education 
services through State-funded preschools. Denia is now in her second 
year as a board member for Los Cien Sonoma County. Above everything 
else, she is a mother to a wonderful 7-year-old.
  She received DACA in 2012. DACA opened doors for her, allowing her to 
provide for her son and give back to the community that has seen her 
grow. Denia is a DREAMer.
  Thank you for dreaming, and thank you for inspiring us to dream as 
  Ted Lieu, testimony from Ted Lieu's district, who was with us until a 
few minutes ago.
  Josefina is an undocumented Californian who is originally from 
Colima, Mexico. Her testimony has been presented by Representative Ted 
Lieu from California.
  Josefina migrated to the United States when she was 3 years old. 
Well, her family immigrated to the United States when she was 3 years 
old, and she was with them. Although she became aware of her 
immigration at an early age, her status had never defined her. She had 
transformed uncertainty into determination.
  When she graduated high school, she became hyperaware of the 
financial constraints faced by immigrant youth. Josefina was able to 
afford her undergraduate education at UCLA by working multiple jobs and 
by applying to many scholarships. She would commute 2 hours every day, 
each way, to UCLA on a daily basis because she could not afford to 
  Her main motivation is her mother, who is also an immigrant. Her 
persistent determination to provide for her family convinces Josefina 
of her ability to surmount the barriers she faces as an undocumented 
  Today, she is earning her Ph.D. at UCLA.
  Her Ph.D. at UCLA.
  Her research interests include the health and aging of the 
undocumented population. Her scholarly work has been supported by the 
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for Humane Studies. 
She believes research is a way to rewrite the narratives of the 
undocumented community in the United States: Undocumented people are 
the backbone of U.S. society, she writes, yet we are dehumanized, 
tokenized, and invisibalized.
  That is a good word.
  This prompts the need for a solution to immigration, which is long 
  You are so right, Josefina.
  Mark DeSaulnier, whom I acknowledged earlier, is here with us. Mark 
is there. I thank Mark.
  This is from Marco of Contra Costa County, represented by Congressman 
Mark DeSaulnier. He is with us and has been with us for a long time 
today. It is from Marco, who says:
  ``Thanks to DACA, I have been able to give back to the community in 
more profound ways. Because I was granted employment authorization, I 
was able to work for 2 years as a case manager in reentry services. I 
helped members of my community find their way back into society after 
being in prison. I assisted them in managing their sobriety and finding 
stable employment and housing.''
  God bless you, Marco.
  ``Currently, I am working in a nonprofit that provides free 
psychosocial services to cancer patients. My only dream in life is to 
be able to give back to my community, to help make them safer. I am 
also working on my master's in counseling and am on a licensure track 
as a marriage and family therapist.

[[Page H960]]

  ``I plan to use my license to continue working with the chemically 
dependent and criminal populations. I want to help make our communities 
safer. DACA allows me to continue working on my dream.''
  That is beautiful, Marco. Remember what the Lord said in the Gospel 
of Matthew: When I was in prison, you visited me.
  Thank you for doing that.

                              {time}  1730

  Elias Rosenfeld, Boston, Massachusetts. I met Elias at the Faith 
Leaders Event. I had the privilege to meet Elias this month, when he 
came to the Capitol with DREAMers and faith leaders so he could share 
his story.
  Born in Venezuela, Elias came to the United States as a young child. 
Shortly after his mother passed away, United States Citizenship and 
Immigration Services filed a letter notifying him that he was now an 
undocumented individual, unable to receive healthcare, work and provide 
for his family, or obtain a driver's license to commute to and from 
school. Elias, however, fought to find a solution. He founded United 
Student Immigrants, USI, a student-led community-based organization 
that helped over 300 undocumented students be able to afford a college 
  Elias has also partnered with the Florida High School Young Democrats 
and The Children's Trust, and lobbied over 200 State legislators in 
support of State-sponsored immigrant child healthcare, which resulted 
in the passing of the Senate and House bills protecting healthcare for 
over 22,000 children in Florida. Elias has spearheaded student 
demonstrations at over 20 State and Federal congressional offices in 
support of the Dream Act.
  He received a 6-year full-merit scholarship to Brandeis University 
under the TYP social justice scholarship program.
  Recently, Elias worked in campaigns in Florida and New Hampshire as a 
campaign fellow and intern for the immigration department for Senator 
Elizabeth Warren.
  He also shared with us his religious beliefs that day. He made a 
very, very impressive presentation.
  Thank you, Elias.
  I had the privilege to meet Andrea Ortiz this month, when she came to 
the Capitol to share her story with Members, faith leaders, and the 
American people. Andrea Carolina Ortiz Duran is a God-driven, 
passionate, creative leader.
  Born in Leon, Mexico, Andrea migrated to the United States at the age 
of 6 with her parents and four siblings. She was able to successfully 
apply for the DACA program.
  Having successfully navigated the education system as a first-
generation undocumented student, she became a role model for her 
siblings and community members.
  She graduated with honors in business administration from the 
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a focus in 
management, human resources, and entrepreneurship. Andrea seeks to use 
her experience, education, and skills to support in uplifting Latino/
Hispanic communities and underrepresented students. Faith and family, 
together, is what drives Andrea to keep pushing forward in life.
  Again, from some other Members, from Alma Adams, who was with us 
earlier, from North Carolina. She tells the story of Brenda Montanez.
  Brenda Montanez was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and came to 
Charlotte, North Carolina, as a child with her parents. Brenda always 
knew she wanted to attend college, and because of DACA, she was able 
to. At 18, Brenda enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, 
where she is a student leader.
  She is a founding member of the Latinos Aiming for Achievement, LAFA, 
a group founded to give Latino students on campus a voice in the 
community and a place to meet and discuss issues impacting them. To 
date, there are 32 members of the organization.
  Brenda is one of many students nationwide who has been able to 
achieve her goals of earning a secondary degree thanks to DACA.
  Thank you, Alma Adams, for submitting Brenda's story.
  This is from Representative Jared Huffman from California: Alex 
DeLeon is a talented young woman who interned in Representative 
Huffman's office. He recently invited her to speak at a townhall on the 
future of DACA, and here is what she said:
  ``I'm smart. I'm resilient. I'm hardworking. I'm a DREAMer. I'm going 
to make something out of myself one day, but only if programs like DACA 
live on. And I'm not the only one: your classmate is a DREAMer, your 
lawyer is a DREAMer, and your boss is a DREAMer. We're worth protecting 
and we're here to stay. That's why I'm getting out there and urging 
Congress to save the DACA program to allow nearly 800,000 young 
Americans, like me, to keep working towards their aspirations and 
contributing to the only country that they call home.''
  I have had the occasion to have a conversation with Alex DeLeon. She 
is a remarkable young woman in doing so much in the community to give 
back. I am so glad that Jared Huffman has called her testimony to our 
  Peter Welch from Vermont and Rick Larsen from the State of Washington 
are here.
  Congressman Welch calls to our attention the story about a DREAMer 
that he knows, and it is a letter from Juan Conde. I will preface this 
by saying Juan Conde, bachelor's of science, master's of science, Ph.D. 
in biochemistry and molecular biology, current medical student at the 
University of Vermont, all of that.
  I am telling you, this rug is killing me. Standing up is nothing, 
being hungry is nothing, being thirsty is nothing. It is the rug that 
is getting to me.
  Juan Conde writes: ``Dear Congressman Welch, I am writing to tell you 
my story about DACA in the hope that you and your colleagues will come 
up with a legislative solution to this issue. I am one of the `DREAMer 
kids.' I have lived most of my life in the U.S. and consider it my 
  ``Throughout my life, I have been driven to understand cancer and 
have dedicated my studies to obtain the training needed to help cancer 
patients. My mother passed away from cancer, and this tragedy made me 
realize that I wanted to dedicate my life to fighting this disease. 
This is why I spent a decade of my life in research, first in apoptosis 
during my M.S., and then DNA repair of tobacco and smoke carcinogenesis 
for my doctorate studies.
  ``I chose science because, at the time, it was impossible for 
undocumented students to attend medical school, and I wanted to have an 
impact on a disease that had affected my family. It was difficult to 
obtain my degree as an undocumented student, but I persisted because I 
believed in the promise of the American Dream.

  ``When DACA was announced, it transformed my life. Suddenly I could 
be paid for the research I was doing. I could drive, I could be free 
from the fear of deportation, knowing that all my hard work and 
dedication would not be meaningless, and that the idea of America and 
her promise were alive and strong. It also meant that medical schools, 
including my current school, UVM's Larner College of Medicine, changed 
their policies and gave DACA students a chance to enroll.
  ``I understand that legislation takes time, but if there is anything 
you can do to help DACA students, including a discharge petition, 
please do so. If you do, you will have the gratitude of a group of 
dedicated individuals who wish nothing more than to give back to the 
only country they have ever known.''
  Okay. So now this one says: Today, the bipartisan Problem Solvers 
Caucus wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan to request a ``Queen of the Hill'' 
rule to govern debate on competing DACA and border security proposals 
to establish the official position of the U.S. House of 
  Last week, the 48-member Problem Solvers Caucus announced a 
bipartisan set of principles that lay the groundwork for a deal on DACA 
and border security.
  The letter was led in the Problem Solvers Caucus by Fred Upton, 
Republican from Michigan; and Peter Welch.
  The text of the letter can be found below and here:
  ``Dear Mr. Speaker, the President challenged us last fall to 
legislate the DACA program rather than relying on executive orders to 
determine its fate. The President has also asked us to address border 

[[Page H961]]

  ``DACA is an important issue in all of our States. And, as we know, 
the program's original intent was to protect from deportation eligible 
children and young adults who were brought to this country through no 
fault of their own. We have learned through multiple reports that the 
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has moved to deport many who 
have been here for years, including some who are now married with 
children. Many have paid their taxes and have no serious criminal 
record. Many know no other way of life.
  ``There are a number of worthy Member proposals that should be 
properly debated and voted on by the House. Some are bipartisan and 
would end the uncertainty and distress that some 800,000 DACA 
recipients are enduring. Others would also address the issue of border 
security and broader immigration reform issues.
  ``Mr. Speaker, we seek your commitment that the House will address 
the uncertainty of the DACA-eligible population in a timely fashion, 
either separately or as part of a broader package, using an open and 
inclusive process that allows the House to work its will.
  ``Specifically, we seek your commitment that the House will debate 
and vote on all serious and substantive proposals, particularly those 
offered on a bipartisan basis, as well as any bill approved by the full 
Senate. A `Queen of the Hill' rule should be employed that establishes 
the proposal receiving the most votes as the position of the House.
  ``We accept the responsibility to reach consensus on a legislative 
solution to DACA and are determined to resolve this issue. We believe 
immigration reform should be bipartisan and that only an open process 
allowing for the best ideas from both sides will demonstrate to the 
American people that we can find common ground.''
  That was a letter from the Problem Solvers Caucus, led by 
Representative Fred Upton, Republican from Michigan; and Peter Welch, 
Democrat from Vermont.
  This is very important because we are talking about Queen of the 
Hill. As you know, my colleagues, there are several options to come to 
the floor. One is Queen of the Hill; one is King of the Hill.
  Queen of the Hill means the bill that gets the most votes is the bill 
that prevails. It would go to conference with the Senate; or if it is 
the Senate bill, would go to the President's desk.
  King of the Hill, which we are not advocating, is the one that wins 
  We want the one that gets the most votes, the one that wins the most 
votes. This time, the queen should prevail.
  I appreciate the letter from Fred Upton and Peter Welch because it 
talks about some very important things: a bipartisan, open process.
  That brings people together: bipartisanship, transparency, unity. I 
thank the caucus for this.
  Okay. We have another story from Houston, from Sheila Jackson Lee. 
Andrea Ramos Fernandez is a local San Antonio DREAMer, who adores San 
Antonio, as any true San Antonian would. In 2005, Andrea was 8 years 
old when she moved to the United States.
  She was too young to realize the spring break vacation her mother had 
planned was a permanent move--that that vacation was a permanent move. 
This move was influenced by economic instability, paired with her 
father's stabbing in a taxi cab in Mexico City.
  Once Andrea and her mother made it to the U.S., Andrea's 
grandparents, who are U.S. citizens, began the process to legalize 
Andrea's mother.
  What Andrea's grandparents didn't realize was that the broken 
immigration system made it difficult to grant Andrea's mother a green 
card, that immigration process being over 23 years, leaving Andrea out 
of the possibility to adjust her status.
  ``Chain migration''--we call it family unification--has been a broken 
issue within the government, and in this case, Andrea's grandparents 
could do nothing to change her status. That is why we want to improve 
  So Andrea grew up undocumented. She grew up pledging allegiance to 
the American flag, watching American cartoons on Saturday mornings, and 
getting good grades. Andrea's academic performance was so great that 
her first academic award was the President's Award, which was signed by 
then-President Obama. Andrea continued her education with academic 
excellence, achieving high marks, eventually graduating Churchill High 
School with honors.

  Her grades then led her to get a full ride at Texas State University 
in San Marcos, Texas, where she pursued a career in healthcare for 2 
years. Eventually, Andrea decided to transfer to the University of 
Texas in San Antonio, where she is now currently studying public policy 
while being a student leader on her campus.
  Andrea has been involved in various projects around the city of San 
Antonio, working as the lead immigration fellow for MOVE San Antonio. 
She has also pushed for educational initiatives on her campus, leading 
to the creation of the first onsite DREAMer Center on a college campus 
in Texas.
  Because of her leadership, Andrea has been given the opportunity to 
visit D.C. to lobby for the Dream Act and is now asking the Congress 
and Senate to act on bipartisan legislation. Andrea graduates in 
December of 2018, 4 months after her DACA expires. While Andrea is 
worried about what that may mean to her, she worries more about her 
community, whom she sees as a community full of promise. Andrea is an 
American who adores and believes in the American promise.
  Andrea cheered when the Spurs won their fourth championship in 2007, 
and once more in 2014.
  Okay. That was then. This is now. Okay.
  She also mourned with our country in some of our worst tragedies, as 
this country's pain was also her own. Therefore, she asks to be given 
the opportunity to prove she is already an American.
  How lovely. How lovely, Andrea. A little bit of my Golden State 
Warriors coming in there when she was talking about the Spurs, but 
  From Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, who is with us, the godmother of it 
all, we have this testimony from one of her student DREAMers: ``I am a 
student of East Los Angeles College and part of your congressional 
district. I am very concerned about the initiative President Donald 
Trump took towards the DACA program. He gave Congress 6 months to find 
a solution. As of today, there has been no progress and many are losing 
the protection they had with DACA. I am asking to fight for a clean 
Dream Act for all. The immigrant community is a hardworking group of 
individuals that are in this country for a better life, meaning that 
they want to work, educate themselves, be in the Army, and have all the 
benefits this country provides to make it an even better place to live 
  ``Sincerely, Luvia Navarrete, DACA recipient.''
  To Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, this letter begins: ``Hi, 
Mrs. Lucille. I am Ana Garay from District 40. I am a DACA student from 
East Los Angeles College and I wanted to tell you my concerns about the 
DACA problem that is going on right now. I wanted to tell you I am 
really scared of what could happen in the next months, because, as 
other students, I want to accomplish my dreams and be a proud Latina, 
as you are. I hope that we fight together for what we want for our 
future as a community, because we are known as the one that fights 
together.'' Signed, Ms. Ana Garay.
  In the previous letter that I was reading from, the one from San 
Antonio, she talks about how many years it would take for the 
grandparents to help the daughter to become legal and to get a green 
card. The other day, there was an article in the paper, a big, long 
article, about how backed up the green card applications are; years, 
years. So even the people who want to be doing things on schedule, many 
people are here not because they came illegally, but because the 
process took so long that their opportunity expired.

                              {time}  1745

  This is from Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who has joined us. Thank 
you, Congresswoman DeLauro.
  ``Dear Representative DeLauro: I was honored to intern in your 
Washington office and learn more about the government of the United 
States and, more specifically, responding to constituents' concerns.
  ``Walking through the long tunnels that connect the congressional 
buildings to the Capitol, I began to envision

[[Page H962]]

myself working in the District of Columbia upon graduation. But like 
for many people, the election results have forced me to take a 
different path.
  ``After the Presidential election, all the stability that had allowed 
my family and me to become part of the American life was turned into 
fear and doubt about our future.
  ``Not only has the President-elect vowed to deport millions of 
undocumented immigrants, but he also promised to remove the DACA 
program. For this reason, I had to return to New Haven and assist my 
family as we figure out which decisions are best to take moving 
forward. Thus, I am sorry to inform you I will no longer be able to 
continue my internship in your Washington, D.C., office.
  ``I want to express that, while I am in constant fear questioning 
whether I'll be able to complete my undergraduate degree, or if my 
U.S.-citizen sister will be separated from us, I am not giving in.
  ``My best memory working in your office was running into an old 
employer who came to the office for a Capitol tour. Reflecting on the 
aspirations I had working as a busser to get myself through high 
school, I remember your persona always providing me with hope.
  ``That hope has grown exponentially as I reminisce on the times you 
walked into the office and greeted all your interns with such gratitude 
and enthusiasm.
  ``With infinite gratitude.''
  Thank you, Congresswoman DeLauro, for submitting this testimony to us 
and recognizing the difficult decisions that families have to make in 
the interest of families staying together. Thank you.
  Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts has joined us. Thank you. Congresswoman 
Gwen Moore of Wisconsin has joined us as well. Congresswoman Frederica 
Wilson of Florida has joined us as well. Thank you, Congresswoman 
Wilson, for joining us.
  Again, this is from Representative Watson Coleman: Another 
constituent, Diana Diaz, who is 22 years old. She came to the United 
States from Mexico with her mother and two older siblings in 2002 when 
Diana was 7 years old. They settled in Somerset, New Jersey, where her 
mother worked long hours to ensure that her children could focus all 
their attention on school.
  Diana graduated from high school in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While 
still in high school, Diana herself worked a full-time job to help 
support her family. After high school, she attended Middlesex County 
Community College, where she got her associate's degree in education. 
She then continued her higher education and transferred to Rutgers-
Newark in the fall of 2016. There she majors in public administration 
and minors in Spanish.
  Diana has aspirations to continue her education and enroll in a 
master's program to become a certified legal interpreter. Wow. That is 
  She hopes to head back to New Brunswick and work in the public school 
system as an administrator to help students just like her. She also 
wants to create a nonprofit organization to assist various ethnic 
groups with gaining access to higher education.
  Diana truly believes that the education she received in New Jersey 
was so valuable to her overall success, and she wants to give back so 
that others can follow suit.
  I just want to dwell on this for a moment because she is talking 
about education being invaluable to her success, and she wants to give 
back so that others can follow suit. I hope that the Italian-American, 
Irish-American, German-American, Dutch-American, all of the ethnic 
groups that are here in our country take full pride in the example they 
have set for how the American Dream works in America, because what you 
see with these DREAMers just follows so closely with what our families 
did, our ancestors did coming here.
  The idea that education was key to upward mobility and to reaching 
personal aspirations, that faith and family and a work ethic were an 
important part of how you were regarded in America--and this may be 
what is in their DNA as they come to the United States, but it is clear 
they had masterful, great examples to show how to achieve the American 
Dream in all of the waves of immigration that came before.
  Family, faith, community, education, patriotism, love of America. So 
beautiful. And Diana spells it out so clearly here.
  Another one from Representative Jayapal of Washington State. We heard 
from her earlier. She was with us earlier, Representative Jayapal. She 
is on the Judiciary Committee, a leader on immigration. She is an 
immigrant herself.
  Twenty-two-year-old Esther was a hardworking and valued intern in 
Representative Jayapal's office last year. She is also a DREAMer who 
came to the United States with her parents and younger sister when she 
was just 3 years old from South Korea. When they arrived on a visa, 
Esther's parents sought help from an immigration lawyer to obtain more 
permanent legal status in the United States. They filled out 
applications, paid their dues, and gave the lawyer most of the money 
they had. And he ran away with all of it. He scammed them and left them 
with nothing.
  Esther's parents' visas expired. They had little money. They pushed 
their kids around in shopping carts because a stroller was too 
expensive. Then they started over. They built their lives in the United 
States. They raised a smart, passionate daughter who is now a senior at 
  The DACA status Esther obtained in 2013 helped to give her the 
freedom to pursue her own American Dream. Even when Esther's DACA 
status was secure, she said that typical safe spaces like hospitals, 
police stations, and doctor's offices filled her with fear because 
DACA doesn't afford protections to her family. She also hides her 
status and worries what would happen if someone she trusted outed them 
to immigration authorities.

  Unless we take immediate action to help DREAMers, Esther's future is 
even more uncertain. Thank you, Esther, for sharing your story with us. 
Thank you, Congresswoman Jayapal, for sharing it.
  We have been joined by Cedric Richmond, the distinguished chair of 
the Congressional Black Caucus. Earlier I read statistics from the 
caucus about how many people were DREAMers from the Caribbean, from 
Nigeria, et cetera. We read some testimony that was from our press 
conference by the DREAMer sent by Kamala Harris from Belize and coming 
from the African-American community now. Thank you for coming, 
Congressman Richmond.
  Now we have one from David Vasquez, a DREAMer I have met. David was 
born in Germany and moved to the United States at age 13. He grew up in 
Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and graduated at the top of his high 
school class. He earned a full-ride scholarship to Bowdoin College 
through QuestBridge, an organization that links low-income students 
with top colleges in the U.S.
  David graduated from Bowdoin with a double major in economics and 
German and was able to spend two summers interning at Goldman Sachs. He 
later joined AlphaSights, a high-growth startup. At AlphaSights, David 
established the firm's San Francisco office and grew it from 8 to 25 
  That is an important point because many of these DREAMers have 
started businesses, created jobs; by creating small businesses and 
being entrepreneurs, small and larger jobs. That is really an important 
part of our economy.
  Jesper Kim from Fotorama: Jesper is a South Korean-born immigrant 
brought to the United States when he was 2 years old. He received his 
associate's degree and is pursuing a degree in computer science while 
working at his high school's photography studio. He continues to 
volunteer at his church and in his high school's Key Club.
  Evelyn Valdez-Ward from Irvine, California: Graduate student, 
University of California, Irvine. A first-generation, female, Hispanic, 
undocumented scientist, Evelyn constantly seeks to dismantle economic, 
racial, and cultural barriers. She is part of the 1 percent of 800,000 
DACA students pursuing postgraduate education.
  In addition to studying climate change's impact on planet 
productivity and drought tolerance, she is a strong and loud advocate 
for her undocumented community. I would say ``vocal.''

[[Page H963]]

  Evelyn received her B.S. in biology from the University of Houston-
Downtown in 2016. As an undergraduate, she spent 3 years on a variety 
of research projects that sparked her passion for ecology. In 2013, she 
helped to create a planet-water transport model using chaparral shrubs 
to test drought tolerance in collaboration with Drs. Michael Tobin, 
Brandon Pratt, and Anna Jacobson of California State University, 
Bakersfield. This is very important research.
  In 2014 and 2015, she worked under the direction of Drs. Scott 
Mangan, Michael Tobin, and Claudia Stein at Washington University in 
St. Louis, Tyson Research Center, where she studied phylogenetic 
relationships and the effects of drought in prairie grasslands.
  As a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Ecology and 
Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine and Ford 
Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, she is currently studying the 
effects of climate change on the interaction between plants and their 
soil microbes.
  She is dedicated to combining her scientific training with mentoring 
of underrepresented minorities in STEM, especially within the community 
of undocumented students. Evelyn aims to inspire the next generation of 
scientists by pushing forward the mission to diversify STEM.
  Thank you for that, Evelyn. Again, many of the great discoveries in 
America came from immigrants coming here. Many of the great academic 
minds in our country came from another country. But then, at the same 
time, America produced our own, and that is a pretty exciting 
  Ana Cueva: Ana Cueva was a young Mexican immigrant who has called 
Utah and the United States home since 1998 when she was 5 years old. We 
have a number of DREAMers from Utah, so we thank them for speaking up.
  From this young age, she was always taught the importance of 
education, hard work, and family. Beyond the values her parents 
instilled in her, her future was also shaped when a year after arriving 
to this country her mom became very ill. This experience gave her a 
desire to help others, and she began to forge a path on her journey to 
find her calling in nursing. In fact, nursing was solidified as her 
American Dream when she was just 9 years old.
  To achieve this dream, she understood how important it was to honor 
her parents' decisions and dedicated herself to education and 
community. As a teenager, she quickly became a volunteer at her local 
hospital and later was elected president of the National Honor Society 
for her high school chapter. She attended an accelerated high school, 
earned her associate's degree in science at 17, and graduated in the 
top 10 percent of her senior class.
  She continued her studies a year later with the help of DACA. Now she 
prides herself in being able to say she achieved her professional dream 
of being a registered nurse, BSN, currently working in the shock 
therapy ICU at a Level I trauma center in Utah. She graduated with high 
honors from Utah Valley University in December 2016.
  Thank you, Ana Cueva, for sharing your story with us.
  Keyla Garcia Espino of Wyoming: Kayla Garcia Espino came to the 
United States when she was 5 years old from Mexico. In 2016 she earned 
her bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration 
in accounting from Ferris State University.
  Keyla is the deputy treasurer for the city of East Grand Rapids and 
has been working for the city for almost 3 years. Her DACA expires in 
October of 2018. May I correct the Record. She is not from Wyoming--she 
is from Wyoming, Michigan. Is that a city in Michigan? Wyoming?
  This is from Colleen Hanabusa, who has been with us for a large part 
of the day, this testimony. Am I not lucky to be able to become so 
familiar with so many of these beautiful DREAMers? We want to send 
these people back? This talent, this rich talent? This achievement, 
this determination, this faith in the future, this patriotism for 
America? I don't think so.

                              {time}  1800

  We have to make it happen. I have confidence.
  Hi, my name is Sisilia Kaufusi. I am a DACA recipient. My parents 
came to the United States of America seeking the American Dream. I and 
my siblings came here when we were young. I was 4 when my mother and I 
came to the USofA. It was not until I was a senior in high school that 
I found out I had no legal status in this country of opportunities.
  Today, I humbly ask that you issue legal resident status to those who 
have benefited from President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood 
Arrivals (DACA). President John F. Kennedy said: ``Ask not what your 
country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.'' Over 
700,000 people have benefited from this program. This program had 
opened the doors for not only myself, but other undocumented children. 
Thanks to DACA, they have obtained education, employment, and other 
leadership roles with their community.
  Within their community so that they can do something for our country.
  President-elect Trump said he will end this program or allow this 
program to expire. By doing so, he is slamming the door on the face of 
DACA recipients, which will undoubtedly damage communities and the 
economy across the country, and perhaps even across the world. DACA 
recipients feel a sense of danger, which is why I write this letter 
today. People that have benefited from DACA have no other objective in 
mind than to become positive members of the U.S. community. Those with 
severe criminal backgrounds did not and do not qualify for DACA.
  And this is a letter from Sisilia to Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa:
  With this in mind, I respectfully ask that you forgive DACA 
recipients and urge you to pass legislation which allows DACA 
recipients to become U.S. residents and protect the information they 
have turned to the Department of Homeland Security, in order to return 
peace of mind to these families immediately. It is only with your help 
that we continue working for a better America.
  It is interesting, as we read these letters--I am sure my colleagues 
would agree--to see how many families hesitated to tell their children 
about their status. I can understand why they would not want to 
frighten them, but nonetheless, when they do find out, they are very 
shocked by it. We shouldn't have that kind of fear and shock in our 
country, especially for our children.
  So while these parents took great risk, had great courage and 
determination to protect their children, unfortunately, we didn't have 
comprehensive immigration reform soon enough to have avoided some of 
those sad situations.
  Congresswoman Velazquez has another testimonial from a DREAMer. 
Yatziri Tovar is a young New Yorker and, yes, an American, who faces an 
uncertain future.
  Yatziri Tovar came to the United States from Mexico at age 2. She is 
American in every way--except on paper. Last year, after a lot of hard 
work, Yatziri graduated from City College in New York. She achieved 
this goal while holding down a job at the same time she completed her 
studies. Because she is undocumented, Yatziri was not able to secure 
financial aid.
  Now Yatziri is giving back by working with a community group that 
stands up for and empowers some of her most vulnerable neighbors, like 
other immigrants and low-income workers.
  Yatziri is exactly the type of person we want contributing to our 
Nation. Yet, Congress is now contemplating turning its back on young 
DREAMers like Yatziri. This is shameful. For young, patriotic people 
like Yatziri and for hundreds of thousands of young Americans--yes, 
Americans--we need to pass a Dream Act now.
  I appreciate this statement from Yatziri Tovar, but I hope that we 
can be more optimistic about the prospect of not turning our back, but 
on embracing our DREAMers by having a discussion, a debate on the floor 
of the House and passing legislation.
  I hope the Speaker will give us in this House of Representatives the 
dignity that we deserve to be able to discuss matters of concern to our 
constituents on the floor of this House and have the House of 
Representatives work its will in order to address this issue.

[[Page H964]]

  The Senate has gotten that privilege--not privilege--it is really a 
given, by the leader in the Senate, Mr. McConnell, in consultation with 
a bipartisan group of Members, we have bipartisan legislation, as has 
been said over and over. What we do should be bipartisan, should be 
done openly, and should unify people. That should be a rule of thumb 
for everything we do. It is especially necessary to do this soon.
  Why? We ask the question: Why is the House cut out of this 
discussion? Why? We need that answer from the Speaker of the House. Why 
are we not given our constitutional opportunity to discuss this 
important issue?
  Just a few more from Members.
  Actually, I could stay here for the full 40 hours and do this, but I 
know that we have a vote to take, and the rest. So let us just conclude 
with Carlos Aguilar, same last name as our cosponsors of the Hurd-
Aguilar bill--no relation.
  Carlos migrated to the United States from Irapuato, Mexico, at the 
age of 14 and currently lives in Kerrville, Texas. After graduating 
from high school, he received his B.A. in psychology from Schreiner 
University. Carlos has also earned an M.S. in sociology at the 
University of Texas at San Antonio. Currently, he is attending the 
Harvard Graduate School of Education where he is pursuing a doctoral 
  Aware of the obstacles along undocumented students' road, Carlos has 
devoted his academic and professional endeavors to issues relating to 
unauthorized migration as well as providing support and guidance for 
this vulnerable population.
  In addition to academic attention to these issues, Carlos has 
remained active in the immigrant community as the Immigrant Youth 
Leadership coordinator at UTSA--that is University of Texas at San 
Antonio--as an associate legal assistant in an immigrant law firm.

  He has many accomplishments.
  Moreover, together with other undocumented and DACA students, Carlos 
coordinated students' efforts at UTSA--University of Texas at San 
Antonio--in mobilizing to defend their rights as undocumented and DACA 
students. Through the creation of Immigrant Youth Leadership, they 
advocated and worked to improve the educational experience of this 
  I am just going to one more from California. I have to end on 
  Kimberly came to the United States from Mexico and currently resides 
in Los Angeles. She is the only person in her family without papers 
and, in spite of the challenge, has risen to the occasion as an 
advocate for DREAMers. She implemented a resolution supporting DREAMers 
at her local community college. She is involved in the advocacy 
community in Victorville and spent time as an intern in Congressman 
Cook's office--bipartisan.
  She hopes to become a lawyer one day.
  We have been joined by Congresswoman Schakowsky. I thank the 
gentlewoman for being with us; Congresswoman Kathy Castor. I 
acknowledged the gentlewoman earlier. She was here before. And in back 
is Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter; Congresswoman Robin Kelly; 
Congressman Steve Cohen is with us; Congressman John Delaney.
  I am trying to recognize just the ones I hadn't acknowledged before: 
Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, 
Congresswoman Jackie Speier. I acknowledged Congresswoman Suzan 
DelBene, Congressman Bobby Scott, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman 
Schultz, Congressman Brad Sherman--I read your testimony earlier as I 
did yours, Alma--Congressman David Cicilline, Congresswoman Yvette 
Clarke--I read your testimony earlier as well.
  All the others I think I have acknowledged. Yes, Hank Johnson from 
Georgia, Congressman Hank Johnson. I think we have acknowledged all of 
the Members who are here. Congresswoman Gwen Moore, I acknowledged 
earlier when she was sitting over here. I will tell the gentlewoman who 
she was sitting next to. She was sitting next to Congresswoman Niki 
Tsongas at that time, but anyway, I acknowledge the gentlewoman again 
and thank her.
  Mr. Speaker, for the last 8 hours, I have had the privilege of 
reading the testimony of so many DREAMers. I still have more, but I 
thank all of you. It is a privilege to read the eloquent statements of 
the DREAMers as they express their love of America, their commitment to 
a better future for our country and their own families' better future.
  It was a double honor to do so with the recommendations of the 
testimony that you all extended, presented, and to have so many of you 
here in the course of the day, a real tribute to the respect that we 
have for our DREAMers.
  So I accept your applause on behalf of them because it was their 
story, in their words--by and large--that I told, in addition to the 
Bible and the Catholic Conference of Bishops and Pope Francis and Pope 
Benedict and so many other religious groups that we have. But I thank 
all of you.
  Our basic request is: honor the House of Representatives. Give us a 
chance to have a vote on the floor.
  The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has gone 
forward with the budget proposal with the promise that he will give 
that opportunity to the floor of the Senate. The Senate will work its 
will. We will see what they produce.
  We will work our will here and see what we produce, but it must be 
bipartisan, transparent, and unifying. We think that there has been a 
lot of groundwork. In our case, the Hurd-Aguilar bill is one option. 
The Senate bill may be another option. There may be other options that 
are proposed. I am just telling you about the bipartisan ones.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the staff of the House of Representatives and 
the various speakers at the House who have been up there with such 
courtesy--you smiled. You smiled. But most of all, let us thank and 
acknowledge the DREAMers for their courage, their optimism, and their 
inspiration to make America more American.
  I thank my colleagues.
  Ms. MAXINE WATERS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such 
time as I may consume.
  Allow me to just say that we continue on this most important 
legislation, H.R. 1153, and we have had the opportunity to yield time 
to Leader Pelosi, and while she certainly came in to oppose this bill 
that we have before us, having yielded 1 minute to the leader is the 
most profound 1 minute probably in the history of this institution, 
that 1 minute that ended up 8 hours where Leader Pelosi talked about 
the plight of DACA and the DREAMers.
  And I am very proud that in yielding that 1 minute we had the 
opportunity to listen to Leader Pelosi deal with an issue and demand 
that we have an opportunity to have a real debate and a real discussion 
in the people's House.
  Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that we had that opportunity, and now 
let me just say, I have no further requests for time, and I am prepared 
to close.
  Mr. Speaker, American consumers are under attack by the Trump 
administration and Republicans in Congress every day. We learn about 
either another effort to weaken guardrails, protecting consumers from 
predatory actors, or another Trump appointee refusing to hold bad 
actors accountable.
  Trump supporters at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the 
Securities and Exchange Commission have basically stopped enforcing our 
Nation's consumer and security laws.

                              {time}  1815

  Mr. Speaker, as you know, there is a lot of excitement here because 
of what took place in the last 8 hours, so I don't feel interrupted at 
all. I just feel very, very pleased that we had the opportunity to have 
that speech by our leader.
  However, I will just continue. Let me just get to the fact that, 
again, Mick Mulvaney, whom Trump unlawfully appointed as Acting 
Director of the Consumer Bureau, is gutting the Consumer Bureau's 
Office of Fair Lending Equal Opportunity limiting the Consumer Bureau's 
ability to stop bad actors from discriminating against communities of 
  News reports also suggest that Mulvaney has slowed down the Consumer 
Bureau's investigation of Wells Fargo, the ultimate example of a 
recidivist megabank. Wells Fargo has publicly admitted to ripping off 
millions of Americans with fraudulent checking accounts, credit cards, 
forced-placed auto insurance, and much, much more.

[[Page H965]]

  But the Trump administration has a partner in its efforts to 
undermine consumer protections. House Republicans have been in lockstep 
with the President when it comes to rolling back consumer protections. 
Take the Consumer Bureau's rule on forced arbitration: Wall Street 
lobbied hard against this rule, and instead of putting consumers first, 
House Republicans passed a Congressional Review Act resolution to 
repeal a rule that would have helped consumers who have been wronged by 
the big banks to join together to hold them accountable.
  But that is just one example of how House Republicans have tried to 
undermine consumer laws. For years now, they have tried to cut the 
funding of the Consumer Bureau or to change its structure, and having 
failed in those attempts, they now have their inside man, Mick 
Mulvaney, who is working to destroy the Bureau from within. We 
shouldn't be surprised since the chairman of the Financial Services 
Committee has said he wants to ``financially terminate'' the Consumer 
  The bill before us today should be viewed as one part of this long 
line of attempts by my colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle to 
undermine the fundamental consumer protection. Home buyers should not 
be gouged or swindled just because they want to own a home. H.R. 1153 
would legitimize predatory kickbacks through affiliated firms. 
Megabanks, including bad actors like Wells Fargo, and other lenders 
would be incentivized to steer their borrowers into more costly 
products simply because they can.
  H.R. 1153 is a bad bill that will only line the pockets of Wall 
Street with the hard-earned savings of Main Street. But don't just take 
my word for it. Civil rights groups and consumer advocates all agree 
that this is bad for America.
  So, despite all of the excitement that we have had here on the floor 
today with Leader Pelosi and the message that she brought to this 
Congress, I want all of our Members to simply reject President Trump's 
and House Republicans' attack on consumers. Vote ``no'' on H.R. 1153 
and support Leader Pelosi in calling for a debate in this House on the 
issue dealing with DACA and the DREAMers.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Bergman). The gentleman from Texas has 
2\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, we could not be more highly honored that the minority 
leader would take such an interest in H.R. 1533, the Mortgage Choice 
  I am reminded that there are Members who come to this great Chamber 
to make speeches, and there are those who come to make laws. When it 
comes to speeches, I would note that the Gettysburg Address came in at 
2 minutes, and Americans may think it had greater eloquence.
  I would note that as the minority leader quoted the Bible frequently 
throughout her speech, it reminds me of Isaiah 1:18, ``Come now, let us 
reason together, says the Lord.''
  Yet President Trump stood right there in the State of the Union 
Address with his hand out with an olive branch extending an open hand 
to work with Members of both parties on an immigration reform package. 
He offered a fair compromise. He offered a fair compromise, and, 
instead, the minority leader slapped his hand and called it insulting, 
Mr. Speaker. She called it lame. She called it dangerous.
  This is not someone who has come to this Chamber, the people's House, 
in order to make law. The President didn't offer legalization. He 
offered a pathway to citizenship. He didn't offer this for 700,000. He 
offered it for 1.8 million. He said:

       Let's secure our borders, and let's make sure that 
     immigrants who come to this country come legally and come 
     with their sleeves rolled up coming to work and build 

  There are those who want to solve a problem, and there are those who 
want to exacerbate a problem for the election.
  Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker, hardworking Americans need the opportunity to 
get mortgages to buy their part of the American Dream. Everything that 
the ranking member said, she ought to share it with her own Democrats 
because half of them on our committee support H.R. 1533 which is good 
for America and good for prospective home buyers.
  Mr. Speaker, I encourage all House Members to adopt it, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 725, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. HENSARLING. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.