2018 The Silfen Forum Transcript
People and Policy Adrift: A 21st Century Framework for Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Immigration Policy
Panelists: Amy Gutmann, Hon. Joseph R. Biden Jr., Hon. John Ellis “Jeb” Bush Sr., Michael Doyle, Dau Jok, Anne C. Richard
Male Announcer: Welcome to the 2018 David and Lyn Silfen University Forum. Please welcome University of Pennsylvania President, Dr. Amy Gutmann.
Amy Gutmann: Wow. Good afternoon, everybody! Welcome to the 2018 Silfen University Forum. We are going to engage with a deeply important topic today but as we do so our hearts are filled with sorrow and horror at the shootings that have taken place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. So let us begin with a moment of silent remembrance for the victims and their families. Thank you. So, today we will consider People and Policy Adrift: Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Immigration Policy. This program is made possible by special friends of the University of Pennsylvania. We honor the memory of Penn's former trustee leader, David Silfen, who together with his wife have generously endowed the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum nearly a decade ago. Please join me in welcoming here today Lyn Silfen and her daughter, 2007 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences, Jane Silfen. Jane and Lyn, would you please stand up so we can welcome you? Today's program is special because our panelists are unsurpassed in understanding immigration and its challenges. Please join me in welcoming on stage Anne Richard, Dau Jok, Michael Doyle, Jeb Bush, and Joe Biden.
Amy Gutmann: You may be seated.
Joe Biden: That's my niece!
Amy Gutmann: So immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees have become powerful political symbols, symbols that have provoked nations to build walls and barriers, exit treaties, sparked military confrontation, and even determine election results. I have a deeply personal connection to this issue, not just as a symbol but as a reality. I am the daughter of an immigrant refugee father who fled the Nazis. I am here with you today only because there was a country that he and his family could safely flee to. I draw a profound lesson from this on a daily basis. We must never lose sight of the fact that immigration is among the most life determining of human issues. We may talk of nations and populations, we may debate and legislate about groups and nationalities but at its core, immigration is about the fate of millions of individual people. Our decisions or our failure to come to a decision, these are experienced by a child separated from her parents, by a family imprisoned in legislative limbo. Understand their agony and multiply it by millions. The decisions of nations like ours are experienced by millions of women and men, girls and boys, who are enabled or prevented to make better lives for themselves and a better world for us all. The fundamental international law that governs refugees and migrations is more than a half century old. Stop to think for a moment about how much the world has changed over this time. From border walls going up and coming down to DACA being tossed like a political football during a recent governmental shutdown to the refugee crisis in Europe, to a bipartisan proposal that now hangs in limbo as we speak, the consequences are profound. The personal and political repercussions make for a most challenging discussion and we're gonna have it here today. We have five remarkable panelists here who are more than up to this challenge and I'm going to introduce them in order. Joe Biden served as the 47th Vice President of the United States after 36 years as a US Senator from Delaware. One of the outstanding statesmen of our time, he is the most recent recipient of our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. He is also Penn's own Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor. He leads the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in our nation's capitol. We celebrated its formal opening just a week ago. Vice President Biden and his family have long and close affiliations with Penn which he never ceases to brag about so we brag about him as well.
Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, served two terms leading our nation's third most populous state. Florida is noteworthy for both its large immigrant population and its role as a gateway to the Caribbean, to Central and South America. Governor Bush has been celebrated for his success in reforming education and helping to close the achievement gap between rich and poor. We are so proud of the work that he has done. The co-author of Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, he became a leading voice in the national discussion about immigration, reform, and political consensus. Governor Bush also has a very special connection to us here in Philadelphia as he formally served as the Chairman of the National Constitution Center. Thank you so much, Governor Bush, for your exemplary service.
Columbia Law School and University Professor, Michael Doyle, is a renowned scholar of global constitutionalism and international affairs. He served as Assistant Secretary General to U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan. He directs the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and leads its international migration project. He has developed the Model International Mobility Convention which represents a remarkable consensus of the world's most eminent specialists in immigration. Now, Michael Doyle's connection to Penn and Philadelphia is perhaps more profound than the other panelists. For more than 40 years, he has been my husband and as my mother, may she rest in peace, would've said, "That's not so easy." She loved him and me but you can see who's heart he won over. I am especially honored to have him participate in this important Silfen University Forum.
More than most of us here, Dau Jok, personally understands the impact of the world's refugee crisis. He grew up in the midst of Sudan's brutal civil war losing his father to violence when he was only six. In 2003, he arrived in Des Moines, Iowa with his mother and three siblings as refugees. Hard work and talent brought him to Penn and he became a proud College of Arts and Sciences graduate in 2004. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Education and no less, he runs an international nonprofit, the Dut Jok Foundation, Youth Foundation, which is named in honor of his father. Through sports, education and leadership training, his foundation reaches youth here, in Uganda, and in the South Sudan. We are so proud of you, Dau, and so pleased that you are back here with us today.
Anne Richard has published widely on topics ranging from the international coordination of foreign assistance to specific humanitarian crises all around the world. President Barack Obama tapped her to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Previously, she was Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy for the International Rescue Committee. Throughout her illustrious career, she has demonstrated a keen understanding of how international cooperation can enormously benefit refugee populations. Upon completion of her last stint in government service, she joined Penn's vibrant Perry World House right here on Locust Walk as a visiting fellow. Welcome and thank you, Anne. So, we have an exceptional group of panelists to share their insights with us and we're gonna get started. Okay, I'm gonna start with you, Mr. --
Joe Biden: You're looking at me.
Amy Gutmann: I am looking, you made eye contact which is always dangerous. I'll start with you. You have said that immigration, whether of students or of refugees, is important to this country. So why is it important, because we know that it's also controversial? Why is immigration important to the United States of America?
Joe Biden: I'll try to be very brief. First of all, it's who we are. It's who we are. I was in, I was in India three years ago, four years ago, on my way to meet with Xi Jinping in China and I got a call from a fella who was the former President of Singapore and he wanted me to stop by and talk to him and I, and he's referred to as the Henry Kissinger of Asia, very renowned individual and so I stopped to see him. He was 94, it was just before he died, and I sat with him and he wanted to talk about how because I had spent more time than any world leader with Xi Jinping up to this point and he wanted to know, talk about how Xi Jinping had consolidated power so quickly. To make a long story not quite so long, I, at one point, I looked at him and I said, I said, "Mr. President, what's China doing now?" He said, "They're in the United States "looking for the buried black box," and this is when that aircraft had gone down and lost in the Indian Ocean and I looked at him like you're looking at me. I said, "The buried black box?" He said, "They're looking for the secret that the box "that contains the secrets allows America "to be the only country in the history of the world "to constantly be able to remake itself," and I said, "Mr. President, I am old enough now "to hazard a guess what's in that box, what they'll find. "Two things: one, in the United States of America "there is no respect which is good for orthodoxy. "That's why we break old things and make new things. "The second thing," I said, "there's just an unrelenting "wave of immigration interrupted by moments of xenophobia." He looked at me, he said, "Why's that important?" And I said, this is actual conversation, I said, "Mr. President, because we've been able to cherry pick "the best of every culture in the world," and by that I mean, think about all your ancestors when they came. It wasn't like they said, this is an easy decision. No one's sitting around in Guadalajara saying, "I've got a great idea, let's sell everything we have, "give it to a coyote, have him take us across the border, "drop us in the middle of the desert, won't that be fun?" It takes people with energy, optimism, perseverance, a notion that they wanna work hard. That's who the hell we are. We're a nation of immigrants and we're strong for it and lastly, when I went from there to see Deng Xiaoping, Xi Jinping, I saw Deng Xiaoping too but that was a long time ago. If I saw him I was in trouble but, but the point that was being made was I had been earlier criticized in China by his predecessor when we were downgraded because we couldn't reach an agreement and President Yew said to me that, "By the way, I know America's not failing," he was being gratuitous and he said, "I know you're gonna come back," and he said, "And by the way, you have to do something "about your entitlement problem," and I said to him without going through the story, I said, "And, by the way," I said, "Your entitlement problem," I said, "Ours is a political problem." I said, "Yours, my God, you're in real trouble." This was in the Great Hall of the People. I said, "You're in real trouble. "By 2022, you have more people retired than working. "My God, what are you going to do? "Your One Child Policy, "I'm not gonna speak on the morality of it but, "my God, you're in trouble." Well, eight months later, they changed their One Child Policy because they're xenophobic, they don't want new folks coming in. We're the only nation, industrial nation in the world, that has replacement workers allowing us to manage and grow this economy. We need these immigrants not only because it's the right thing to do, we need it because to grow our economy. That's why it's important.
Amy Gutmann: So, Governor Bush, as we all know, our national government actually shutdown for several days not over an impasse over taxes or a budget but over an impasse over DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. This is something that we here at Penn have stood up for consistently and I know it's something that matters a lot to you. Why is this such a political football, in your mind? And would you share with us some of your thoughts about DACA?
Jeb Bush: Sure. Well, first of all, it's a wedge political issue on both sides, on the extremes of both parties. To not fix it allows you to use it as a tool for the next election. Most of politics seems to be, right now, focused on energizing your base rather than trying to forge consensus and bring more people to your cause. So, politically, this has been a wedge issue since, when Senator Biden was in the Senate and got to like literally 58 votes or 59 votes in a bipartisan consensus in 2006 and since then any effort has always been trumped, I'm gonna have to find a new word for, just for the record, I was using trump before President Trump became President Trump.
Amy Gutmann: It's very appropriate though.
Jeb Bush: But it's, so it's a wedge issue and it never seems, even though it's important, it never seems to overcome that but the DACA issue is the easiest of the immigration issues. Think about it and it's really not, the DACA, it's probably a misnomer. We're talking about children who through no fault of their own came to this country because their parents came and that group of people which is 1.8 million, not the DACA recipients but the Dreamers, the so-called Dreamers, to resolve that problem is an 85% popular move. 85% of Americans, 80, 82, the polls I've seen suggest that that's just the right thing to do. So talking about frustrating. Even when it's 85% popular, Washington seems to add all the other things in to make it more complicated. What we need to do, just as an aside about immigration, I have a, you know, my wife is from Mexico, and she's a proud Mexican American. My children are Mexican American and to use this as a wedge issue if you're, if you happen to be sleeping with a beautiful Mexican woman, which I do, or you have someone in an immigrant experience, same one, yeah, 43 beautiful years of sleeping with her and almost every family has an immigrant experience and so suggest that somehow --
Amy Gutmann: Not always that intimate but still we like that.
Jeb Bush: It's hurtful to be able to divide our country up in kind of this tribal warfare. It's hurtful for a whole lot of people and it's not American. So solving this by pairing it up with some border security initiative to respect the, it as important and the other thing, I may not get a chance to say this because I'm in this incredible university with this extraordinary history, what makes America special isn't just that we're a country of immigrants but that our national identity, our citizenship, is defined by a set of shared values and not by race or some kind of exclusionary identifier. It's the shared values and so, whatever happens in the immigration debate, I think we all need to focus on the fact that I'm not sure we have a set of shared values like we once did and it's incumbent upon all of us to respect our history, understand our heritage, warts and all, and embrace it so that everybody gets back to being a little more unified about these big issues that we face.
Amy Gutmann: So if there's, that's just so, so the educator in me is just compelled to say, if you take nothing else away from this forum and you will take much else away from this forum, we all have to take to heart and act on this idea that we're united by some values. We think unique but we stand united on some values and that's, thank you very much for --
Joe Biden: America is an idea.
Amy Gutmann: America is an idea instantiated in the values that you're talking about. So let me, I'm gonna get back to, we're gonna solve this DACA problem before the end of this afternoon. Anne, let me jump to you for a moment. Countries around the world are grappling with the dilemma of quotas for refugees and asylum seekers. All countries have some obligation here. So there's a moral obligation but there's also political realities of how have you seen countries best deal with this tension between the obligation to take in refugees and asylum seekers or do something right about this worldwide issue and the local political reality. So this is not just an American issue. This is an issue for all countries. You have great experience here. Say something about how countries can deal with this tension.
Anne Richard: Well, first thank you for hosting me at Penn over the past year. I really appreciate it. This is a very vibrant community and I've loved being here at Perry World House. So thank you, President Gutmann. I'm glad to have the opportunity to thank you in person and then to say about in my travels around the world, speaking up on behalf of refugees and displaced people, I've met with a whole range of governments and the truth is that most refugees are living in poor countries. Their hosts do not have the resources that would be ideal in order to take in and host refugees and yet they do it and place after place after place from Uganda bordering South Sudan to Jordan and Lebanon to Bangladesh. The world's 22 million refugees have been taken in and have found temporary sanctuary, and the sad situation is sometimes these crises go on too long and so we see protracted refugee crises. People aren't getting a chance to go home again which is what most of them really want to do, is to go home again. So we see really different attitudes, a real mix. Some of my personal heroes have been Angela Merkel, being open to finding a way to deal with the large numbers walking to, really headed towards Austria, Germany, Sweden in the summer of 2015 but also Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, who seeing the situation resolved to take more refugees and the Obama Administration also worked to take more refugees but, unfortunately, in the United States that policy has been thrown in reverse by the new administration.
Amy Gutmann: Well, there are political costs Merkel has had to deal with, right?
Anne Richard: Germans had a need for youth and vitality but a million people walking in at one time, unplanned, without checking them at the borders was a very overwhelming situation and it has been divisive in German society and yet they've been very serious. The German government has been very serious about how they've gone around trying to ensure that people are safe and being taken care of and much of Europe is now focused on trying to get more aid to those countries, for example, closer to the countries of origin, so Jordan, Lebanon, these countries are middle income countries. Lebanon has taken in the equivalent of a quarter of its population now in refugees and so we worked very hard to try to show solidarity with these countries for having allowed so many people in over their borders who were fleeing for their lives.
Amy Gutmann: So, Dau, the personal stories of refugees and asylum seekers are, many of them are heart wrenching and compelling. Can you speak from your experience and observation on what you would like more people to know about what those people experience and need? What do you think is most important to understand about this really important issue that we're facing in this country and the world?
Dau Jok: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. The last 24 hours has been incredible, seeing the staff, and a lot of people. This place means a lot to me. I think the one thing everyone needs to understand, most refugees if they had a choice, they would not leave their homes. Most of the time they leave because of war one way or another. What Ms. Richard's talking about, places like South Sudan where 15% of the population is internally displaced. So it's an issue that starts with having problems there but I think we need to see them as people, first and foremost. They're regular people just like anyone else in here and on the human level, they have desires, they have hopes, dreams, right? And to me, America, when I was young, what America represents is opportunity. I argue everyday, I remain optimistic that America is the greatest country in the world and the reason why is nowhere else on earth can you have a government, nonprofit, different sectors working to enrichen and help other countries and other citizens in other countries. I was telling Governor Bush, what President Bush did for South Sudan will never be forgotten and without that push to make South Sudan a country, that conflict is still going on today, right? And what everyone here, I hope you realize, there's three levels of it. There's the individual, the national, and then the global. There are ramifications for each and every one of those levels. On a personal level, you need to realize, there is much to be learned from the next person and we need to stop and just appreciate what we have. When you're from the outside, when you look at America, it represents all that is best about humanity 'cause you see resilience, you see hopes coming into fruition, you see opportunities and you see a lot of people making the American Dream happen. For us as Americans, sometimes we forget about that and we take it for granted and that's a problem. On the national level, we also need to understand that what makes us great, it's already been discussed, is the diversity. What we can learn from one and another is incredible, the stories, but more importantly what makes you human, what makes the next person human. If we stop for a second as a nation and appreciate what we have here, no one else on earth has it, and then on a global level, you are all the students in this room, auditorium, you're the global shapers. You will be making the decisions, 10, 20, 50 years from now, 100, whatever 50 years from now. And when you do, when you get to that position --
Amy Gutmann: They might live that long.
Dau Jok: When you become the governor, vice president and what not, you will recall the opportunities you had to interact with other people. That's what makes Penn unique, 60 plus countries represented here. Take advantage of that and learn. So just know that there's a lot of stories and we need to pause and just see them from different perspectives.
Amy Gutmann: Wow, thank you. Thank you for that.
Amy Gutmann: Michael,
Michael Doyle: I didn't know we were gonna get to me, thank you very much.
Joe Biden: What's for dinner? (Laughter)
Amy Gutmann: Right. The immigration policies of countries impact each other and it's been a long time since there's been anything approaching a global view of how people, whether they're visitors or students or asylum seekers and refugees, should be treated by other countries across borders. So can you tell us why you think it's important to have a global understanding, a global framework, or immigration and migration, a treaty, and is this an idea whose time has come?
Michael Doyle: Thank you. I think it's really important, we've been talking mostly about migration and refugees for very good reasons, these are many of the people who are most impacted by this world that's getting drawn ever more closely together but we should remember there are about 250 million migrants, that is people who have lived in a country, not their own, for at least a year and there are 22 1/2 or so million refugees who have had to flee their countries and 3 million more who are seeking that kind of recognized status as asylum seekers but at the same time there are 1.3 billion visitors going across borders every year. So think of this scale right there and there are other people who rely upon a globalized world. There are tourists who are moving across borders and that's a huge part of the global economy and there are international students, the 60 some nations that Dau just mentioned that are represented right here at Penn that provide a framework for education that takes place both inside and outside of the classroom and then, of course, there are labor migrants, but don't forget investor migrants, those who are seeking to move overseas and make investments and then there are the refugees who are fleeing persecution for reasons of religion, race, nationality, political opinion and then there's a whole other group of forced migrants who are simply fleeing for their lives and they have to move and that might be by civil wars or generalized violence or increasingly the threat that the island that you live on is going underwater. You are losing your country, quite literally and other places that are simply drying up by the effects of climate change and you can no longer farm in your village. You have to move. We need a new set of rules that cover this full scope of human mobility. It's not enough just to have silos divided up that don't connect and that as with existing legal architecture like the migrant workers convention designed to protect workers and countries of destination, has no gratification from any significant country of net immigration, of destination. It doesn't do its work and the refugee convention, one rule as that is, if it's led literal, read literally, is much, much too narrow. We need to broaden it to an understanding that anyone fleeing for their lives through an external threat to their life or arbitrary incarceration, has some claim upon human sympathy and protection across borders. So we need this global floor. We don't live right now in a world that's politically conducive to architecture building. This is not 1945, this is not even 1991 where major significant changes were made but we need to start thinking about this right now, about a better global regime for human mobility and if you'll excuse the plug, 30 some colleagues with me around the world have written a Model International Mobility Convention which we hope will start this conversation and conveniently we placed some of them in the back, very brief summaries, and if on the way out you were to take a copy and be inspired by it and choose to sign it, there's a webpage that you can go to and become one of the signatories of a better regime for the future.
Amy Gutmann: Great. So we're going to, have to take this opportunity having Vice President Biden and Governor Bush on the stage here today knowing that immigration is a politically polarizing issue. It has been for decades in this country, knowing that both of you are admired at home and around the world for being people who can sit down at the table with people across the aisle here, which by the way, the aisle in the U.S. is really when you look at ideologically is so much narrower than it is in so many other places in the world but it just has taken on, it's as if an artificial wall has been built between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to actually making a deal --
Jeb Bush: And Mexico's gonna pay for it. (Laughter)
Amy Gutmann: And Mexico's gonna pay for it. So, you two, right here now, I would like you to engage in a conversation. What would a decent compromise, a decent compromise on immigration, look like today in this country?
Jeb Bush: Can I start with a basic principle?
Amy Gutmann: Please.
Jeb Bush: A basic principle would be that there needs to be respect for our national sovereignty, that the rule of law is important, that countries, great countries protect their border. It's important to have a global view of migration but there also needs to be an understanding that we are a sovereign nation and that the rule of law matters. So that leads to a series of policies to fix our broken immigration system, I think, and to Vice President Biden's point, the other balancing principle that would lead to a consensus, I think, is that we are a nation of immigrants and that immigrants add incredible value and vitality and dynamism to a country that desperately needs it. So if you take those two guiding principles, then what would be the specific issues?
Amy Gutmann: Good. We're off to a good start. So we have --
Joe Biden: I think there are number specifics but I'd add two more basic principles I think the Governor would agree on. Number one, we've lead the world over the last hundred years, not by the example of our power but by the power of our example and that's literally true, the power of our example. The rest of the world has looked to us as sort of the guiding light as to how we should organize the world and in the post World War II liberal world order there's been real stability and what happens is that when major, I think there's a piece here that is not a direct answer but a piece here that we don't talk about. We're going through an enormous change in the world economy now. We're going through a place where digitalization, Moore's Law, artificial intelligence, all the massive changes that are taking place both in globalization and in terms of manufacturing artificial intelligence is creating real angst among an awful lot of people here and around the world and that always is a fertile ground for demagogues. It's always a fertile ground for demagogues as occurred when my Irish great-grandparents were coming in the 1860's and 70's and 80's and all the way through. We run through these periods when there's great economic change. When your circumstance is not what you expect it to be, there's a demagogue that will come along and say the reason is the other. The other is the reason why you don't have a job and you're not doing as well as you do. Facts matter. Facts matter and the truth of the matter is there is no compelling evidence to suggest any of the assertions made about immigration and refugees has caused the economic dislocation the people see in this country. That's factually true and something back in 2013 when we were moving a piece of the legislation that got 67 votes in the Senate, excuse me, 2003, got 67 votes in the Senate, you wrote in support of it at the time, we both agreed on it. It had all the basic elements that we talked about here. One, who are we? How do we usually do these things? Let's talk about the facts. For example, what came out, the reason it got 67 votes, it pointed out that it would increase the GDP by $1.9 trillion to allow the number of refugees we wanted to come in and allow the immigration system to change. It would grow the GDP at 5.9%, it would grow it, et cetera. So part of this is breaking through the demagoguery and the basic elements are, as the governor said, and we can, just ask yourself a simple rhetorical question. This is a pretty damn big country, are 1.9 million kids who are contributing to the economy, is there not enough room for them? I mean, is there any rational argument you can make to say America, over 300 million people --
Jeb Bush: You're not negotiating now, you're preaching.
Joe Biden: Yeah, but what I'm doing is, I don't think we have anything to negotiate. I mean -- (Laughter)
Jeb Bush: So, listen --
Amy Gutmann: Okay, go.
Jeb Bush: DACA, path to citizenship over a, I would argue, a relatively short period of time. I think the debate about border security needs to change from a wall to, if half the undocumented people last year and the year before and the year before that, came with a legal Visa and overstayed, maybe we need a new approach of enforcement which is to know where legal Visa holders are and at the end of their six months or year either ask them to renew or ask them to leave.
Joe Biden: Yeah.
Jeb Bush: That's in Kansas City, that's not in Juarez.
Joe Biden: That's right.
Jeb Bush: Mexican immigration is negative.
Amy Gutmann: Yes.
Jeb Bush: It's not positive. So these, to your point --
Amy Gutmann: You understand that, that there are more people leaving the U.S. for Mexico than vice versa. It's important, another fact.
Jeb Bush: So the wall thing would get confusing because it'll stop them from leaving.
Amy Gutmann: Right, right! (Applause)
Jeb Bush: But a serious effort as it relates to eVerify, a serious effort as it relates to Visa overstayers, a serious effort of embracing technology on the border, not just for immigrants to create a deterrent because of the lose of life and the hardship that that brings but making legal immigration easier than illegal immigration is a logical thing to do. So make a commitment using the proper technologies to make that happen at a much lower cost, at a much faster rate. Those two things paired up is the first step on that.
Joe Biden: I agree and that technology exists. What also exists and intercepts contraband too that doesn't slow, I mean, there's a whole lot of technology.
Jeb Bush: Well, you think of the, this is a twofer because of the opiod epidemic, most of the heroine comes from the United States, from Mexico into the United States and if we were serious about the 62,000 people that have died because of painkillers, or heroine, or fentanyl, that has to be part of that strategy as well.
Amy Gutmann: So let me just push you a little further to see whether you agree or disagree and whether there's or there needs to be a compromise here. There are many students who come to the United States, to Panama and other places but all of our great colleges and universities who want to stay in this country, they often graduate with engineering degrees and science degrees and also great humanities degrees as well. Should we be stapling an H1B Visa to all of their diplomas?
Joe Biden: For everybody graduating with a PhD from an American university, I officially propose this as Vice President and I couldn't, no for real, I got the President to agree, they should get as they walk across the stage to get their PhD, they should have a seven year Visa attached to it. (Applause)
Jeb Bush: Correct, totally. So facts do matter. About 15% of immigrants coming into this country come for economic purposes whereas Canada, 85% or 80% come for economic purposes so maybe emulating the best of the Canadian model would be helpful which means we're the only country in the world that has this extended definition of family to include adult siblings and adult parents. If we narrowed it to what literally every other country in the world had, and then rather than do what some in my party wanna do which is just decrease the number of immigrants, use that to expand it to basically create an economic strategy would be part of this. So the term that's pejorative is chain migration but this is definitely, all this is is to narrow the number of people coming to what all the rest of the world uses as its basis of family reunification and then, because what's happened with chain migration, set up by the way in the 1960's to make sure there were more white Europeans coming into the country, ironically, and as the Europeans stopped coming, it opened the door for great immigrants from all around the world, but the purpose of it was not the purpose that people talk about now but if you narrow that then you could have an economic strategy that would make, would have higher skills, could be based on economic need, you wouldn't overwhelm the country with people that had skills that are already here. You'd be respectful of the national sovereignty in that regard and it would be a catalyst as Senator Biden in 2003 suggested of sustained economic growth.
Joe Biden: And the other thing --
Jeb Bush: What's wrong with that?
Joe Biden: I agree with you completely!
Amy Gutmann: Okay, so we've got --
Joe Biden: No, no, I agree and by the way --
Amy Gutmann: We're getting the whole immigration compromise right here.
Jeb Bush: Well, we haven't gotten to the 9, the 11 million people, that's the gigantic elephant in the room.
Joe Biden: I think we should look at this thing, Governor, in terms of the future and the past. There's a lot of things that in the past that we, that have moved from a court of law to a court of equity. When you have people coming here because we provided for asylum for them because of earthquakes and all these other things and they've been here for 20 years now overstayed, to send them all back home now is, it seems to me, it is inhumane to do that. Particularly, since the place you're sending them back, you still cannot accommodate them but we should have, we should look forward to decide what should be the policy in the future as to how we should deal with these things. One of the things that the Secretary dealt with all the time was if we were more foresighted in the way we tried to be, we started to get some traction, your brother did, and we did as well in making sure that where all these places where the migration, were refugees are fleeing are fleeing because of the chaos that exists and/or the economic hardship. If you can fix that or help fix those areas, for example, we know now that in Iraq, we've defeated ISIS, and the administration deserves some, the Trump Administration deserves some credit for this because they finished the job but the fact is, we know, that was my responsibility, we have $58 billion to reconstruct that country and if we don't reconstruct it, we're gonna get ISIS .20.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah.
Joe Biden: We're gonna be, so we were able to put together a coalition of countries that was getting together to make sure to rebuild the bridges, rebuild the water systems, rebuild in all these towns and cities. If you do that, you will cut the refugee flow by hundreds of thousands of people and so it's not just looking at what the policy is relative to, who will allow and under what circumstances. How do we change this so as Dau said, they never wanna leave, they wanna go back home? And it makes no sense in our economic interest not to do that.
Amy Gutmann: So let me broaden then the conversation because what both the Vice President and Governor are pointing to is, what in the other countries, what in the system needs to be fixed of asylum, for asylum seekers and refugees. So Michael, what do you think needs to be fixed? Anne, Dau, how can some of these costs and the advantages too of taking in, making room for refugees and asylum seekers, how can that help everybody including the United States?
Michael Doyle: I would pick up just where the Vice President left off is that in the long run the best way to deal with the tragedy of refugees to make sure that they're not driven from their homes, so a political strategy, a preventive action, and then good peacekeeping, peace building strategy, is absolutely essential.
Amy Gutmann: Where, where, in what, can you be specific? So what countries would this be most relevant to?
Michael Doyle: It's, well for the peace building strategy, it's for any country that's gone through a major civil war upheaval. So whether it's Afghanistan or Iraq or, for that matter, Somalia or South Sudan, real attention needs to be paid so that having lived through 1.0, we're not gonna face 2.0, and that's, I think, very likely to happen unless we make the kinds of investments that are necessary to help put countries back together. Though frankly, even with a much, much better strategies in that area than we have right now, there still will be humanitarian emergencies. There's still going to be people fleeing for their homes and what we need, picking up on what Anne just said, is a better system of sharing responsibility. Right now, the principle of sharing is proximity, that is if you live next door to a civil war, you bear most of the cost at providing asylum. So that it's Lebanon, it's Jordan, it's Southern Turkey for Syria. It's Northern Pakistan for Afghanistan, it's Kenya for Somalia, it's Uganda for South Sudan. That principle is arbitrary. It produces, as Anne mentioned, 84% of the world's refugees being hosted by developing countries. We need a system of sharing by capacity, not proximity. We need some arrangement whereby countries will recognize that we're all in this together. It was not Lebanon or Jordan or even Turkey that fueled the civil war and the destruction in Syria. It was the international system much more broadly and of course Assad as the real criminal principal for all of this but we need to share the responsibility and the way to do that is not to try to impose it from the top down. The Europeans have already proved that you cannot do that. You cannot tell Hungary from Brussels exactly how many asylum seekers they need to give hosting to. Instead, we need to borrow some of the ideas that came out of the Paris Climate Treaty whereby countries will have a global conversation about the need for shared responsibility. They will get an understanding of how large the actual responsibility is, how many people are refugees, how much it costs to sustain them, how many can be helped in developing countries where, in many cases, more efficiently they can be and they're also closer to the opportunity to go home and then how many need to be resettled into countries farther away and have that conversation and then ask our statesmen to step up and say, we now understand what the global responsibility is and here a country like the United States with its immense wealth, its immense diversity, its very low unemployment rate, its increasing productivity. We are prepared to take so many individuals who will be protected by us and given a new opportunity to start a life. If their country suddenly gets put back together, they'll have an opportunity to go back home. If it doesn't get put back together after a generation or so, we will welcome them as future citizens and this is do-able. It won't solve all the problem 'cause some countries will simply shirk the responsibility but we need to create a platform wherein citizens can tell their political leaders what it means not just to be a national citizen but a global citizen. I think that's a step we need to do. (Applause)
Joe Biden: And ask Jeb if he'd comment on this. Jeb and I know as elected officials that what you say makes a lot of sense but is not necessarily salable. For you to just make the generic argument that this is a global responsibility, which is true, everybody has a responsibility. The guy working in Dagsboro, Delaware who's busting his neck putting three squares on the table and not worried about losing his job, it's like, well, wait a minute, we're always doing something. It seems to me that it's important for us to make the case to everyone in this audience, to everyone in the country, why it's overwhelmingly in our naked self interest to do this as well. There's not only a humanitarian and a notion of justice and honor but it's overwhelming our interest. For example, look at what's happened to our security as a consequence of not taking on a shared responsibility for the massive refugee problem inundating Europe, crossing borders, knocking around barbed wire fences. Our single strongest ally has been weakened to the point that they haven't been in the last 40 years. We have populism rearing its ugly head all throughout Europe. Now we have a guy named Putin in a position where he is able to use very deftly his effort to not rebuild the Soviet Empire but to break up NATO in the EU and it is a fundamental threat to American security for this to have happened. So just kid your, just a little fantasy, if somehow we were able to prevent that gigantic flow into Europe in such an immediate way with millions coming in, a million into Germany, we would be a lot better off in NATO. NATO would not be now questioning itself. EU would not be wondering whether or not they're gonna stay together. We would be much, much stronger and just put in crass terms, Putin is in great shape now. He's doing extremely well in Europe. Look what's happened, this guy's father did an incredible job, I mean, and I worked really closely with your dad for the unification of Germany and look what happened after the wall came down. Look what happened. Now what's happening? Hungary, I fought like hell for Hungary to become part of NATO. I fought like hell for Romania to become part of NATO. I fought like hell for, excuse me, Moldova to be able to play in this game now. What's happened? Look what's happened. We have an authoritarian figure now in Hungary. Poland is in jeopardy of whether or not it will remain a democracy. So our, the amount of money we're gonna have to spend in everything from missile defense to increased troop presence around the world is gigantic. It pales in comparison but we don't take time to explain to people not only is this the right thing for you to do, it is overwhelmingly in your naked self interest.
Jeb Bush: Can I just, one quick --
Amy Gutmann: Yeah, Jeb and then Dau.
Jeb Bush: One quick point 'cause the question was asked how can we create an environment where there's consensus on this? One way is to make sure that people know when refugees come to this country, the screening process, how long it takes.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah.
Jeb Bush: I mean, it's year and a half process. These people are thoroughly screened, and secondly, the other issue at stake here is back to the neighborhood, my, another immigrant story, my daughter-in-law is Canadian and her parents are Iraqi and they live in Jordan. There are more refugees in Jordan if you add up the Iraqis, the Palestinians from many years ago and now the Syrians than there are Jordanians and if Jordan becomes unstable because of this massive number of people that are inflicted real challenges for the country. Then, the whole Middle East will be turned upside down.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah.
Jeb Bush: So there is a national security interest. You can believe in America First, I do, but America First means that we lead and we lead across the board, not just militarily. We lead diplomatically, we lead as it relates to the moral implications of our policies, we have to lead in a much broader, deeper way.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear! Hear, hear! That's terrific. Dau?
Dau Jok: When I was playing basketball here, Coach Allen, at practice --
Amy Gutmann: Let's hear it for Penn basketball, by the way!
Dau Jok: There was a play and he stopped play and he asked me, "Hey, young Jok, you know what I'm thinking?" I'm like, yeah, 'cause I used to tell him, 'cause I had an idea. He's like, "No, you don't. "You don't know what I'm thinking," and his point was if we don't communicate, we don't know, we're at different places, parents, kids, they don't communicate, disconnected, relationships, you don't communicate. We started this conversation with values. What has made America great in my opinion is three things: morally we've been on the moral side as having always standing on the morally, the right thing to do side; two, militarily; number three, economically. Now it's not feasible for us to spend more and more money on military even though the military would love that. More toys, it's good. However --
Jeb Bush: (Unintelligible)
Dau Jok: Yeah, I mean, it's good because if we go to war, you have more, better equipment. However, it is feasible to engage and the engagement is on multiple levels. I think I've had two moments where I felt un-American in my life. The first one, I came back from London and I was at Minneapolis airport and the TSA agent picked me out of 10 people and he had my passport in his hand and he was asking me why, what I'm doing in America and it says USA. That was the first time I literally visceral reaction, I felt un-American in that moment. The second one, I was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and there's 60 of us officers and to the top right is our international student from Rwanda, Eric Yoh-mu-henda. I'm sitting in the back. There's a Colonel, this is a highly educated man, smart, and he's in charge of the group, the special forces teams around the world and he says, "We have how many internationals? "One," he looks straight at me and I'm wearing the same uniform as everyone else. Now, for a moment I was like what's going on but after I reflected a little bit, it's not his fault. I can't label him as racist or a bigot or whatever for maybe thinking that I'm not American, however, it begs the question, are we doing enough to educate one another and engage one another? What does it mean to be an American, for us? What are our values? And so on that level, we need to engage one another. On another level, we need to engage in other, what Vice President Biden said earlier, enabling and empowering people who come to this country. You have doctors, lawyers, case with South Sudan, you have lawyers, doctors, smart. They have contributed greatly to the United States of America and at any given time if the political climate in South Sudan was better, they would pick up today, most of them, to go back and help. So how do we facilitate that? And we have to engage and help these people, how do we make that happen for you? And now it takes the moral aspect of it which is what we've always had and saying, President Obama's Administration did this where we know we have the best military in the world, there's no debate about that, however, we're gonna lead with diplomacy. These two were in it. We're gonna lead with diplomacy. We know we're the strongest army and military in the world but we're gonna lead with diplomacy. That's the moral side of it. We're gonna make the moral argument. If we strengthen that and use diplomacy to engage people, you will see results and one thing you would see is that each and every one of us in this room, what happens in the other part of the world matters to us and the reason it matters is because it's globalization, it's because, if you look at immigrant, how much money economically they send back to their home countries, it's a lot! That is money not being spent in America. So economically and for those of you in Wharton, economically, it makes sense.
Amy Gutmann: Anyone in Wharton here?
Dau Jok: It makes a lot of sense.
Amy Gutmann: Terrific. So, Dau, this leads perfectly into a question I want each of you, if you each could answer briefly, but I think it's really important that I pose it and I'll begin with Anne but we've used and we do use hopeful phrases like dreamers and the new Americans and we're a country of immigrants but people also talk about immigrants, and I just picked it out of recent discourse as public safety risks, as terrorists and as job stealers. So how can we constructively respond to this tendency? And it's not just in this country, it's worldwide throughout Europe and other places in the world, this tendency to disparage immigrants and their countries of origin. Dau just gave us a personal example of how that makes really wonderful, productive, creative members of society feel. So what, I think, open to any of you, what's the most constructive way of countering that narrative? Because there are ways of countering it that are destructive, that only push people back into their corners.
Anne Richard: I wanna say two things. First in another blatant attempt to butter up the President of your University, I wanna say that Michael Doyle's model convention has got a great starting point which is reality. He starts by talking about how there are 244 million human beings on the move around the world for a whole variety of reasons and that that's what we human beings do. We move! We don't always stay put, especially Americans, and so we should be sympathetic to people who want to better themselves by moving. We should be interested in their stories and what they wanna do and that we should treat all of these people with dignity and so this is some basic appreciation for this natural phenomenon of human mobility that I think we can talk about by starting with facts and one of my frustrations is there's a lot of rhetoric out there that's just baloney! Talking about the idea that if refugees come here, they're gonna be terrorists and we can't trust them and especially if they're Muslim and this is such nonsense! As I've traveled around the world I've met so many refugees, these are ordinary families who are trying to have a future for their families. First, they wanna get to safety. Then, they wanna have a future. They want their kids educated. We find, some of the facts are that when a refugee has been in the United States for 20 years, they have paid back more in taxes then they ever got in benefits. You do pay your taxes, don't you? April 15th.
Dau Jok: I have been. (Laughter)
Anne Richard: Good, very good, and so this is, my second point is this is a role for universities. This is where university presidents can speak up as they are doing about the importance of having international students. University professors can point out how much we learn from bringing in people from overseas and university students can be the most effective activists when you organize and get out there and speak up on behalf of keeping our doors open to what the rest of the world has to offer us and one of the things about the chain migration versus family reunification debate that kind of drives me nuts is we can do both. We have done both. Canada does both. We can mess with the percentages but we shouldn't be in such diametrically opposed rhetoric about this. This is something that we can do both of and, in fact, don't be surprised when people who come because they're vulnerable and we're giving them another chance turn out to be super successful because even if they didn't come in under an H1B Visa, there's something about our society that allows families to really succeed here and we should not downplay the possibility of that happening.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah!
Jeb Bush: I would say in order to change the debate about immigration in general, refugees, asylees, people across the board in the immigration world, three things: one, eliminate the fake news 'cause immigrants, on average, the statistics that typically, the positive statistics are true but they're not, we're not an average. There are a lot of lower income Americans that have had declining wages because of the lack of control over our immigration policy. So recognize that and be sensitive to it. Don't just sluff it off because that's an issue that I think we have to be aware of. Secondly, our immigration system, our legal immigration system is absolutely broken. So I'll give you one example,
Amy Gutmann: Yeah, yeah.
Jeb Bush: That I think's worth noting. With the best of intentions Diane Feinstein put an amendment to a bill in the last year or second to last year of my brother's administration, he signed it into law that dealt with child trafficking and at the last moment Mexico was not included because there was a fear that it would create a huge magnet of young people crossing the border to be able to make their asylum requests. So they only included the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The net effect is that five or six years later, we have seen this mass migration of young people to try to reconnect with their families in this country, well motivated to do that, paid by the drug, you know, they're paying the drug cartel and the coyotes to do this, they're taking enormous risk to cross the entire country of Mexico, they come in, they're, by law, they're allowed to petition, make their petition request. We're so inept that it takes a year for that request to take place. There's no administrative law judges. We will talk about border control but we don't even have a legal process to deal with this. It takes another year for their determination by a judge to make their case. Well, by then they're totally immersed in the Guatemalan, and Honduran, and El Salvadoran communities and we're not gonna create an environment where people respect our immigration system until we start enforcing the existing laws.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah. Yeah, Michael?
Michael Doyle: I agree completely that this is an issue both of facts and here universities have a very strong role to play. What we do is research, what we do is teaching, and we can push back against the false narratives that have been associated with migration and with refugees and it's an extremely important role that we can play but if we're going to change and persuade those individuals who are starting from a very negative point of view, the facts are not gonna be enough. We need policies that protect the most vulnerable Americans and there's some trade-off, much, much less than has been portrayed. Many immigrants who come in complement and not just compete with our own workers allowing prosperity across the board and there are policy measures that can be taken such as retraining or compensation or local development initiatives that can deal with any negatives that emerge. It's not something that we're incapable of doing but the other thing that we need to do in addition to good facts, good policies, we also need to speak to peoples' hearts. That is, there's direct correlations between willingness and welcomeness towards immigrants and refugees and knowing one or having a friend who knows one and that holds up both in the United States and in the UK where the issues are somewhat different but the Brexit votes were somewhat related to some of the current controversies we have here and if you were in a community that had immigrants somewhere near it, you were much more likely to vote against Brexit and if what you were being shaped by was fears and stories about what was happening in the next community, you were much more likely to vote for Brexit. So we need to address peoples' hearts as well and one way to do that is what our friends, the Canadians do is that they regularly have public broadcast of Canadian families describing their experiences as serving as hosts for immigrants and they have a sponsorship program that works very, very well and so we need to hear the voice of former refugees, current immigrants. We need to hear the voice of the sponsors who have experienced what it's like to be a welcoming citizen and so we need to speak to heads as well as hearts.
Amy Gutmann: So speaking of speaking to hearts, you are really renowned as a politician who does speak to the hearts of people who may otherwise feel that they're being left behind, American citizens, not immigrants, who are the most vulnerable. So how to you do that?
Joe Biden: I, first of all, I agree with everything that's been said so far. We're all going at this at a slightly different perspective. First of all, I think we should look at the facts. The vast majority of people in America are not xenophobic. Let's get this straight.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah.
Joe Biden: So there's all this talk about this is an American uprising. This is generated in significant part by about 35% of the population led by a President who I think has very skillfully used this issue as a way to break down our institutions in order to generate No, I'm really, I'm not looking for, that's not, I think this is factual. I honestly, No, look, I may be wrong. I just wanna make a point. Those of you in this state and this place know me pretty well. No one ever doubts I say what I mean, the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean. But, for real, think about it now, guys. This same thing existed, as a matter of fact, there was more immigration in the beginning of this admin-, our administration and the end of your brother's than there is now in terms of what's flowing across our southern border, for example, and there was not this hysteria and xenophobia that has been just pumped up, number one. Number two, I would argue that one of the things that people really need to know and not just appealing to their hearts, because their hearts are basically pretty decent, they step up. The American people have stepped up. They've stepped up with people in need. They've stepped up in foreign aid. They've stepped up every time they've been asked. They haven't, they haven't stepped back but because of the nature of the way our politics has changed and, excuse me, for talking about our institutional structures, but the combination of there being this enormous drive toward gerrymandering so that we push both parties further left and further right, we're eliminating the middle because in most places you can't get beat if you're a Democrat, if you're in a democratic district. If you commit an unnatural act by a Republican, you can't get beaten but you can get beaten in a primary.
Jeb Bush: What's an unnatural act?
Joe Biden: Well, an unnatural act is voting for Trump. (Laughter) But, secondly, but all kidding aside, think about it, guys. Think about how polarized our politics has become. I'm so tired of hearing how we are split as a nation. When I started in 1968 as a young councilman and I got elected in '72, this country was significantly more divided on every single issue. Look at the issues in America today. Every major issue has between 54 and 68% consensus to do it. Why isn't it happening? The system is broken because of unlimited spending in campaigns and because of the way in which both parties are moving to the extremes because they're worried about primaries and so part of what -- I'll conclude by saying there is one thing that no one wants to speak to because it's really tough. A lot of people are worried, this is the first, by the beginning of this next decade, those of us of European descent are gonna be an absolute minority in the United States of America and there's a lot of folks on the far right and sort of the white supremacist types who are worried about cultural pollution. Are we gonna lose who we are? What's happened is that you've got a guy like David Brooks writing about there's three ways you organize in history: by tribe, by religion or by ideals. We are being driven to organize by tribe and people are worried about what their identity will be as Americans instead of us reminding them that there is no way to identify an American, like the Governor said, other than based upon ideas and so, guys, I just think that we should put in focus, it's like this massive win that the President had but for 72,000 votes, it'd be different. There's nothing that's been massive in terms of changes here. The fact is the majority of the American people are still decent and honorable. They're looking for people to stand up and say the right thing like this guy does and they will eventually get it right.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear! Hear, hear!
Jeb Bush: He's a piece of work.
Amy Gutmann: Well, there you go.
Jeb Bush: You're a good man.
Amy Gutmann: I'm gonna ask, one quick, two sentences answer to this, each one of you. One realistic hope, realistic hope, for immigration moving forward.
Anne Richard: I would love to see the issue of refugees go back to being an issue that has bipartisan support. It has for decades --
Amy Gutmann: Amen, amen. Okay.
Amy Gutmann: Go, focus, yes.
Dau Jok: I think my first hope would be that we don't use the other. That language is very bad, the otherness, that's dangerous. The second hope is especially to all of you in here who are students is self-improvement. Improve yourself. Be aware of what's going on in the world, study, read.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear. Amen to that, too.
Michael Doyle: I agree with my two previous speakers. So that's already too but I wanna take two of my own. Number one, we just have to solve the issue of the Dreamers. It is absolutely essential.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear.
Michael Doyle: If we can't solve that now, we identify how deep a hole we're in and it's gonna be so hard to climb out. The other I think we need to have a serious effort to think about skills based immigration into the US so that we identify what job needs are not gonna be filled by American citizens even if they have assistance to move and that we open that up to the immigrants who we very much need and give some preference to, needless to say, family unification and diversity.
Anne Richard: You're nicer to the guys, by the way.
Amy Gutmann: No, no, no, it's true. I'll pay for it at home if I stop him! You got more than your two sentences, Michael.
Michael Doyle: Sorry. (Laughter)
Amy Gutmann: Thank you.
Jeb Bush: I'll take his two sentences and advocate civics education for America. I think if we got that done --
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear!
Joe Biden: Fix the political system by Democrats and Republicans starting to talk to one another again. We don't even talk to one another.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear. Terrific. You did it. Anne, you led the way to keep, so I just, I can't help being, having been educated in philosophy to say, Vice President Biden, you channeled, you may not have known it but you channeled Immanuel Kant who said, famously said, "Everything you say has to be true "but you don't have to say everything that's true."
Joe Biden: And besides that, I don't know everything is true.
Amy Gutmann: This has been fabulous but we don't wanna end without some question from our audience and so I've been passed some questions from the audience here and I'd love the, Andrew Martinez, is he here? Andrew Martinez, I have a question. Do you see?
Joe Biden: In the black.
Amy Gutmann: He's a student here. Where are you?
Joe Biden: Raise your hand, Andrew.
Jeb Bush: There he is.
Joe Biden: Wave.
Amy Gutmann: Okay. Where are you a student?
Andrew: Graduate School of Education.
Amy Gutmann: Graduate School of Education ranked #3 in the world. In such a polarizing political climate, how do you see support for immigration reform happening? So this is the nuts and bolts. Who wants to take it? Governor Bush?
Jeb Bush: These are the, what we've discussed, are 60 plus percent issues in terms of border security done the right way, dealing with the Dreamers, the 1.8 million that are here through no fault of their own. These are issues that have broad popular support and if they can't get done then I think there needs to be, incumbents need to be punished politically.
Amy Gutmann: Hear, hear!
Jeb Bush: That's how it's supposed to work. I mean, you don't like what they're doing, throw the bums out. That's kind of how it's worked historically.
Amy Gutmann: That's democracy, right?
Jeb Bush: Yeah.
Amy Gutmann: Lisa Gayle Zeit-lin? Lisa Gayle? Yes! And you're, say where you are at Penn.
Lisa Gayle: I'm on staff at Development and Alumni Relations.
Amy Gutmann: Terrific. What can Penn students and young people do to help ensure the safety of immigrants and refugees? Anne? You spoke to, why don't you speak to this?
Anne Richard: Yeah, there are groups on campus that are concerned with refugees and so I suggest you search them out and join and get active and there's also very good groups in Philadelphia that are helping to resettle refugees and so if you don't know, Perry World House will know and they do a great job and what more could someone who's a refugee want than to live in Philadelphia? I mean, it's nirvana. (Laughter)
Amy Gutmann: And I will just underscore Anne's plug for Perry World House on Locust Walk. If you wanna learn what other groups are doing to help and how you can join, just visit Perry World House. Fabulous staff there to help you. Okay, next question. Nicholas Verga? Nicholas? Right here. Identify yourself.
Nicholas: I'm an undergrad from Wharton and also an exchange student from Italy.
Amy Gutmann: Oh, wonderful! Welcome. So, Nicholas' question is do you believe that mass migrations can always be channeled into economic growth?
Joe Biden: No.
Amy Gutmann: Would you like to expand on that?
Joe Biden: It can't always be channeled into economic growth immediately. You're gonna look at what's happening in Germany, a million people or you look at Jordan where their population is fewer Jordanians than there are those with mass migration. They cannot accommodate them, they cannot find enough jobs, and so it is mass migration. Can migration in fact, if you do the three pieces of it, and I'm not gonna go into it but one, fix the homes in which they came from, the countries they came from. Two, make sure that while they are refugees, they are taking care of their basic needs and three, allow for significant migration into other countries, sharing the responsibility, the answer is yes.
Amy Gutmann: Yeah, Anne, you should, 'cause the million into Germany did create a significant problem both a humanitarian problem and a political problem.
Anne Richard: Yeah, I think 800,000 ended up in Germany and 200,000 went on to Sweden and what we have called for in the past and I led U.S. Delegations to Migration conferences was managed migration, being smart about it, thinking about who needs to go where, who's interested in going and so it's a very rational approach as opposed to letting all hell break lose and I was very disappointed when the Trump Administration decided to boycott a migration conference in Mexico. Who ever heard, I mean, believe me, I went to a lot of migration conferences, you never read about it in the newspaper which was fine but so the Trump Administration decides not to go and they say it's because they refuse to surrender our sovereignty, and that was just nonsense because by going America has tremendous influence, and the things that we're calling for are basic values that all Americans share of treating people decently, and so I was very disappointed that in addition to a lot of things about scaling back our diplomacy that they're sort of missing in action in the migration debates right now.
Joe Biden: That's why when she's gone to those conferences the President was sending me up on the Hill. Not a joke. We got up over 100,000. We could accommodate a lot more relative to our population and our wealth and it, quite frankly, you're being a little disingenuous. We were not viewed as doing our share even when we pumped it up to 100,000 in these conferences.
Amy Gutmann: But smart, it's really important that there's a role for everybody here who cares enough about this to study, learn the facts and try to figure out how to make smart migration work because all the good things and the good hearts in the world are not gonna solve the problem if we're stupid at how we don't vet people well and efficiently and so on. I think that's just really important. Michael.
Michael Doyle: Let me try a finance guy kind of answer, though I'm not a finance guy. You know there's only two sources of growth. There's productivity and the increase of the population. That's where economic growth comes from and I recently saw some figures that the reproduction rate in the U.S. is quite likely to fall to 1.7 so --
Jeb Bush: It already has.
Michael Doyle: At 1.7 it means that we're going to be declining unless there's very rapid population growth, or very rapid technological growth. So either the young men and women in this audience need to get very busy to deal with the population issue,
Amy Gutmann: Please, Michael. (Laughter)
Michael Doyle: Or we need to have fantastic rates of technological growth or we need immigrants coming into this country. Those are the simple choices.
Amy Gutmann: And the young men and women in this audience are very busy already so, learn-, yes.
Joe Biden: But Michael every expert acknowledges and believes there's gonna be significant rapid technological growth and it doesn't answer the question, I don't think, about mass migration. When you mean mass migration, you mean an amount of migration that overwhelms a population in the country in question.
Jeb Bush: Like Italy.
Joe Biden: Like what's happening from Libya.
Amy Gutmann: Okay, final question goes to a student, Jesse Blanko. Jesse, where are you? Ahh, stand up! Jesse, where are you a student at Penn?
Jessie: I'm a student in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Amy Gutmann: Yes, the College of Arts and Sciences! Do we have any other people from the College of Arts and Sciences here? Whoa! How can social media be used to facilitate meaningful dialogues on controversial topics like immigration? So here bring together new technology, meaningful, constructive dialogues on controversial issues like --
Anne Richard: I have one idea.
Amy Gutmann: Okay.
Anne Richard: Which is that because people are afraid of people they don't know, I think you can get videos of people who are in refugee camps or are living in cities, most refugees live in cities actually and not in camps who can tell their story and if you care enough, you can listen to their stories and start to understand why they fled, where they're going, what their own hopes and dreams are, and I think that could be a useful way to use modern technology to tell stories.
Amy Gutmann: And we have to call on the youngest member of this panel who probably knows the most about social media, Dau.
Dau Jok: So I think social media can be of value but it can also be detrimental in many ways. So when I was here, Reverend Chaz Howard, he used to have in the Chaplain's Office called Pause. I mean, just reflect, just stop, okay? Today, because of social media we're not pausing, we're not stopping to reflect and be present and by not being present, you're missing a lot. You're missing the relationships, you're missing what's going on, you're not processing things, and that's dangerous for us as a society 'cause our relationships will suffer with one another, with our spouses, with our kids. So when your kids, especially the students, your kids turn out, they don't wanna listen to you, you can kind of look at yourself in the mirror 'cause you spend too much time on the phone, perhaps. On the other hand I think that technology allows us to see what's happening around the rest of the world with the video, YouTube, Twitter. It can be of great use and we can connect with other people in other countries through social media. What's App is an example. You can be texting with somebody across, in Asia or South America or Africa, wherever but it all starts with as individuals, what are doing with this thing, the last question, I think we also need to incentivize people who are helping immigrants or refugees as well. President John Magufuli of Tanzania just withdrew Tanzania's support for a U.N. program that helped refugees in his country from Congo, and as students at Penn, you use social media to be aware, again, of what's happening around the world and then create dialogue at Penn to begin with, preferably in person but if not, do use social media.
Joe Biden: But it's a double edged sword. A little boy washes up on the beach in Turkey and it has a profound impact on peoples' sympathy and empathy for immigration and we got something done, literally, in the three weeks in the wake of that. On the other hand, seeing somebody who is an illegal immigrant shooting someone in San Francisco and that being replayed and replayed and replayed has the same profound impact and so I don't know enough about how, there's no control at this point and I don't know how you use it with any way of certainty except try to put the good stuff out.
Jeb Bush: I think our President ought to stop tweeting and we ought to stop watching. (Cheers)
Amy Gutmann: So this has been an amazing conversation to be continued. You all have been here, you've been an amazing audience. The questions are terrific. The answers have only just begun. I just have to say not only how proud I am but I implore you all each in your own way to continue to work, push, advocate for what you believe is right and what you believe will be productive for our country and the world and with that, I thank Anne Richard, Dau Jok, Michael Doyle, Jeb Bush, and Joe Biden for your wonderful time.