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[Congressional Record: September 10, 2001 (House)]
[Page H5473-H5474]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Biggert). Under a previous order of the 
House, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Madam Speaker, tomorrow the House will vote on H.R. 
1885, which extends the 245 amnesty program. I am surprised that this 
vote is actually coming up under suspension. I would like to draw the 
attention of my colleagues to this legislation and to this vote.
  What we are voting on tomorrow extends the date for illegal aliens to 
qualify for a 245(i) amnesty to August 15, 2001, and it extends the 
date for illegal aliens to apply for that 245(i) amnesty program for a 
full year, until April 30, 2002.
  For those who have a little trouble understanding what that all 
means, let me explain it this way, that what we have are hundreds of 
thousands, if not millions, of illegal aliens who are in this country; 
and we are now step by step trying to find ways in which we can make 
them legal, as the President has suggested. Perhaps the word is 
``regularize,'' or whatever word one wants to use.
  But what we are really talking about when we offer a step-by-step 
process of whittling away this number of illegal immigrants, what we 
are talking about is an amnesty program, a step-by-step amnesty 
program, rather than just one large amnesty.
  The American people understand what amnesty is all about, and they 
will be watching and they will be looking at the record when they find 
out what Congress has been moving. Rather than being forthright in 
dealing with the amnesty issue, instead, it has tried to exercise its 
authority in a way that was a little less discernible to the public by 
granting amnesty to various groups within society.
  In this case, we would be granting amnesty in an interesting way, 
that is, anyone who is in this country illegally who applies, and now 
we are giving them until April 2002 to apply, can try to regularize 
their status in the United States. We have several categories of people 
who are here illegally to be able to do that.
  Guess what, that is an amnesty program. We are giving amnesty to 

[[Page H5474]]

hundred thousand people who are in this country illegally.
  Yes, there are some heart-tearing cases here. Yes, some people who 
are in this country end up marrying American citizens, and the American 
citizens find that their loved one is going to have to go back to their 
home country in order to be here legally, because they have married an 
illegal alien. I am sorry, if someone is here illegally and they are 
going to have to go back, then they should go back to their home 
country to regularize their status.
  Tomorrow, on H.R. 1885, we are, for hundreds of thousands of people, 
going to be basically granting them the right to amnesty without going 
to their home country to legalize their status. This does nothing but 
encourage the millions, and we are talking about tens of millions, of 
people who are standing in line throughout the world waiting to come 
into this country legally so they can become citizens; but we have done 
nothing but encourage them to come here illegally, to reward the law-
breakers, and to punish those people who are following the law.
  This is ridiculous. Our colleagues should consider this and vote 
against the suspension tomorrow on the bill, H.R. 1885.
  By the way, let me note that there has been a recent poll by Mr. 
Zogby, who is one of America's most respected pollsters, which has 
found out some interesting things about America's attitude toward 
  Most Americans think amnesty is a terrible idea. In fact, 55 percent 
of all Democrats think it is a bad idea; 56 percent of Republicans; 60 
percent of union households; 45 percent of people who call themselves 
liberals; 59 percent of people who call themselves moderates; 61 
percent of people who call themselves conservatives. And here is the 
real hook, here is the real bell-ringer: 51 percent of all Hispanics in 
the United States believe that amnesty for illegal immigrants is a bad 
  We have been lied to over and over again, and so much so that the 
Republican party has not had the courage to stand up and oppose illegal 
immigration, as we should have.
  The Democratic Party has made its deal with the illegal immigrants at 
the expense of the standard of living of our poorest citizens and at 
the expense of the wages that have been kept just level because we have 
had a massive flow of illegal immigrants into this country. The 
Democratic Party has made its deal for political power's sake.
  The Republicans, on the other hand, will not touch the illegal 
immigration issue because they are afraid to be called racist. They 
have been told over and over again that Mexican-Americans, Hispanic 
Americans, are in favor of illegal immigrants, for some reason. That is 
absolutely not true. We have finally got a pollster who has done a 
legitimate poll to show that Hispanic Americans, just like all other 
Americans, oppose illegal immigration. That is understandable.
  Tomorrow we will have our chance to vote against an amnesty program 
for illegal immigrants by voting against H.R. 1885, which will be 
coming on the floor.