Providing for Consideration of H.R. Securing America's Future Act of 2018

Floor Speech

Date: June 21, 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Immigration

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Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me the time.

Mr. Speaker, I would remind Mr. Burgess that he has the levers of power now, and I predict that today, the two measures that we are going to be dealing with are not likely to reach the President's desk.

But none of this was happening 4 months ago. None of this was happening 2 months ago. But a policy that was announced by Jeff Sessions is what brought us to this, and that had to come through the President.

Last night, at our Rules Committee, I offered an amendment that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for certain long-term temporary protected status holders. Not surprisingly, in this historically closed Congress, my amendment was not made in order.

Let me repeat that. This historically closed Congress--89 closed rules. Never in the history of this body have we had as many closed rules.

As we discussed the need for Dreamers to have a path to citizenship, which they must, I wanted to make sure that those who are in our country under temporary protected status are not passed over and forgotten. They are from El Salvador. They are from Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Haiti.

These individuals are hardworking taxpayers, many of whom have U.S.- born children or U.S. citizen spouses, and they contribute to our economy and our communities. They pay taxes, and in myriad and dynamic ways they work at our airports and our service industries, in our healthcare sector, and on our construction sites.

They are fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers. They are members of our faith-based communities. And every single one of them, to a person, hails from a country still recovering from natural disasters, internal violence, or both.

I will give you just one example.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. 1.5 million people were displaced, 300,000 buildings were destroyed, and 8 years on, tens of thousands of people remain in camps.

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Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Speaker, then they had a hurricane. The hurricane was the first category 4 hurricane to hit Haiti in over half a century, claiming 1,000 lives and displacing more than 2 million people.

Haiti, quite simply, continues to climb out from the rubble of the earthquake, cholera outbreak, and Hurricane Matthew, and we in the United States have tried to help them to do so, as we should.

In its wisdom, the Trump administration has decided to end TPS for Haiti and many other countries. Not only does this conclusion fly in the face of the facts as we know them, but it needlessly inflicts countless wounds on our communities and our families.

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