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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: September 25, 2001 (House)]
[Page H6049-H6053]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr25se01-138]                         
 
           EVERY WEAPON IN ARSENAL NEEDED TO DEFEAT TERRORISM

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 3, 2001, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) 
is recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, during my comments tonight, I will refer 
to one phrase that I think is important to place on the minds of the 
people of this country, and that phrase is this: ``The defense of the 
Nation starts with the defense of our borders.''
  Mr. Speaker, we have begun a massive buildup of forces as a result of 
the events of September 11. Indeed, the President has issued a call for 
units of the National Guard to be activated. Troops are being 
dispatched, planes, ships, all over the world. The President has issued 
an executive order to restrict the flow of capital so that we will, 
hopefully, inhibit the ability of terrorists around the world in that 
particular capacity.
  We have done a great deal to try to figure out how to make it more 
difficult for hijackers to take over planes. We have increased security 
at all of our airports. Recently, we ordered that even crop dusters 
would not be allowed to fly for fear that some sort of chemical agent 
might be introduced into the atmosphere. We have increased security 
around water facilities and power plants throughout the Nation for fear 
of some sort of, again, biological or chemical attack that might come 
in that direction.
  We have, indeed, created a brand-new, or will create a brand-new, 
cabinet level agency for homeland defense that I hope will do what is 
desperately needed to be done, and that is to coordinate the activities 
of all of our agencies that are designed to provide some sort of 
defense for this Nation.
  The President and the Secretary of State have been extremely 
successful up to this point in time in creating some sort of 
international coalition to help fight terrorism everywhere that it 
rears its ugly head. We have even talked about trying to tighten up on 
visas, visas that are given to people who might have backgrounds that 
are suspicious, have terrorist connections, not allow them to either 
enter the United States, or if they are here, to be held perhaps even 
indefinitely.
  All of these things are good, and I totally support them. They are 
all important. We were told today by a general in the Israeli Army at a 
briefing that was available to any Member, it was not classified, but 
it was, indeed, a fascinating discussion. We were told about the 
Israeli experience in dealing with terrorists for now well over 2 or 3 
decades.
  Mr. Speaker, one of the things that this particular general said was 
that it is imperative that we think about terrorism as a phenomenon, as 
a system. What he meant by that is it is global in nature. It is not 
anything like we have ever dealt with before; and, of course, we have 
heard many, many people, including the President of the United States 
in his address to the Nation just last week in a very articulate and 
incredibly compelling address to the Nation say it is a brand-new world 
in a way, and a brand-new kind of war. The Israeli general that gave 
the briefing today was talking about the fact that low-intensity 
warfare, a minimum of power, it is not an appropriate approach.
  Terrorism, he said, requires maximum power to be applied against it 
in order to be successful; and that because it is a systemic problem, 
you must treat it systematically or holistically, treat it in every way 
you can. Attack the problem every way you possibly can.
  He suggested that we should look at terrorism as a cancer; and that 
just like any other cancer that invades the body, if it is attacked in 
a piecemeal way, even though several different kinds of approaches may 
be tried, it

[[Page H6050]]

will eventually gain control and overcome the body, the host body. 
Therefore, it must be attacked with every single thing in one's 
arsenal.
  Mr. Speaker, the President said from that podium just a few nights 
ago essentially the same thing. He said, we will use every weapon in 
our arsenal to defeat terrorism. Every weapon in the arsenal.

                              {time}  2145

  I for one was heartened to hear that, because that is exactly what we 
are going to have to do.
  I refer again, however, to the phrase that I opened these comments 
with, that the defense of the Nation begins with the defense of our 
borders. It begins with our ability, our desire, the necessity of 
defending our borders, of making sure that we as a Nation, to the 
greatest extent possible, are able to determine who comes into the 
United States and for how long and when they leave, and how many will 
come into the United States. This is what is referred to as an 
immigration policy. It is something we do not really have. It is 
something we have abandoned over the course of the last couple of 
decades.
  And we have abandoned this policy, we have abandoned our borders, we 
have succumbed to the siren song of open borders, a phrase used so 
often by organizations like the Wall Street Journal and the Cato 
Institute and others, libertarians and liberals looking for votes from 
the massive number of immigrants that would come into the country and 
perhaps become part of a voting bloc that they could then take 
advantage of.
  For all of these reasons, we have abandoned our borders for all 
intents and purposes. They do not really exist. No one believes that 
they are there in reality. They may be there on maps, but they are not 
there in reality, because if a border is important for determining who 
comes, how many and how long, then, of course, America is just this 
place on a map, not distinguishable by lines that separate it from any 
other country on the globe. That has been the desire of a great many 
people. Many industrialists, many members of the, quote, elitist 
establishment in this country, many of the biggest, the Fortune 500 
companies, other individuals who employ cheap labor, illegal 
immigrants, because, of course, they can be hired cheaply, they can 
work cheaply, and they are frightened to turn their employers in for 
ill treatment, all of those people have formed a bloc over the course 
of the last couple of decades to destroy our borders.
  And, Mr. Speaker, I suggest to you that one part of the result that 
we witnessed that came from this process, of the destruction of our 
borders, were the events of September 11. Every single person that we 
now know that was involved in the hijackings, in the suicide bombing, 
that is, turning the plane into a bomb and crashing it into the World 
Trade Center and the Pentagon and the other attempt that was made 
outside Pittsburgh, and I am told, I understand that now they believe 
that there were several other planes, there was a great possibility 
that the same thing had been planned but they were not, for whatever 
reason, able to accomplish it, thank God, accomplish their goals, but 
every one of the people that we know that were on those planes that 
took them over, that killed the airplane crew, members of the crew, 
that took over and crashed them, every one of them was here on some 
sort of visa or were here illegally, and even the ones that were here 
on visas, we are not really sure exactly what kind.
  We have written now, my office and other Members have asked the INS 
for clarification about the status of each one of these people. They 
sent me back a list of the names of every single one of them and the 
status of only two, two, they said, that were here on visas, one with a 
visa that had expired, essentially illegally.
  It is now my understanding that every one of them were here on some 
sort of visa, but many of them were, in fact, here illegally because 
they had overstayed their visa or they were not living up to the 
obligations of the visa. But we did not care. Or we did not know. Or if 
we knew, we simply paid no attention to that particular problem, 
because, Mr. Speaker, we do not pay attention to the fact that there 
are millions, I say millions, of people in the United States who are 
here illegally. You know it. I know it. Everyone hearing my words knows 
that there are millions of people in the United States who are here 
illegally.
  Now, I do not for a moment suggest that the vast majority of those 
people, or even a small percentage factually are involved with 
terrorist activity or are people that we should be concerned about 
because of the threat to the Nation. At least not a direct threat to 
the Nation. But I do suggest to you that it is the philosophy, it is 
the attitude that we ignore millions of people here illegally, millions 
coming across the border illegally, that makes it impossible for us to 
then go back and say, well, but these folks, this particular group, 
maybe they are Middle Eastern by ethnicity and heritage and, therefore, 
we should watch them more carefully. Well, that is not going to happen. 
I mean, that is, of course, profiling. We would not ever want to do a 
thing like that. You cannot segregate out these particular portions of 
the population for a different kind of treatment.
  If they are here illegally, they should be sent home. I do not care 
where they are from. It does not matter to me if they are from Mexico, 
or Egypt, or Lebanon, or Brazil, or Bolivia. It does not matter. It is 
of no consequence, the place of origination. The fact is they are here 
illegally and we as a Nation have a duty for the protection of our 
system of government, and, indeed, for our very lives, we have a duty 
to secure our borders, because, again, I will say, Mr. Speaker, that 
the defense of the Nation begins at our borders.
  We can do all of the things that I have outlined at the beginning of 
this presentation, and I agree with every single one of them. You 
notice that I left to the end any discussion about tightening up on 
visas, because the only thing I have seen so far as part of the 
administration's proposal to deal with terrorism that deals 
specifically with the issue of immigration is this aspect of tightening 
up on visas.
  Mr. Speaker, let me suggest to you that although I completely and 
totally support that particular provision, the horses are out of the 
barn at that point in time. The people are already here. The task we 
have ahead of us, the task we must face, is the one that would prevent 
them from getting here. It is defending our borders. It is defending 
the sovereignty of this Nation. That is what we seek.
  Mr. Speaker, it has been many, many hours that I have spent almost 
right here, at various podiums on this floor, cajoling, arguing, using 
all of the effort that I can muster, any degree of articulation of the 
issue that I can possibly develop over the past several months, long 
before this event, by the way, of September 11, I have come to this 
floor and asked my colleagues to please join me in an attempt to make 
our borders secure. It has been a relatively lonely fight. I have been 
assailed by some of my colleagues.
  I have certainly been assailed by members of the general public, e-
mails and letters and calls and that sort of thing. I have been called 
a racist, I have been called xenophobic, I have been called a lot of 
things that I certainly do not want to repeat on the floor of the 
House. But I persist, Mr. Speaker, because I believe that this is one 
of the most important, one of the most significant issues with which 
this body can deal, and, that is, the determination of our own system 
of government, how long our system will survive. I really believe it 
has that kind of significance.
  There are literally hundreds of reasons that I can bring forward to 
argue my case for lower immigration, for tightening our borders, for 
controlling our borders, I should say, for determining who comes in, 
and they certainly deal with just the simple issues of population 
growth, the pressure it puts on the infrastructure of the United 
States, of every community in the country, the costs that are involved, 
the economic costs involved, the cultural issues that come up when we 
balkanize America with different languages and different ideas about 
government and philosophies of life. All of those things we can 
confront. And I certainly have done so from this floor. But they all 
pale in comparison to the importance of this issue that was brought 
home to us all in the most stark of manners, in the most horrendous 
proof I can possibly offer.

[[Page H6051]]

  What can I say, Mr. Speaker, what can I possibly say on the floor of 
this House that could ever compare in terms of encouragement to do 
something about the control of immigration? What can I say or do that 
could ever compare with the events of September 11?
  Mr. Speaker, if that does not help my colleagues come to some 
conclusion about the need to do something about immigration, I do not 
know what else will. And there will still be libertarians who come to 
the floor as my dear friend did just before me here, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Paul), whom I respect immensely, on almost every issue I 
have been supportive of what he has tried to do, but I must admit I 
disagree with him wholeheartedly on the issue of, especially 
immigration controls and our policy now, the policy we should now adopt 
vis-a-vis the terrorists that reside in Afghanistan and, indeed, around 
the world.
  But there will still be voices like the gentleman from Texas. There 
will still be voices like many of my colleagues on the other side 
tonight who fought against an amendment which, I might add, passed 
overwhelmingly, and which I was just amazed to see the number. It was 
an amendment by the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Traficant) that simply 
said that the Armed Forces of the United States could be employed, if 
requested by the Attorney General, could be employed in the protection 
of our borders.
  Now, there were individuals who stood up and argued that, and there 
were 180, if I remember correctly, 180 some people who voted against 
it. Even in light of what has happened, 100 and some of our colleagues, 
I do not recall the exact number now, but well over 100 said, No, I 
don't think I would use the military on the border to protect our 
sovereignty, to protect our Nation.
  And so you say to yourself, Mr. Speaker, my God, what does it take? 
What does it take? How many people in this country have to lose their 
lives before we come to the understanding that the defense of the 
Nation begins at the defense of our borders? All the other things we 
talk about are important, but, Mr. Speaker, nothing surpasses the 
importance of our borders and their integrity. That is why I will 
continue to raise this issue, as long as I have breath, anyway, and as 
long as I am a Member of this body, because I can think of nothing more 
important.
  There are hundreds of issues with which I have been involved, I am 
confronted by them as you are, and every other Member of our body here 
every single day, important issues, and I say, I have got to do 
something about that, and we should do something about that. You want 
to go off in about 20 different directions, but always I am pulled back 
to this, always I am grounded in this particular issue, because 
everything begins to come back to it, everything I hope to accomplish 
for the Nation, everything I hope to add my voice in defense of depends 
upon our ability as a Nation to control our own destiny. And to control 
our own destiny, we must control our own borders.
  It is a world, Mr. Speaker, that has changed so dramatically in so 
many ways. There are intellectuals, I think, perhaps I would refer to 
them as, a famous old reference to them, perhaps pseudo-intellectuals, 
effete snobs, there were a couple of other things that I can remember, 
people who pride themselves on talking about a brand new day dawning in 
the world, that it is really a world that should not be separated by 
borders, that there is really no purpose for borders anymore. Now, 
these things we did hear before September 11. I must admit, Mr. 
Speaker, I have not heard as much of that recently.

                              {time}  2200

  But we will begin as soon as things calm down a little bit. I assure 
you there will be; they will be out in force. They will be saying 
things like, we really do not need to defend our borders so much, so 
long as we go out there and we make sure we attack terrorism in other 
lands, that we root them out, as we have heard often. I am all for 
doing that, do not get me wrong. Draining the swamp, all those other 
things, absolutely need to be done. So they will suggest if we can just 
do that, somehow we do not have to have borders.
  I refer back to now the presentation and the little briefing that we 
had today by this particular Israeli general, who again talked about 
the systemic approach to this; that you had to use every single thing 
in your arsenal. That it was not enough just to go out and find them, 
it had to be done, you will have to go outside of your borders and find 
the people who are trying to kill you, and you will have to kill them. 
You will have to disrupt their organization.
  You will have to do all of that, Mr. Speaker, but you recognize, and 
we all recognize, the fact that Israel has another aspect of that core 
policy, that holistic approach, and that is they defend their borders. 
They defend their borders in every way they possibly can, using every 
kind of technology, low-tech and high-tech, barbed wire to electronic 
surveillance, they use it all to defend their borders.
  Now, they have an easier task than we would have, it is true, a 
smaller land mass, a more homogenous population. All of those things 
are true. It does not, however, excuse us from the responsibility.
  What more are we to do here? What else is more important for us, Mr. 
Speaker? Is it the Department of Health and Human Services? Is it the 
Department of Natural Resources? Is it the Department of 
Transportation? I know I would encourage you to think about that one, 
Mr. Speaker. Is it the variety of things we do out there, that this 
Federal Government does, that we spend hundreds of billions of dollars 
every single year doing? Are all of those things as important as the 
protection of the life and property of the citizens of this Nation?
  No, sir. In my opinion, my humble opinion, they all pale in 
comparison. I mean from HHS-Labor, which is a thing we are going to be 
voting on here, and we will dump hundreds of billions of dollars on 
that thing to get it out the door, and it is more important, yes, even 
than the Department of Education. I know, there I have said it. The 
defense of the Nation, the security of the people of the Nation, yes, 
it is, Mr. Speaker, it is more important than all of the other things 
we do.
  So I am not opposed to efforts to increase, in fact, I heartily 
support all efforts to increase the appropriations for our military. As 
I say, it is the most important thing we can do. But how can we ignore 
in that process, how can we ignore perhaps the most important aspect of 
that defense system? Where can we be expected to draw the line, so-to-
speak, if it is not at our borders?
  Mr. Speaker, one of our colleagues, a very respected Member of this 
body, the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays), he is also the 
chairman of one of the security committees of this Congress and has 
been a member of that committee for many years, and I respect his 
observations. And I have seen him now on television and I have heard 
him on the radio in the past couple of days, and he has stated 
unequivocally that it is not a matter of if we are ever going to be 
confronted by biological or chemical or even nuclear attack by 
terrorists; it is indeed, he says, a matter of when.
  Mr. Speaker, we are well aware of the fact that many countries, 
several countries anyway, that have already demonstrated their mastery 
of this particular form of warfare, that is, biological and chemical 
especially, Iraq, I refer to specifically, as it has used this 
particular weapon, biological weapons, against its own people, the 
Kurds, killed many thousands of them a few years ago.
  We know that there are governments out there that have perfected 
these particular weapons. We know that those governments harbor 
terrorists. We know that those governments provide succor to 
terrorists, provide support; not just physical support, not just a 
place to live and some food on the table, but support of every kind and 
variety.
  What makes us think for a moment, Mr. Speaker, that they have not 
provided them, or at least are not willing to provide them, with these 
other agents to carry out their dastardly deeds?
  Now, I do not know if the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Shays) is 
right or wrong when he says it is a matter of when, not a matter of if 
we are confronted with this. I can certainly say that the odds are that 
we will be in

[[Page H6052]]

 some way, at some time, confronted with that kind of a situation.
  I pray to God that it will not happen and that we will do everything 
in our power to make sure that it does not, and there are things we can 
do. That is the other side. That is the thing to think about. We should 
not dwell on the inevitability so much of this particular kind of 
terror, but we should dwell on our ability to stop it.
  There are many things we can do, and certainly finding the terrorists 
out there, that is number one. But how can we suggest for a moment, 
even a second, how can it be in anyone's mind in this body, that as 
part of our defense against that next act of terrorism would not be the 
closure of our borders to anybody who is not well-known to us, anybody 
who we can determine is not a threat to this Nation's survival?
  How can we not do it? If something were to happen, Mr. Speaker, of 
this nature, and, again, I pray to God, of course, that it never does, 
but if it does, and if we have done nothing to increase our ability to 
protect our borders, then there is culpability here, because this is 
not, as they say, rocket science.
  I do not suggest for a moment, Mr. Speaker, that if we did everything 
we possibly could, if we put troops on the border, if we reduced 
immigration dramatically so we could actually get a handle on it for a 
while, if we tightened up on INS regulations, if we found out where all 
of the people in the United States who are here illegally are and sent 
them home, if we did all of that, I am not able, of course, to promise 
that we would make ourselves immune to or impervious to or unable to be 
attacked in the way we have suggested. All I know is it is something we 
have to do.
  To those who suggest that there are other options open to us that do 
not include controlling our own borders, I just say this: perhaps there 
are others, perhaps in times past there were others who said, look, let 
us explain to the Vandals in ancient Rome, or the Huns, that there is 
no reason to be all that upset to us; we will open our borders to them 
and let them in and just discuss it with them. We will just peacefully 
deal with it, because, really they are just all members of the human 
race, you know? The Nazis, the Japanese militarists, you could go on 
and on and on.
  There were people here who said, I am sure, not many, thank heavens, 
but people who suggested that there probably is some way we could have 
just negotiated our way out of and around the Second World War, and any 
other war with which we have been involved, because, after all, they 
are just people, just like us.
  What are their needs? How are they different from us? There are still 
people who say that, and I suggest that it is almost irrational. People 
who suggest that we should not care about who comes across our borders 
are, to a certain extent, maybe to a large extent, irrational. Because 
I guarantee you this, Mr. Speaker: the American public, they do not 
feel that way. The vast majority of the American people believe in 
their heart of hearts in the very common sense idea of controlling our 
own borders; and they are not heartless, cruel people, who just hate 
foreigners. No, they all recognize that all of our roots are from 
someplace else. Even if you call yourself a Native American, your 
ancestors, how far back, came across a land bridge from Siberia, from 
Asia.
  So all of us are immigrants. That is not the issue. The issue is will 
we be able to control who comes for how long and how many. Will we be 
able to do that? And the American people want us to do that.
  There is only one way, of course, Mr. Speaker, that this body will 
ever move in the direction that we are hoping for tonight, even though 
there was a great sign that things may have changed tonight with that 
vote on the Traficant amendment to put troops on the borders. However, 
I am told that has passed before, it has always been taken out in the 
conference committee. Perhaps it is different tonight. Perhaps 
September 11 changed all of that. I certainly hope so.
  I certainly hope that there were more people in this body who were 
voting for that amendment without the thought in mind that it would be 
taken out, and they could easily cast their vote and sort of cover 
their tracks. They say, well, I voted for it, but knowing in their 
heart of hearts it will probably be taken out in committee.
  I hope there were not many like that in our body. I hope the 250-odd 
people who voted for it tonight did so because they know what we are 
saying here tonight, that it is the duty, the responsibility, of every 
Nation on the face of the Earth, including our own, to defend our 
borders, and that in our case, because of the geographic problems that 
we confront, it will require perhaps a far stronger force than we have 
available to us tonight in the INS, and it may in fact require the 
positioning of Armed Forces on our borders. That is, of course, what 
the Armed Forces are for, to defend our borders. It is not an 
inappropriate use, it is an absolutely logical use of our Armed Forces, 
because it is very difficult for us to patrol the length of our 
borders. I understand that.
  Mr. Speaker, there was an op-ed that was written by a gentleman by 
the name of Mark Krikorian who is with an organization called the 
Center for Immigration Studies. I am going to enter it in the Record 
and read it tonight as my final statement, because I believe that it 
encapsulates so much of what it is I am trying to say here this 
evening.
  It stays, ``As we consider our response to last week's horrific 
attacks, we must be careful not to seek scapegoats among foreigners who 
live among us. But if immigrants in general are not the problem, a 
broken immigration system almost certainly is partly to blame. While 
much attention has been focused on the failure of intelligence and 
airport security, it is also clear that we have failed to properly 
police our borders, borders being any place where foreign citizens 
enter the United States. It would be a grave error if we did not ask 
ourselves the fundamental question: How did these terrorists get in? 
Despite all the cant about globalization, borders are not irrelevant in 
today's world, nor are they unenforceable. In fact, the need to secure 
them is more pressing than ever, given ease of travel, coupled with 
very real terrorist threats. ``Most Americans understand that our 
border is not an obstacle to be overcome by travelers and businesses 
but, instead, a critical tool for protecting America's national 
interests. Unfortunately, much of America's elite does not get it.

  ``Most notorious among the cheerleaders for open borders have been 
libertarians such as the Cato Institute. The Wall Street Journal has 
frequently called for a 5-word amendment to the Constitution: `There 
shall be open borders.' ''

                              {time}  2215

  I have not heard that recently from the Wall Street Journal. In fact, 
as an aside, I had a reporter from the Wall Street Journal call me the 
other day saying, has there been a change of attitude in Congress about 
immigration as a result of what has happened? I said, it is funny you 
should ask that question. I had exactly the same question for you. Has 
there been a change on the Wall Street Journal editorial board about 
immigration as a result of what happened on September 11? He just 
laughed and said, Well, you are not the first person to ask.
  Back to Mr. Krikorian's op-ed: ``Even minimal borders to strengthen 
controls have been stymied. Congress in 1996 directed the Immigration 
and Naturalization Service to record arrivals and departures of 
foreigners at border crossings so as to identify people overstaying 
their visas. Business interests prompted Congress to postpone this 
requirement several times and ultimately to eliminate it.
  ``If we take the physical safety of our people seriously, we cannot 
continue to allow libertarian ideologues, immigration lawyers, cheap-
labor business interests, and ethnic pressure groups to hobble our 
ability to manage our borders. What, then, is to be done?
  ``The Border Patrol, despite recent increases, remains almost 
laughably inadequate. At any given time, there are only about 1,700 
agents patrolling the southern border, an average of less than 1 agent 
per mile, and the northern border is even less well defended.
  ``Establishing a computerized system to track entries and exits from 
the United States should not even be a subject of debate. There are no 
technological obstacles, merely a lack of will and funding. What is 
more, the practice

[[Page H6053]]

of requiring permanent residents who are not yet citizens to annually 
register their whereabouts with government, which was discontinued in 
the 1970s, should be revived.
  ``The State Department's visa officers overseas need to be recognized 
as `America's other Border Patrol.' Visa officers often have only 2 or 
3 minutes to consider an application, and are pressured to approve a 
high proportion of applicants to avoid offending the host country. The 
granting of visas should become a freestanding, well-funded function 
that people sign up for from the start, rather than today's dreaded 
right of passage for rookie Foreign Service officers.
  ``The very morning of the September 11 attack, the House was about to 
resurrect a provision called 245(i), which allows illegal aliens to 
receive green cards in the United States rather than in their home 
countries.
  ``Because personnel abroad are best equipped to screen applicants, 
245(i) negates any efforts to keep out those judged to be ineligible.
  ``Finally, whatever one thinks about the level of immigration, a 
temporary reduction in legal immigration and the admission of temporary 
workers and students is essential to allow the overhaul of our 
immigration infrastructure.''
  Did we hear that, Mr. Speaker? ``A temporary reduction in legal 
immigration,'' and I will say a pause in all immigration; I want a 
pause. I will soon be introducing a bill to that effect. A pause, at 
least a 6-month pause, in all immigration into the United States, 
except for special circumstances, maybe national defense-related 
issues. But other than that, let us stop it. Because we have an 
overhaul to do with our entire system. Let us let the Department, let 
us let our new Secretary for the Department of Homeland Defense 
determine how best to go back into the field and try to defend our 
borders. But let us call a pause or a halt to immigration for at least 
6 months.
  ``Only by lightening the INS' load can the agency both process its 
huge backlog and strengthen border controls.
  ``Improved border and visa controls may not catch all malefactors, 
but it will help alert us to conspiracies such as last Tuesday's 
attacks. If only a dozen of the conspirators had been identified by 
consular officers during visa processing or border inspectors, it is 
very possible the entire conspiracy would have been unraveled. We have, 
of course, seen some home-grown terrorists as well, but there is no 
reason to neglect border control.
  ``We should not overreact by eviscerating constitutional rights, 
including those of Muslim Americans, but an overhaul of our lax border 
controls is precisely the kind of reasonable reform that would make 
future attacks less likely and does not represent any threat to the 
civil liberties of American citizens. Americans are going to have to 
wait in longer lines at airports, and it is not too much to ask people 
entering into the country to do the same.

  ``Moreover, more foreign citizens may be denied visas.''
  ``The measure of a successful immigration system is not how many 
people are allowed to enter and how fast, but rather whether the broad 
national interests of the United States are being served, including the 
safety of Americans.''
  Mr. Krikorian is the executive director, as I say, for the Center for 
Immigration Studies here in Washington, D.C.; and I certainly commend 
his reading and his efforts, by the way, which I am sure one can go 
online and get. In fact, it is on here: http://www.cis.org. One can go 
on the Net and look into the Center for Immigration Studies and Work. 
They do great stuff.
  And the other thing, of course, everyone must do, Mr. Speaker, is to 
let their representatives in this body and in the other body know how 
they feel. Believe it or not, Mr. Speaker, believe it or not, there are 
still people in this body who are opposed to immigration reform, even 
after September 11; and there is only one way they are ever going to 
change their mind. There is only one way they are ever going to see the 
light and that, of course, is when they feel the heat.

                          ____________________



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