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[Congressional Record: September 10, 2001 (House)]
[Page H5476-H5477]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                       UNIQUE LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Madam Speaker, before I begin my Special 
Order this evening that will address unique legislative issues, I would 
like to join my colleague who spoke just a few moments ago to 
acknowledge the great loss of Chaplain Jim Ford, a very special friend 
to us all.
  I am particularly privileged because Chaplain Ford visited my home 
district in Houston, the 18th Congressional District, and spoke at the 
pulpit of the church pastored by Reverend Willy Jones. That church is 
still riveted by the friendship shown by Chaplain Ford, the good humor, 
and the ability to interact with different faiths.
  We know that he is among the angels, and we offer to him and his 
family our deepest sympathy and our deepest love.
  Madam Speaker I wanted to address tonight several issues. First of 
all, let me do one that is particularly joyous for me in this time of 
technology and web pages and communications by e-mail.
  Let me congratulate First Lady Laura Bush for an exciting weekend, 
which I am sorry that I missed; but I hope it will be captured around 
the Nation. That is the National Book Festival; 25,000 persons enjoyed 
literary art, enjoyed the reading of famous authors actually reading 
from books. I hope this will take off around the Nation so that this 
Nation never lacks its appreciation for the written word, for wonderful 
books written by our national authors. Let us do this around our 
Nation. I thank Laura Bush, the first lady, for an outstanding job.
  Now, I hope that this viewpoint is one that will be based upon the 
concern for saving lives. In February of this year, 2001, I came to the 
floor of the House and acknowledged that I believe that the policy 
toward the Middle East by this administration is wrongheaded and 
misdirected. I said that because many times engagement in diplomacy is 
painful. Many times it results in failure. But it is often utilized as 
the only vehicle and only tool to save lives.
  Much laughter and criticism was given to President Clinton in the 
last days of his administration as he engaged in shuttle diplomacy 
between Camp David and Washington, D.C. and the country of Israel. I 
did not find it humorous because it was an attempt to save lives.
  Since we have disengaged with the Mideast, all that has resulted is 
the loss of lives, bloodshed for women, children, and men, both in the 
Palestinian people and in the Israeli people.
  Can anyone believe that our disengagement has been victorious? Does 
anyone believe in reality that one can stand off to the corner and 
point fingers and tell ``those guys'' to get to the table of 
empowerment and peace? No. It is well known that the United States 
carries a heavy stick with respect to these particular countries, and 
it also is well known that the United States' good will is very 
important in bringing these two disparate worlds together.
  Day after day after day, Arab militants and then Israelis on the 
other side are engaging in a bloody battle. This is a war. This has 
accelerated to more than a conflict. I believe our foreign policy on 
this issue is wrong.
  It pains me, as we move to some of the humblest and most sacred times 
in the Jewish community here in the United States and across the world, 
two of their most important holidays over the next 2 to 3 weeks in the 
United States will be honored, and of course in Israel and around the 
world. Would it not be a wonderful tribute then to say that we are 
reengaged, that we want to save lives, that we want them to come to the 
peace table, and we say, ``Stop the accusations, Arafat come to the 
table, Sharon come to the table, release yourselves from the strictures 
of hatred, and begin to talk about real issues of saving lives and 
living harmoniously together''?
  I believe this is an enormously important issue and would ask the 
President and the administration and his advisers to wake up and 
understand the importance of U.S. involvement.
  Let me conclude by answering my colleague's comments on 245(i). As 
the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, it is 
wrong headed to interpret this particular legislative initiative as a 
general amnesty. All it is is because the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service made a mistake. They made a mistake with a date, 
they made a mistake administratively.
  This is simply to allow those who are in the process of filing for 
legalization 10, 15 years ago, to reactivate their applications.

                              {time}  1900

  Many of these people are family members who need to be reunited. Many 
of these people come from many

[[Page H5477]]

parts of the world. It is not isolated to people from Mexico. It is not 
isolated to people from South America. It includes people from Poland, 
from France, from India, from all continents around the world. It is 
simply an administrative snafu which is allowing people who legally 
apply to reapply and to follow the legal process. It is not an 
affirmation. It means the INS has to make a decision one way or the