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[Congressional Record: October 29, 2000 (House)]
[Page H11513-H11514]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) is recognized for 5 
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, we have heard many explanations of why 
we are being kept in. It is important again to reiterate the President 
is asking us to spend more money in several different areas. Whatever 
his initial request was, it is irrelevant.
  The gentleman from Texas (Mr. Stenholm) has come up and very 
eloquently explained to us his point of view on why that is no longer 
relevant. But the fact is, the President's demands at this time are 
what is relevant. What is relevant to us and what is keeping us is the 
President of the United States is threatening to veto pieces of 
legislation unless we include more money, more money in different areas 
like health care, education, and different things that he has in mind 
for his priorities.
  However, amongst that list of demands, it is not just more money for 
these things, but amnesty, a general blanket amnesty for millions of 
illegal immigrants into our society.
  I think the American people who are paying attention to what is going 
on in Congress right now, when we say that the President is putting 
politics before people, he is putting politics before the American 
people. For some reason, he must believe that granting blanket amnesty 
to millions of illegal immigrants, making them eligible for these 
education and health benefits that should be going to our own people, 
that that in some way is going to get him votes for somebody. Give me a 

[[Page H11514]]

  The American people should be outraged that their President is 
holding the Congress hostage, trying to force us in order to get home 
to campaign, for us to grant a blanket amnesty to millions of illegal 
aliens which then in the long run will drain money from education 
benefits, drain Federal dollars from health care benefits, will make 
our Social Security and Medicare systems less stable.

                              {time}  2215

  Why, because we put millions of new people into the system who have 
come here illegally from other countries. When they were in the other 
countries of course, they never paid into those systems. So granting an 
amnesty, blanket amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants is 
demonstrably against the well-being of our people; and Congress should 
stay here and fight to the last ounce of our strength to prevent this 
travesty from happening.
  We have also compromised somewhat. We have said we will go along with 
the President and agree to a family reunion for those immigrants who 
are here legally now and have families and have been separated and 
overseas for a number of years waiting to get in and we will let them 
come into the country. There is a responsible number of people that we 
would then permit to come in for humanitarian reasons.
  But to grant a blanket amnesty for millions, the last time we did 
this was 1986 and what happened after 1986? It was like a welcome sign 
had been lit over the United States, ``come on in'' to everybody in the 
world who would want to participate in our free society and receive 
government benefits, I might add.
  What we had was a flood of illegal immigration that in my State of 
California has come close to destroying the viability of our health 
care system, of our education system. If we take a look at the 
education scores in California, much of it has to do with the fact that 
we have had a massive flood of illegal immigrants into our society and 
we have to pay for their education, even though they just arrived and 
never paid into our system. That is unfair to our people.
  Mr. Speaker, we care about the people of the United States of 
America. Yes, we care for other people as well. And most immigrants, 
illegal and legal, are wonderful people. But this bill that the 
President is demanding insults those people who are legal immigrants, 
who have stood in line and proven to be our very best citizens because 
they have come here legally. They respect our laws and they love the 
United States of America. We cherish their citizenship. But we have 
made fools out of them if we grant amnesty to people who have just 
jumped the line and come into our country illegally, thumbing their 
noses at our laws.
  We must resist the President's efforts to force this Congress to 
ignore the well-being of our own people and bring in millions upon 
millions of illegal immigrants and give them blanket amnesty. It is 
unfair. It is not right. We have agreed to a compromise here. We have 
agreed that we will have some family reunification and that is a 
responsible position, because it helps those people who are here 
legally and already in our country to unite with their loved ones. But 
a blanket amnesty is outrageous, and I ask the American people to pay 
close attention.