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[Congressional Record: March 13, 2001 (House)]
[Page H857]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Cantor). Under a previous order of the 
House, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is recognized for 5 
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Jones) was up here a moment ago, and while I was waiting to speak to 
the House tonight, I listened to his concerns with regard to the black 
beret issue, and I want to add my voice to his in expressing that 
concern; and to add one other point that I do not believe he made, and 
I just recalled it as I was sitting here.
  To add insult to injury, the berets are being purchased, being made 
in China, being purchased from the communist regime in China, and being 
imposed as the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones) said, for 
political correctness. I want to add my voice to his in expressing deep 
concern about this particular proposal.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening to bring to the attention of the 
House a tragic accident that occurred in Colorado just yesterday. It 
took the lives of 6 Mexican nationals and injured 13 others.
  All of these people were in a van. The van was hit by a truck on the 
highway which hit a patch of ice. The van was transporting these 
people, Mexican nationals, to jobs in the United States and they were 
crossing Colorado. This has become an all too common event. We have had 
8 or more people killed in Colorado, I know the numbers are expanded by 
events in other States. Always the same thing. People being 
transported, people being exploited by others, having money taken from 
them for the purpose of bringing them to jobs in the United States, 
transporting them illegally into this country. They are abused many 
times. They are certainly exploited, and oftentimes they are exploited 
when they get here, working under conditions that we would not tolerate 
in any other situation, oftentimes at lower pay. All of this because, 
of course, some employers, unscrupulous employers, know that they can 
do that because the employee, being here illegally, is afraid to go and 
report it for fear of what would happen to them.
  The problem that this raises is not just the problem of the tragic 
toll of human life that occurred in Colorado yesterday, and that is our 
primary concern this evening. But I think it is important for us to 
understand that this underscores a much more significant problem that 
we face as a Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, this Nation cannot absorb the number of people that are 
coming across our borders, both legally and illegally. The immigration 
into this country over the last 10 years has been extraordinary. Now we 
are, of course, a Nation of immigrants. I understand that very well. My 
own grandparents, like everyone else's here in this room, with the 
exception of Native Americans who might have claim to some other way of 
being here, the fact is that most of us are here as a result of our 
grandparents coming in the recent past.
  I do not blame for a moment the people who are seeking a better life, 
the people trying to come here for the purpose of getting a better life 
for themselves and their families. I do not blame them; I blame the 
  We must begin the debate, although it is a difficult one, we must 
begin the debate on exactly what this country will look like. How many 
people are we going to let in here, both legally and illegally. The 
fact is we are letting them in and I say that, letting them in because 
essentially there is no border. It is a porous border. People come 
across almost at will, millions annually. Several million, it is 
estimated between 1 and 4 million people, no one knows exactly how many 
end up here, we have a net increase every year of immigration through 
illegal immigrants of that number.
  Mr. Speaker, massive immigration into the United States must be 
stopped. We must begin at least to debate the costs of this 
immigration. There are extraordinary financial costs, both for 
infrastructure development, for schooling, housing, social services, 
for the incarceration of aliens here who have violated State or local 
laws. We have to look and see exactly what American businesses may need 
in terms of both skilled and unskilled workers, and then come up with a 
plan to deal with it. We must begin the debate.


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