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tv   Ashton Kutcher Testifies on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking  CSPAN  February 19, 2017 1:24pm-2:12pm EST

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as a researcher in ghost writer for hillary clinton, bob bernstein, and bob were word -- bob woodward in her book, "pretend i'm not here." resisted. i just spoke in general terms about what it was like being in the white house and then i told my story. about being in the room. during this unusual exercise. i told him you can't use it. there were only these two women in the room who were doing this, these two guests. there were one or two staffers and mrs. clinton. if you use it, everyone will know i was the source. i was very worried about that, but i trusted him. >> tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a." next, a senate foreign
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relations hearing on how to stop human trafficking and modern-day slavery. after ashton kutcher testified on efforts he is leading to stop the practice. the other witness leaves the organization human rights first. this is just under two hours.
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chairman: the senate foreign relations committee will come to order. >> [indiscernible] hitrman: i'm going to read the gavel since people were tied up in the back for priority reasons. i want to call the meeting to
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order and thank everybody for coming today. andhose who were here traveled extensively to be here, i want to apologize on the front end for what is happening today. we have two votes at 10:30 a.m., which means that people will be streaming and then out of the meeting. i understand that it's a democratic caucus meeting that was called without talking to some of the chairman. in any event, that doesn't take away from the importance of this. i just hope people will bear with us. we are at historic turning point in the global fight to end modern slavery today things to the incredible efforts of so many committed individuals, two of whom are with us today and several are in the audience and certainly many up to the dais. groups,sed organizations throughout the u.s., and people around the world have come together around this issue that we are highlighting today. this is the third year we have held a hearing to highlight shine a light on slavery day.
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the end it movement has been building for about 10 years now. people around the world are very familiar now with this scourge on mankind. across the country, people have made personal statements about the need to end modern slavery by wearing a red x why so many of us are doing today. this year on february 23 during a senate recess, this day will take place t. we highlight the horrific nature slaveryn st. louis -- and highlight progress on the u.s. beginning an unprecedented effort to end this scourge on humanity and we have some pioneers tonight in laying the foundation for that. starting with the trafficking victims protection act, there has been a growing awareness increasingly effective about human and touch trafficking working united states did -- anti-trafficking working in the united states.
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this is to measurably and sustainably ramp up our efforts worldwide. we can build on what has occurred. i want to thank the people on the committee that unanimously passed out several years ago this bill and then continued to work to make sure after a two-year process that we actually passed the authorization. i think people understand appropriations are already in place. ,ow the real work begins standing on the shoulders of our witnesses here today and some others. you seem efforts to make a difference, as i just mentioned. our first witness today is mr. ashton kutcher. he is the cofounder of thorne, an organization that works with law enforcement to rescue trafficking victims by leveraging the very technology used to abuse and exploit them. we welcome you today. he flew all night and is working right now on a phone. he caught a redeye and after having dinner with his wife, a
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very smart man, on valentine's day. he is leaving immediately after this. i will tell you that if you knew of what he and his organization anddone, it's inspirational the metrics that they are able to help us with, the way that they are able to advance what is happening is phenomenal and nature testament to entrepreneurialism and people taking a risk, in this case, toward a social good. i had a few moments with him. i'm even more thankful for him and his commitment to this. he became interested just by seeing it was occurring and felt that he could do something about it. we also welcome our second massimino,ss alisa president and chief executive officer of human rights first. thanks so much for what you are
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doing and your testimony today. we are also happy to have with us today the founders of passion movement and the passion church, louis and shelley giglio. i will have to say that they are the people who brought awareness to me. they are the people who have instilled the awareness and young people all across our country. they want to be a part of ending this. i thank them for their personal inspiration and inspiration they are to some of the people around the world every day. we also have jenny brown, the campaign director of the end it movement, who obviously for 10 years has been making people aware in many ways. this awareness has led us to today. we would also like to welcome mr. tim estes. this has nothing to do with our involvement. he is ceo of the general reasoning, based in tennessee. they are using intelligence to interdict and help with the tools that thorn is putting in
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place. i want to thank ernie allen for being here as well. he founded the center for missing and exploited children, one of our greatest leaders on this issue. people in this movement know him well. i also want to welcome former u.s. representative susan molinari who has been involved in this even before being involved with google. with that, thank you all for being here. it's a great day for us. i would like to introduce our outstanding ranking member ben cardin and my friend. senator: hearings for the senate foreign relations committee in this congress. it speaks to the priority that we believe that we must pay to modern-day slavery tracking. progress we of the have made in regards to dealing with this issue.
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it has been thanks to u.s. leadership that many in this susan, it is nice to see you again. we served together in the house of representatives. always a pleasure to have senator mccain on this committee. he served here for a while. hims suspicious when i saw in the facilities. i thought he was coming to take our office space for the armed services committee. it is always a pleasure. >> i came to counsel you. >> your counsel is always welcomed. is one of our great international champions on human rights. he is always very kind in the comments he makes about many of us. senator mccain has a passion to stand up for what is right, and to do that regardless of the political consequences. makessed in up for what
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this country as great as it is. , we have been talking about trafficking for a long time. thee frankly, it was congressional leadership that made this issue the priority of our nation and has made congress globally -- progress globally. so many areas we have seen people abused around the world. i want to thank you for your leadership. it is tough to get anything done. through your persistent leadership, we have been able to leverage a small amount of federal funds with private sector dollars that will make a difference globally. you stuck with it, you got it done. thank you for doing that. i want to thank senator menendez. integrity ofor the in trafficking report, which
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the last administration, a democratic administration, there was i partisan criticism for which the administration we believe brought in factors that should not have been brought in for the rankings on trafficking in persons report. to chair opportunity the commission. the helsinki commission raised these issues on the international forum. priorityde a career dealing with trafficking. indeed isnize this modern-day slavery. we have a responsibility to boot this out wherever we find it. it cannot be compromised for other areas. this is something that in and of itself must be our highest priority.
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we can celebrate the success we have had when we know too many people are risk. visited victims centers and have seen victims of trafficking. i have seen the victims of trafficking in europe, i have seen the victims of trafficking in asia. heartbreaking. weknow they are victims, and need to recognize them as victims. there are many reasons i'm concerned about the president's executive order on immigration and refugees. the impactreasons is it has on victims of trafficking. i am here whether those who have -- who are victims of trafficking could have come into this country under that band. i know many of the refugees from potential victims or are victims of trafficking that
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our refugee program has a major impact. we know the rohingya population of burma were subject to trafficking. hold as a result of the present executive order. i just urge us as we look at our priorities for protecting those who are victims that we can protectat we our nation on things like this executive order. it has an impact on protecting people from the scourge of trafficking in modern-day slavery. i would urge us to make sure say this is a priority, we're going to look for every possible way to accomplish these goals. i apologize that democratic members are going to have some conflicts. i must tell you, this is a very important hearing.
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thehank our witnesses and interest we have from the private sector to work with us to find ways we can be more effective in stopping modern-day slavery. >> thank you so much. with that, we will turn to my friend. someone who has been fighting for the rights of people who don't have them all around the one of the craziest members that we have here in the united states senate. we are glad he has come to our hearing today. i want to thank you personally for your and cindy's leadership on this issue. i want to thank you for allowing the modern slavery initiative to be carried on the nda a last year. thank you for hanging with us. i know you're going to make a few comments. we appreciate that and we introduce you now. >> thank you mr. chairman. i will now translate the chairman's remarks into english. [laughter]
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in the interest of time, i would like my statement to be made part of the record, and just say the reason i am here is to thank you, thank senator carmen -- cardin, thanks senator menendez and all the numbers of the committee for this bipartisan effort. been for years and senator cardin's tenacity and dedication to this issue, it would not have passed into law as part of the national defense authorization act. i want to thank you and i want to thank all numbers of this committee for their effort and they are highlighting this terrible terrible issue that unfortunately thanks to a lot of things including social ,etworking seems to be growing rather than lessening throughout the world. i also want to thank ashton. you are better looking at the movies. [laughter]
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anyway. much. to thank you very note, i am proud of my home state of arizona for being a leader on this issue. -- for cindy for year years has dedicated her time and efforts on this. just finally mr. chairman, this and sos so terrible heart-wrenching and so compelling that a lot of times, some of us would rather talk about more pleasant things. everything that you and members of this committee, but especially you and then have done, in furthering this effort. someday, it will pay off. we will hear it from our witnesses, compelling stories that are so deeply moving.
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i can't think of a higher priority. >> thank you so much for coming, we appreciate it. for that, setting the stage the fact that we have 27 million people around the world that as we sit here in this hearing are living in slavery, 24% of those are in sexual servitude. cagese living, working in -- living in cages at night, working in fishing, rug manufacturing. we have of the best witnesses we can have in people who have committed their lives and resources to this. our first witness is mr. ashton kutcher, cofounder of the digital defenders. your story, for those people who -- involved in ontario is in entrepreneurialism. i look forward to your
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testimony. is presidenttness and chief executive officer of human rights first. we thank you for being here. if you could give your testimony and the order of being introduced. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. as a young man, raised and brought up in the public school system, i pledged my allegiance to that flag every single day. , maybe one of the greatest honors of my life today, is to be here, and leverage the work that i have that may inimony some way benefit this nation that i love.
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start by saying thank you chairman corker for your leadership in this endeavor, and to senator cardin. your leadership has been extraordinary. i would like to also say thank you to the rest of the committee that has supported this effort. this is a bipartisan effort. in a country that is riddled with bipartisan separation on so many things, slavery seems to come up as one of these issues that we can all agree upon, and i applaud you for your agreement , and i believe in you and your leadership and your ability to take us out of it. defend theoday to right to pursue happiness. -- the simple notion right to pursue happiness. it is bestowed upon all of us by our constitution. every citizen in the country has the right to pursue it.
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it is incumbent upon us as citizens of this nation, as americans, to bestow that right upon others, upon each other and upon the west of the world -- the rest of the world. the right to pursue happiness for so many is stripped away. it is raped. it is abused. it is taken by force, fraud or perversion. it is sold for the momentary happiness of another. this is about the time i start talking about politics, the internet trolls tell me to stick to my day job. i would like to talk about my day job. my day job is as the chairman and cofounder of thoren. we build software to fight human trafficking. that is our core mission. my other day job as a father of two.
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take very that job, i seriously, i believe it is my i believe it is my effort to ensure their happiness and ensure a government that descends it as well. as part of my antitrafficking work i have met victims in russia, india, victims that have been trafficked from mexico, new jersey, and all across the country. i have been on fbi raids where i have seen something that no person should ever see. of ae seen video content mine the same age as mang raped by an american that was a six tourist in cambodia. -- sex tourist in cambodia. indoctrinated that she thought she was engaging in
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play. i was on the other end of a phone call from a teen asking for my help because we received a call from the department of homeland security telling us that a seven-year-old girl was being sexually abused, and that content was being spread around the dark web. they watched her for 3 years, and could not find the perpetrator, asking us for help. we were the last line of defense, an actor and his foundation where the potential last line of defense. that is my day job. and i'm sticking to it. i'd like to tell you a story about a 15-year-old girl in oakland. amy.e look over -- we call call her amy. amy met a man online and met in person. within hours,amy met a amy was ,
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raped, and sold antitrafficking. she was sold for sex. the only unusual thing is that amy was found and returned to her family within three days, using software tools we greeted. a tool called spotlight. i won't give much detail about it does. it is a tool that can be used by law enforcement to prioritize caseload. think it'sral net smarter over time and gets more efficient as people use it. it is working . in 6 months we have identified over 6000 trafficking victims, 2000 and which are minors. this has enhanced law enforcement officials in 9000 agencies. we are reducing investigation time by 60%.
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this tool is effective, efficient, numeral, better, and smarter. there is a misconception about technology, that in some way it is the generator of some evil, that it is creating job displacement and enables evil acts. as a venture capitalist in the technology field, i see technology as simply a tool. a tool without will. the will is the user of that technology. i think that is important distinction. an airplane is a tool. under the right hands, it is used for mass global transit. under the wrong hands, it can be fun into buildings. technology can be used to enable slavery, but can also be used to disable slavery. i alluded in a phone call that we got from the department of homeland security about a
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girl being trafficked on the dark web. the dark web was created in the mid-1990's by the naval research lab, called tor. a tool with purpose and positive intention from sharing intelligence communications anonymously. it has also been used to help people who are being disenfranchised by their government within political dissent in the present regimes. on the other side, it is used for trafficking, drug trafficking, and human trafficking. it is the warehouse for some of the most offensive child abuse images in the world. when the department of homeland security called us and asked for our help and ask if we had a tool, i had to say no. it devastated me. it haunted me. for the next three months, i had to go to sleep every night and
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think about that little girl that was still being abused. and the fact that if i don't the right thing, -- if i built the right thing, we could save her. i got the phone call. the answer would be yes. we have taken these times down three years to what we believe to be three weeks. i won't go into to much detail about the tool. but it is being used by 40 agencies across the world today in beta. we believe it will yield incredible results, just like spotlight, it gets smarter and more efficient and more cost-effective overtime. so, where do we go from here? what do we need? obviously we need money. we need financing to build these tools. technology is expensive to build. the beauty of technology is once
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you build the warehouse, it gets more efficient and more cost effective over time. i might be able to present to you a government initiative where next year i come back and ask for less. to me, that seems extraordinary. the technology we are building is efficient, it works, it is nimble, because traffickers change their modus operandi. we can change hours has if not more -- as, if not more efficiently than theirs. we are collecting data. we understand if we are delivering value, we increase our efforts in the area. if we are not delivering value, we shut it down. it is a quantifiable solution. don't my mentors told me, go after this issue if you can't have a quantifiable solution. we can make the initiatives that
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he put forth accountable. my second recommendation is to foster these private-public partnerships. spotlight was only enabled by the mccain institution, and the full support of thinking the game. -- of sandy mccain. a war hero, john mccain. it was not just created by them. there was extraordinary support by the private sector. digital reasoning out of tennessee stepped up to the plate. they offer his engineers and support pro bono work. we have the support of companies that oftentimes war with each other from google to microsoft to facebook. some other technologies include other companies. it is vital to our success. -publicrivate
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partnerships are the thing. we sit at the intersection of discovery of these victims, but the pipeline in and out is just as vital and important. i would like to highlight one thing in particular, that being the foster care system. there are 500,000 kids in foster care today. i was astonished to find out that 70% of inmates in this country have touched the foster care system. 80% of those on death row were at some point in time exposed to foster care. 50% of these kids will not graduate high school. 25% of them will not get a college degree. them will not get a college degree. foster care children are 4 times more likely to be exposed to sexual abuse. that is a breeding ground for trafficking, i promise you. the reason i looked at foster
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care is that it is a microcosm. have a sample site that we extraordinary data around. it is a microcosm for what happens when displacement happens abroad, the unintended consequences of our action around the world. when people are neglected and are not given the length that they need to grow, it becomes an incubator for traffic. this refugee crisis -- if we want to be serious about ending slavery, we cannot ignore it and cannot ignore our support for this issue in that space. otherwise, we will do with it for years to come. -- deal with it for years to come. the outbound pipeline. there are just not enough beds. once someone is exposed to this level of abuse, it is a mental health issue. there aren't enough guns -- e
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nough beds. there isn't enough support. the recidivism rate are through the roof. it is astonishing. maslow's hierarchy of needs are not met, people resort to survival. when this is their only source of love in their life, that is what they go for. we have to great support systems on the other end. it is not an entitlement, it is a demand to end slavery. my fourth and final recommendation is the bifurcation of sex trafficking and labor trafficking. they are both awful. they are both slavery. and they are both punitive in fact. the solution sets are highly differentiated. when you look at sex trafficking, a vixen is often present -- victim is present at the point of commerce. this provides an opportunity for
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drastic intervention. in labor trafficking, the victims are being hidden behind the merchandisers. it requires a different set of legislation and activity and enforcement to shut it down. there is a lot of rhetoric in the world about job creation and united states. if we want to create jobs in the united states, i would ask you to consider eliminating slavery from the pipelines of corporations. because a lot of that slavery is happening abroad. if we ask those corporations under extreme pressure, if you don't change it, you are going to be penalized, and if you don't clean up that pipeline, it's going to mean trouble. they can either clean up the pipeline abroad, where they can jobs to the united states where they can be regulated and supported. bringing jobs to america can be the consequence of doing the right thing, or consequential
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doing the wrong thing. choice is up to you. it is not lost on me that all of this disruption in our marketplace will have economic backlash. that is not lost on me at all. i ask you, do you believe that abraham lincoln had to consider the economic backlash of shutting down the connor fields in the south? i am short that weight on his mind. happiness can be given to no man. it must be earned. it must be earned through generosity and through purpose. thethe right to pursue it, right to pursue it is every man's right. i beg of you that if you give people the right to pursue it, what you may find and return his happiness for yourself. thank you. >> thank you so much.
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chairman.ou wow, i have just digesting all passion andedible intelligence and purpose from , and feeling regretful that i have to follow it. [laughter] but thank you, also, ashton, for turning your talent, your profile, your smarts to this issue. thanks to this committee, particularly thank you to you, mr. chairman, for your outstanding leadership on this issue. we are so grateful for your efforts to promote a stronger american leadership in this fight. slavery is a devastating assault on human dignity. perpetrators pray on the most vulnerable among us. lobal a pressing g
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problem that implicates the united states, involving supply chains, criminal enterprises, and the extremists our nation has found to combat. it upholds fundamental rights and homes and challenges of her governments to do the same. our country is both a source and destination country for trafficking victims. traffickers earn an estimated $150 billion annually in profits, while ngo's and governments worldwide spend about $124 million worldwide to combat it. that is not a fair fight. meanwhile american workers are forced to compete against free labor as khamenei's take advantage of the global failure to enforce anti-slavery laws. increasingly organized crime rings and terrorist organizations accumulate wealth and power. when refugees flee violence in syria and iraq and don't have
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pathways to safety, they become easy marks for extremists to exploit. congress and the demonstration on to deepen their -- ought to given their commitment to fighting slavery because of the national security risks posed by corruption, terrorism, and organized crime. our mission is to foster global leadership on human rights. legally standing for the rights of all people is not only a moral obligation but of vital national interest, and that our country has strongest when our actions match our ideals. we to ensure that the u.s. acts as a beacon overwrites any world that -- beacon for rights. this is critical to prevent human trafficking at home, but to ensure that our country sets an example for others. we have to work harder to eliminate sleep labor -- slave
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labor and empower law enforcement agencies that have expertise in prosecuting border crime to focus attention on ending impunity for traffickers. slavery is a low-risk enterprise for that guys. -- for the bad guys. there were over 6600 trafficking conviction globally in 2015. only 297 of those were in the united states. considering there are 21 million people enslaved in the world today, that is a pitifully small number. have to do better. the u.s. has made important progress in the fight against human slavery. the bipartisan cooperation and concern that has been demonstrated by this committee is a model for the future of our country. today human rights first is releasing a new congressional blueprint for action to dismantle the business of modern slavery in which we detailed
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measures congress should take. modern slavery is a complex global crime and we have to tackle using a range of strategies. i detailed recommendations, using the funds authorized by the end of modern slavery act, compact and globally, and attract resources from governments and private donors, posting the trafficking victims protection act so that prosecutors have adequate resources to hold traffickers accountable, intensifying enforcement of the tariff act ban with goods made with slave labor, leveraging the power of the u.s. government. contracting to make sure we are not purchasing goods made with slave labor, and passing the bill recently introduced by senator menendez and rubio. each of those measures is critically important. we have to pay attention to prevention. traffickers are ruthless and opportunistic. they are, like sharks to those in distress. inis hard to imagine someone
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-- other than vladimir putin, no one benefits from the refugee crisis than those in modern slavery. today more than ever, this means helping refugees. has the state department explained, refugees are "prime targets for traffickers, and refugee camps are ideal locations for them to operate." the majority of the world refugees are women and children, report sinced -- a 2011, thousands have disappeared for purposes of trafficking related exploitation. one of the primary causes of the rise in trafficking worldwide is increasingly restrictive and an exclusionary immigration policies. according to the un's high commissioner, 10% of the world refugee population is in urgent need of resettlement, yet last
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year, only 1%. of this crisis, reducing refugee admission and halting the entire refugee resettlement program for the foreseeable future is particularly cruel. turning our backs on those most vulnerable to slavery not only breaks faith with the most cherished ideals but as a gift to those profiting from human misery. as a nation that once pledged to stand firm for didn't human dignity, i think it is unconscionable. time and again national security leaders from republican and democratic and restrictions have testified that protecting refugees does not put americans at risk. on the contrary, accepting syrian refugees makes us safer. the u.s. safe cars stability of our allies and the vast majority of rally, ---
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credibility that can be leveraged on other issues. 32 of our nation's most prominent national security leaders,f lag officers, former said innt officials, the statement "despite america's role as a global leader in resettling refugees, most call thanlosed doors rather open arms." this so-called extreme voting is only happening. already the blanket ban would not block terrorists. our nation's's security officials already do that. it would stop those fleeing
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repressive regimes and terrorist groups. would block those fleeing from the parasitic criminals. and members of the committee, i know how much you care about ending the scourge of slavery. i encourage you to let your passion for his victims to inform you on refugees. anyone who seeks to deprive traffickers of their ability to pray on vulnerable people cannot in good conscious slammed the door on refugees. we do not want to sacrifice more men and women to the global slave trade. we should rescind the executive order. in the biggest refugee crisis since world war ii, the world is watching what we did. we want our country to be a global leader in the fight against modern slavery. we can turn our backs on those most likely to become its victims. thank you.
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>> after hearing her opening comments, i will refrain this. i command your passion for ending it. we have embarked on a program that is a public-private partnership of major proportion. . would lead.e u.s we get other governments to help 1 an effort to put in metrics, where they could measure, measure the problem. i wonder based on the experiences you have had in the private sector, establishing metrics and models to end thsis scourge on mankind, what kind of
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advice would you give us as we set of this international effort led by the united states? >> my first piece of advice would be to lead with compassion as you approach these private sector companies. these companies care about their customers and want them to know they are doing the right thing. i think great companies have a conscience that promote them to thing.y do the right yourasically said it in question to some degree, you have to measure results. ifften times believe that you cannot measure it, you cannot prove it. if you cannot prove it, you are working blind.
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also what i would encourage is to ensure that whatever pockets of capital are being deployed, actually deploy that capital in a way where there isn't a risk aversion in shooting for fences. is what it is that you are trying to apply to the issue doesn't have a potential fences. outcome, but also has the same potential to fail, you may not get the results that you want. as i work with entrepreneurs across the country, the extraordinary thing about those i work with in silicon valley is that they are not afraid to fail. it is unbelievable. they just go for it. you deploy capital in a way that allows people the but alsoty to fail
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massively succeed, you will find you have much greater outcomes by making safer choices, deploying capital into large chunks. oftentimes the greatest idea comes when those people are not afraid to fail. i'm giving them permission to shoot for the fences. i think that is an important piece of the puzzle. >> i want to senator menendez. we have a vote on the way. we will try to do both at one time. menendez do you want to go and come back? intend todez: i do come back. >> this is strange, but we will recess for a moment person comes back, and we will resume. i apologize for this.
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i am sure people would like to have their photograph taken. ashton: out of her for not to talk to anyone. -- i would prefer not to talk to anyone. [laughter] >> you will be in recess until someone returns. thank you. [chatter]


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