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[Congressional Record: October 2, 2001 (House)]
[Page H6127-H6132]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rogers of Michigan). 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, let me say first of all that as I sat here 
and observed and listened to the comments of my colleague, the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. McInnis), I am taken with the profound 
nature and the fact that he has for quite some time been a consistent 
and articulate spokesman for the concept of a missile defense system, 
which I certainly agree with him now increases in terms of its 
importance in the context of the defense of the Nation.
  I hope he continues to speak on this issue. I hope he continues to be 
the sort of advance guard for this concept, because, of course, it is 
one that is being criticized by our opponents. And it needs people like 
my colleague to defend it.
  It is striking because, from my own point of view, it is in a way a 
metaphor for what I want to talk about tonight. The gentleman talks 
about the danger we face, among other things, and this was just a part 
of his presentation, but he was talking about the danger this Nation 
faces from an outside source, from something coming in, crossing our 
borders, and attacking our cities. And he talks about the need of the 
United States to prepare some sort of defense against it. I certainly 
agree with him that that need is great. But it is a metaphor, as I say, 
for what I wanted to discuss tonight because I believe the issue of 
something outside of the United States, or somebody, in my case, 
outside the United States becoming a dangerous missile directed in our 
  Whether in the form of a huge massive piece of steel or in the form 
of an individual who is willing to give his or her life turning an 
airplane into a missile, the fact is we must protect our borders. We 
must defend the Nation against these outside incursions. And although I 
totally and completely support the idea of a missile defense shield, I 
must add that there is another thing that we are responsible for here 
in this Congress, something that we are uniquely responsible for in the 
Congress of the United States, something no State can individually take 
on for itself, just as they cannot take on the defense of the country 
individually State by State, but that they rely upon the Federal 
Government for that purpose, and that is the Federal Government is 
solely responsible for the control of our borders, for the control of 
immigration across those borders.
  States cannot in any way, shape, or form manage that problem. It is 
not delegated to them in the Constitution as a responsibility. And, of 
course, it is not realistic to think that they could take that 
responsibility on. It is uniquely this body, the Congress of the United 
States, and the President that have the ability to control that 
process, entrance into the United States of America.
  And what more do we need to know? How much more do we have to see 
before we come to the conclusion that what we have been doing for the 
last 20 or 25 years in terms of protecting our borders has simply 
failed us? The people that took over the planes, the people that did 
all the preparation, the people that did all the planning, all the 
cells that are operating inside the United States, or those of which we 
know anyway and those that have been made public, all of them had as 
members people who were foreigners to the United States, people who 
were here on various types of visas or, in some way or other, had come 
into the United States; but they were not citizens of the United 
States. They had come across our borders for the purpose of doing us 
harm. And we allowed them to come across the borders. And we allowed 
them to stay here, even though, by the way, some of them had given us 
cause to be concerned.

                              {time}  2230

  In a recent article appearing in the New York Times, of all 
publications, September 27, the headline is ``Suspects in Hijackings 
Exploited Loopholes in Immigration Policy.''
  The article goes on to describe, it says,

       For Hani Hanjour, identified as the pilot who flew the jet 
     that rammed into the Pentagon, blending into the American 
     landscape began in Saudi Arabia with a $110 application for a 
     four week English course in California. He had only to prove 
     that he had $2,285 to pay for the lessons along with room and 
     board. He never turned up for class. Two other men the 
     authorities said plowed jetliners into the World Trade 
     Center, Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, entered the United 
     States on tourist visas. Even without the required student 
     visa, the men studied at the flight school in Florida.
       Counselor officers deluged with visa applications say they 
     generally do not have much time to investigate the 
     applicants. Once foreign visitors enter the United States, 
     immigration officers and law enforcement agencies usually 
     have no idea if they are complying with the terms of their 
     visas. United States Immigration officials said the hijackers 
     exploited an immigration system that critics contend is 
     riddled with loopholes.

  I am certainly one of those critics and have made my concerns with 
regard to this particular problem known for many months here on the 
floor of the House.
  Until September 11, that system was geared to ease the way for 
commerce, whether in the form of tourism, business or study. Experts on 
tourism said that security precautions often took a back seat to 
pressures from industry, the concerns of neighboring governments, and 
even bureaucratic rivalries in the United States Government.
  According to the State Department manual for counselor affairs, 
participating in the planning or execution of terrorist acts would bar 
a foreigner from getting a visa, but ``mere membership in a recognized 
terrorist group would not automatically disqualify a person from 
entering the United States, nor would the advocacy of terrorism 
disqualify a person from coming into the United States.''
  I could go to an embassy in Saudi Arabia, in Syria, in Iran; and I 
could apply for a visa to the United States, and I could list my 
membership in a wide variety of terrorist organizations, terrorist 
organizations that had called for the kind of thing that happened on 
September 11. But the visa officer in those embassies would not be able 
to exclude me, would not be able to stop me under the present system of 
immigration laws we have in the United States from coming here.
  If this is not unbelievable to you, Mr. Speaker, I cannot imagine 
what we can say that could more clearly define the problem than this.
  The manual, apparently unchanged since September 11, says that the 
United States will exclude immigrants who incite for direct terrorist 
activity but that statements of a general nature that do not directly 
advance specific acts of terrorism are not automatically a basis for 
exclusion. Some American investigators have said they believed Mr. 
Atta, the apparent mastermind of the group, belonged to the Egyptian 
Islamic jihad, and that he met with Iraqi intelligence officers this 
year. He apparently entered on valid visas and may have even reentered 
the country after overstaying his visa on his last trip to the United 
  Mr. Speaker, approximately 30 million people obtain visas to visit 
the United States every year. Thirty million people come into this 
country via visas every year. Most of them of course are on tourist 
visas. Some are on business and education-related visas, but 30 million 
come in. We have some approximation; we think we have a handle on how 
many overstay or violate their visas, and it runs at about 40 to 45 
percent. So that means that 12, 13, 14 million people a year come into 
the United States, ignore the visa requirements, and simply stay.
  Do you know what happens to them, Mr. Speaker? You know one of the 
reasons why such a high percentage of these people can and do violate 
their visa regulations? It is because nobody cares. It is because no 
one will take any action against them.
  The INS will say that it is an overwhelming job for which they are 

[[Page H6128]]

sufficiently funded. Perhaps so. It is also true that the INS could not 
care less about the people who overstay their visas. There is a 
culture, a way of thinking in the INS, I do not know if it is still 
there after September 11, but I can guarantee you it was there before 
then and I think it is still there now, that encourages and it 
essentially abets the criminals who come into the United States, who 
come in illegally to begin their stay here or eventually become illegal 
because they overstay their visas. The INS does not care. It is of no 
consequence to them. In fact, they want to encourage it.
  Mr. Speaker, I was actually in a debate on the radio with a lady who 
was the regional officer in the Colorado area for the INS. She may have 
been the public affairs person. She was asked by the host of the 
program I was on, why is it that the INS does not actually arrest and 
deport all of the people who are here illegally? Why do they not 
essentially find them, round them up and send them out of the country? 
I thought it was a very logical question. By the way, this was before 
September 11. And she said because that is not our job. She said the 
INS, it is not our responsibility to deport people who are here 
illegally. Our job is to figure out a way to get them legalized. I have 
no idea where she read that, what particular set of rules or 
regulations or under what law she interpreted her role as an INS agent 
as simply helping everyone in the world become a U.S. citizen. I 
suggest that is an inaccurate observation on her part.
  It is the case that most people in the INS, many, I should say, many 
people in the INS have that same sort of idea. They are infused with 
this concept of open borders. They believe their real task is to get as 
many people in here as possible, get them legalized, and have them 
eventually become citizens of the United States. That is not what I 
consider their role, but that is what they consider their role. They 
ignore the 12 to 15 million people who overstay their visas. Nobody 
checks into it. Hence, we end up with people like the ones that I have 
just identified who became the hijackers and took the lives of 
thousands of Americans. They had overstayed their visas, many of them. 
Nobody cared. Nobody checked.
  Mr. Speaker, this issue of our ability to control our own borders is 
extraordinarily important from my point of view. It is true that I have 
been on this floor many, many hours in defense of a policy that would 
protect our borders, defend our borders, help us determine who comes in 
and how long they stay. The right, not just the right but the 
responsibility of every nation on this planet is to do just what I have 
described, protect and defend their own borders. Most nations do so, 
and we do not begrudge them that. Mexico does so. Not 2 months ago 
Mexico decided to once again put Federal troops, Mexican Federal troops 
on their southern border with Guatemala. Right before President Fox 
came here to ask the United States to essentially open our southern 
border, he made a decision about what was good for Mexico; and he 
determined that the large number of people coming across the border, 
the low-skilled people, were causing an economic drain for the Mexican 
Government, and he determined to put a stop to it.
  This is not the first time Mexico made that decision. Mexico in the 
past essentially rounded up immigrants illegally coming into their 
country, and I mean that in the literal sense, put them in detention 
camps or sent them north to get them out of Mexico. Yet the President 
of Mexico comes here and says it is our responsibility to open our 
border to his people, to his unemployed because, of course, they choose 
not to deal with the horrific economic problem and social problems that 
beset that nation. They would rather have the United States be the sort 
of safety valve that they need to keep their people moving north and 
sending money south.
  Mr. Speaker, no one is suggesting, certainly I am not suggesting that 
the events of September 11 were the responsibility of Mexican 
immigrants. They certainly were not. They were the direct actions taken 
by people from the Middle East. But my point is this: we must do 
everything we can to seal our borders except to those people we 
determine need to and legitimately have a reason to come into the 
United States. Just because one of those borders happens to be between 
the United States and Mexico is not the point. It is not anti-Mexican 
to suggest that we need to deal with the border any more than it is 
anti-Canadian to say that we must deal with the issue of a porous 
border on our northern frontier. It does not matter which country we 
are separating ourselves from, it is the function of this government, 
it is the legitimate function of this government to in fact ensure the 
domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. That means, 
among other things, the defense of our borders.
  Going back to the article that was in the New York Times, it said, 
``In spite of elaborate immigration laws and the efforts of the INS,'' 
which is almost a joke, ``the United States is de facto a country of 
open borders, the National Commission on Terrorism said in a report 
last year.'' It is that same report that we now hear spoken of widely 
as being prophetic. It is that same report that people refer to 
constantly and say why did we not pay attention. To Mr. Rudman and 
others who were the authors of the report when they gave it to us, a 
relatively short time ago, but even before that we had warnings.
  In earlier reports, in 1997 we had the Jordan Commission Report. The 
late Barbara Jordan was not considered to be a raving conservative with 
attitudes so anachronistic in nature. Barbara Jordan was a very 
outspoken, very articulate, very liberal individual, politically 
speaking. It was the report she commissioned that talked about the 
dangerous nature of our porous borders. It talked about a whole bunch 
of interesting issues, and I certainly commend it to anyone for their 

                              {time}  2245

  If they think that this issue is simply one of those right-wing 
conservative, white men issues, Barbara Jordan, an African American, 
who understood the problems and the dangers we face in this Nation as a 
result of massive immigration, legal and illegal, as a result of having 
borders that are completely and totally porous as a result of being 
unable to defend ourselves and unwilling to defend ourselves in that 
particular way.
  Mr. Speaker, I find myself in a dilemma. It is one with which I have 
dealt for some time, and it is this: I know that a huge majority, 
somewhere 75 to 80 percent of the people of this Nation, support our 
point of view vis-a-vis immigration and immigration reform. A huge 
majority of the people of this Nation believe that we should reduce 
immigration, that we should gain control of our borders, that we should 
do something to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into this country, 
that we should do something to make sure we know what people who are 
here on visas are in fact doing. That we in the United States and the 
Federal Government should take on our responsibility to protect and 
defend this Nation by protecting and defending its borders.
  I know, Mr. Speaker, that a huge majority of Americans agree with 
this point of view. Believe me, I hear from them. And the dilemma is 
this: How is it that we can have 75 to 80 percent of the population 
agreeing that we have to reform our immigration laws and do something 
to tighten up on the way in which people are able to obtain entrance 
into this country, why is it that that is the case and that this body 
is unable or unwilling to reflect that point of view? How is it, Mr. 
Speaker, that even in light of the events of September 11, that we have 
a situation where when the administration comes forward with a bill 
that has relatively few points dealing with immigration and visas, even 
those points are watered down?
  I saw today in the paper that this House, somehow it said, the House 
has agreed on a new antiterrorism bill. Now, no one has asked me about 
that yet, but it does not matter, the leadership evidently in both the 
House and the Senate have come to some conclusion about what the 
antiterrorism bill should include. And when it got down to the point 
about immigration, it talked about how watered down that bill had 
become. It talked about the fact that one of the provisions that was 
stricken from the measure was the ability to detain people who were 
here, aliens who were here because we believe that they are connected 
to some terrorist organization, now we have

[[Page H6129]]

 only a certain period of time and they can go to court, all the rest 
of the stuff.
  Amazing, Mr. Speaker. Absolutely amazing. We act as though, and we 
talk as though these people who have come here from foreign countries, 
whether for good intentions or ill, we talk as though they are American 
citizens, with the same rights as an American citizen.
  Mr. Speaker, they are not, by definition, American citizens. They do 
not enjoy the same rights as American citizens. Just simply being here, 
simply being within the, quote, borders of the United States, existing 
here does not confer upon you any of the rights guaranteed in the 
Constitution. There are some liberal judges who have interpreted this 
differently, but I suggest they are incorrect in their analysis. I 
suggest that if we do not say that there is a difference between people 
who come here and simply get across the border and exist here and those 
of us born here or obtain legal citizenship status, if there is no 
difference, then why do we even have the concept of citizenship? Why do 
we go through the process of having people raise their hand at a point 
in time when they come across the borders and swear allegiance to the 
United States and confer upon them citizenship? What does it matter? 
Why do we not just end the charade and say if you are here, if you have 
made it across our borders somehow, you get all of the same benefits as 
a citizen?
  Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that that is what the founders of the 
Nation intended. And as a result of the fact that the people to whom we 
are focusing on, whom we are focusing our issue here tonight and were 
part of the antiterrorism bill, they were not and are not citizens of 
the United States and, therefore, have absolutely no, quote-unquote, 
right to any of the protections that the immigration lawyers and our 
friends on the other side of the aisle forced into this package. But 
that is the extent to which we in this body have sunk. We are unwilling 
to confront the proponents of open borders. We are perhaps even willing 
to risk the security of this Nation in order to gain a political 
advantage, a political advantage that would accrue to one party who 
would gain the votes of these people who eventually became citizens.
  Now, that is a pretty cynical analysis, but, Mr. Speaker, I cannot, 
for the life of me, think of what in the world it is other than a 
cynical reason employed to stop and water down the antiterrorism bill 
in the area of immigration reform. It is truly amazing. It is almost 
beyond belief that this could happen today. But it goes to show you the 
dilemma, the nature of the dilemma that I referred to earlier.

  What do I do, Mr. Speaker? What can I do other than what I have been 
doing, to take this floor at every opportunity, to express myself as 
clearly as I possibly can about the nature of the danger, about the 
nature of our responsibility in the face of that danger?
  How much more can I say than has been said? How much more of a 
statement can I make than was made on September 11 to convince my 
colleagues that something significant has to change in the way of 
immigration reform? That is why I take this floor as often as I can and 
address those who may be listening, Mr. Speaker, and others for the 
purpose of trying to convince them that pure partisan political motives 
sink below anything that we believe can and should be done in this body 
to advance the American cause. I cannot think of any other reason why 
we are so unwilling to deal with this issue of immigration reform.
  Even the administration's bill, the original bill, did not go far 
enough as far as I am concerned, certainly. We should, in fact, impose 
a moratorium on all immigration for at least 6 months, except for cases 
of national security. We should give our agencies, the INS, the FBI, 
immigration authorities throughout the country, we should give them the 
opportunity to reform themselves, to reconstruct themselves into a true 
immigration control agency. We cannot do that with something near 300 
million people crossing the border, 300 million people annually 
crossing the border between the United States and Mexico. We cannot do 
that with 30 million visas being given every single year.
  Let me talk for just a second about one special kind of visa, by the 
way, called diversity visas. We came up with these in the early 1900s 
and we said, you know, there are some countries that just are not 
sending enough people, some countries from which we are not getting 
quite enough immigration. And so we are going to give them a special 
place in line. We are going to set aside 50,000 diversity visas for 
these countries, and they are, among others, Egypt, Syria, Libya, they 
are countries throughout the Middle East who benefit from diversity 
visas. Now, I have no idea if any of the hijackers were recipients of 
diversity visas, but I have to ask if this is one of those things we 
are going to hang on to because of some sort of politically correct 
concept about who should be able to come into the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, before September 11, there were many people who would 
even actually openly state that it was their desire to see open 
borders, not just between the United States and Mexico, the United 
States and Canada, but open borders throughout the world and that we 
should be sort of the forerunner in that.
  You do not hear them anymore. They do not stand up on the floor of 
this House. They do not even write editorials in the Wall Street 
Journal anymore. Cato Institute, a very powerful, very influential, 
libertarian-oriented think tank here in the United States, has for 
years pushed the idea of open borders. Even they have been, 
interestingly, quiet in recent weeks. Nobody thinks it is a good idea 
anymore, Mr. Speaker, to simply walk away from the borders and let 
anyone walk into this country at any time, stay for as long as they 
like, do whatever they want, and leave. Nobody thinks that that is 
  Well, interestingly, we are still at that point, even after the 11th 
of September. We are still there. That can still happen. And although 
people do not take the floor to attack the idea of open borders 
anymore, they still want it. They still advocate the concept, they just 
cannot do it openly, for fear of the political and social retribution 
that would be heaped upon them, and deservedly so.
  There is another article to which I wish to refer this evening. It is 
written by a lady by the name of Ann Coulter, opinion editorial.
  She says:
  ``After the World Trade Center was bombed by Islamic fundamentalists 
in 1993, the country quickly chalked it up to a zany one-time attack 
and 5 minutes later decided we were all safe again. We weren't then. We 
aren't now. They will strike again. Perhaps they will wait another 8 
years. Perhaps not. The enemy is in this country right now. And any 
terrorists who are not already here are free to emigrate. The 
government has been doing an excellent job in rounding up suspects from 
the last two attacks. But what about the next attack? We thought there 
was only one murderous Islamic cell in America the last time. 
Incorrect. Congress has the authority to pass a law tomorrow requiring 
aliens from suspect countries to leave. As far as the Constitution is 
concerned,'' she says, ``aliens, which is to say any noncitizen, are 
here at this country's pleasure. They have no constitutional right to 
be here. Congress has, within its power, the ability to prevent the 
next attack, but it won't,'' she says. ``When the Sears Tower is 
attacked, the President is assassinated, St. Patrick's Cathedral is 
vaporized, anthrax is released in the subway systems or Disneyland is 
nuked, remember, Congress could have stopped it but it didn't. Pious 
invocations of the Japanese internment are absurd. For one thing, those 
were U.S. citizens. Citizens cannot be deported.
  So far, thank God, almost all the mass murderers of Americans have 
been aliens. But even more blindingly obvious,'' she says, ``there was 
no evidence that the attack on Pearl Harbor was staged by Japanese 
saboteurs living in California. The Japanese internment was a pure land 
grab implemented by liberal politicians, President Franklin 
Roosevelt,'' and she mentions others here, Governor Warren.

                              {time}  2300

  ``The internment was vigorously opposed by J. Edgar Hoover. This 
time, the very nature of the enemy is that they have infiltrated this 
country and

[[Page H6130]]

passed themselves off as law-abiding, quiet immigrants. The entire 
modus operandi of this enemy is to smuggle mass murderers to our 
shores. But the country refuses to respond rationally. Rather, Congress 
is busily contemplating a series of `anti-terrorism measures,' most 
notable for their utter irrelevance to the threat. What precisely would 
a national ID card accomplish? The hijackers were in this country 
illegally. A few may have overstayed their visas by a few days, a minor 
bureaucratic oversight that they surely would have remedied had they 
not been about to commit suicide in a monstrous attack. One member of 
the other body,'' she said, ``has bravely proposed that we take the 
aggressive step of asking aliens in the country to register 
periodically with the government so we know where they are. That is 
already the law in Germany. Several of the hijackers in this attack 
lived in Hamburg. They obediently complied. The mastermind of the most 
vicious attack in the history of the world, Mohamed Atta, was in 
Florida on a 'vocational status visa' in order to attend flight school. 
Let's say Atta had registered. Now what?
  ``As the entire country has been repeatedly lectured, most Muslims 
ever amazingly peaceful, deeply religious, wouldn't hurt a fly. Indeed, 
endless invocations of the pacific nature of most Muslims is the only 
free speech it is safe to engage in these days. This is a preposterous 
irrelevancy. Fine. We get it.
  ``The New York Times can rest assured that every last American has 
now heard the news that not all Muslims are terrorists. But that is not 
the point. Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all the terrorists 
are Muslims, at least all terrorists capable of assembling a murderous 
plot against America that leaves 7,000 people dead in under 2 hours.
  ``How are we to distinguish the peaceful Muslims from the fanatical 
homicidal Muslims about to murder thousands of our fellow citizens? Are 
the good Muslims the ones that live quiet lives, pray a lot and obey 
the laws? So do the architects of Bloody Tuesday's mass murder. Are the 
peaceful Muslims the ones that loudly proclaim their hatred of Osama 
bin Laden? Mohamed Atta did that too.
  ``The only thing we know about them, other than they live among us, 
is that they are foreign-born and they are Muslims. The government has 
been remarkably tight-lipped about precisely how many Muslim visitors 
we are currently accommodating, but from unofficial estimates there 
appears to be more than 1 million. Even if the Attorney General 
instigated latter day Palmer raids, it will take years and years to 
investigate and infiltrate every potential terrorist cell operating on 
our shores.
  ``The investigation should not be conducted while the enemy continues 
residing here, plotting the next attack. It is an extreme measure,'' 
she says, ``but we face an extreme threat. It is suicidally naive to 
think we can simply seal off every water supply, all the air vents, 
food supply and crop dusters from now until the end of time. We cannot 
search every truck, every passenger, every shopper, every subway, every 
person entering every building, every American every day. It is 
impossible to stop Islamic fundamentalists who think that slaughtering 
thousands of innocent Americans will send them straight to Allah. All 
we can do is politely ask aliens from suspect nations to leave,'' she 
says, ``with full expectation of readmittance while we sort the peace-
loving immigrants from the murderous fanatics.
  ``More benefits of the plan next week, but the beauty part of the 
terrorist deportation plan can't wait. There will be two fail safes. 
One, Muslim immigrants who agree to spy on the millions of Muslim 
citizens unaffected by the deportation order can stay, and, two, any 
Muslim immigrant who gets a U.S. Senator to waive his deportation by 
name gets to stay.

  ``This is brutally unfair to Muslim immigrants who do not want to 
kill us, but it is not our fault. It is the fault of the terrorists who 
are using their fellow Muslims as human shields. So far, America's 
response to a calculatingly cold-blooded enemy has been to say, excuse 
me, you seem to have dropped your box cutter.''
  Now, Ms. Coulter's observations are just that, her observations. She 
is, of course, free to state them. And they are harsh, and I doubt for 
a second that this body would ever consider such an action as deporting 
all people who are here as immigrants and who are Muslims.
  We are not going to do it, and whether that is good or bad I will 
leave up to the observer. But I will say this, that there are many 
things we have an absolute right and ultimate responsibility to do. 
Putting troops on our border, a scary proposition for some, an 
absolutely logical one for me. Also, I might add, Mr. Speaker, a 
logical one for a majority of Americans. They agree it should be done.
  The purpose of the military is to defend our borders. We know where 
our borders are. Let us send them there. We cannot depend upon the INS 
to protect us. We cannot depend upon the INS to keep people out of the 
United States who should not come. We cannot depend on the INS to 
enforce our own laws.
  An amazing thing I was told earlier this evening, there are literally 
hundreds of thousands of orders that have been issued by judges, by 
immigration judges in this country; orders for the deportation of 
immigrants who have violated a law, who have come here illegally, or 
while here have violated some law or have overstayed their visas. 
Hundreds of thousands of these orders have been issued in the last few 
years. Yet few, if any, have actually been carried out by the INS.
  When the judge raps his or her gavel and says you have been found 
guilty of violating the law and I hereby issue an order to deport you, 
that person can simply laugh at the judge, turn around and walk away. 
We do not hold them, and we do not go after them.
  Now, they can in fact enter an appeal. We do not know exactly how 
many have done that, but we do know that many have done that and again 
walked away. We are going to try to find out those numbers, but the INS 
is very tight-lipped about these things.
  Literally hundreds of thousands of people have actually put up bond, 
put up bail, and walked away. They have committed crimes. Some of these 
crimes are far more serious than simply overstaying their visa or 
entering the country illegally. Some of these are felonies, and yet the 
people walk away, because right now the law allows them to do so. And 
there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of frustrated Americans 
serving in the capacity of judges and honest immigration officers who 
are incredibly frustrated by their inability to stop the ocean with the 
sieve that we have given them.
  We could do something about that tomorrow. We could determine how 
many people are out there who have skipped out on bail, who have simply 
walked away from court orders deporting them and have never been looked 
for by the INS. The INS will tell you that it is a resource issue, but 
it is more than that, Mr. Speaker. They do not want to look. They do 
not care.
  Some of the time I am told that in some of these cases that come in 
front of these judges that I have referred to, the immigration lawyer, 
the lawyer for the government, is actually half the time defending the 
perpetrator, the plaintiff. And to the judges even, this seems odd and 
almost incredible, but it is what has happened. For years we did not 
pay the slightest bit of attention to it. As I say, I and others could 
get up on this floor and speak to our concerns about immigration, and 
people really would not want to hear it.

                              {time}  2310

  Because no one wants to be considered to be racist or xenophobic, and 
I certainly do not believe that I fall into either of those two 
categories. I know that I do not. No one wants to be called those 
things, and so everybody avoided the discussion of the issue of 
  It is too late for us really, in a way. But at least we must now do 
everything we can, as I said earlier, if it is building a missile 
defense system, that is fine; but let us do something before it gets 
here, before that missile or before anyone with the intent of 
destroying the United States and everything we stand for. Let us do 
something about it. Even Ms. Coulter suggested, after her rather 
Draconian measure is employed, to send, to return all Muslims, to send 
them all out of the United

[[Page H6131]]

States, she agrees that they should be allowed to come back in, once 
some sort of detection mechanism has been set up, once some sort of a 
system is set up to see if they should be allowed in. I am not 
advocating that at all. All I am saying is that some measure has to be 
employed here, some rational approach has to be adopted by this House 
and by the Senate and signed by the President to deal with this issue 
of immigration in the poorest nature at our borders.
  I do not know, as I say, what more we can possibly add to this case 
that we are making in front of the people of the United States. I do 
know this, Mr. Speaker, that unless the people of the United States let 
their elected representatives know how they feel about this issue, 
things will not change.
  There is a strong lobby here in the Congress of the United States 
against any immigration reform. It is led oftentimes by immigration 
lawyers who make their living, of course, out of making sure that we 
have open borders or at least pursue a policy, a de facto policy, of 
open borders. Then there is, of course, a large number of people who 
simply believe in that concept philosophically; they adhere to it. Even 
if they are out of touch with their constituents, they are going to 
vote that way, Mr. Speaker, we both know this, unless they hear from 
those constituents.
  That is why when I say I have a dilemma, it is in knowing exactly how 
to deal with the fact of the incredible irony, if you will, the fact 
that a huge percentage of the population by every poll agrees with the 
point of view that I have established here tonight, that some form of 
immigration reform is necessary, that we should limit the number of 
people coming into the United States far lower than it is today at a 
million and a quarter or so legally, and maybe twice or three times 
that many annually coming, into the United States illegally. People 
want that reduced. They want illegal immigration stopped. They want us 
to deal with those people who are here illegally. They do not want them 
  Certainly, there are a lot of employers who understand the fact that 
it is good business to pay people maybe even less than the going wage, 
maybe even less than minimum wage, exploit them because they are here 
illegally, knowing that they cannot do anything about it. Yes, I know 
there are employers of course who do that. But I am telling my 
colleagues that a majority of Americans want people to enter this 
country legally, want us to have a fair system that allows for 
diversity, that allows us to continue to enjoy the benefits of 
diversity, all of the great things that immigration has provided to the 
United States.
  I would never, ever deny the fact that we are richer as a Nation as a 
result of the many incredible treasures that have been brought to our 
shores by immigrants. I do not believe that we should forever end all 
immigration. I simply ask for us to take a rational approach. Let us 
pause immigration for at least 6 months, a pause. Let us catch our 
breath. Let us try to create a true immigration agency, one that can 
actually determine who is coming across our borders and how long they 
are here, and determine whether or not they are doing something when 
they are here that they should not be doing. Is that too much to ask 
for, really? Is it too much to ask for that we probably should not hand 
out 30 million visas a year, that we maybe should get rid of the 
diversity visas directed specifically at Middle Eastern countries? Is 
that too much to ask for?

  I am not suggesting Ms. Coulter's remedy. I am saying that far from 
that, there are many things that we can do, but we must do something. 
It is incredibly irresponsible for us to ignore the reality here; and 
the reality is that there are people in this world who are intent upon 
our destruction. They hate us, Mr. Speaker, for reasons that go far 
beyond our foreign policy, far beyond the issue of Israel-United 
States-Palestinian relationships. They hate us because of who we are 
and what we stand for. Because we are the bastion of Judeo-Christian 
ideals, among those being the freedom to think.
  This is not the kind of world, the one we represent is not the kind 
of world in which these people, these terrorists, are comfortable; nor 
is it one in which they can survive or thrive. Their brand of hijacked 
Islam can never survive in our kind of world, because our world puts 
them into the marketplace of ideas. It asks them to simply advance 
their ideas through that marketplace. They cannot survive in that 
arena. They know it. Therefore, they believe that the only way to 
advance their cause is by the sword, just as it was centuries ago. This 
is a continuation of that failed concept, of conquest, of moving a 
religious issue by the sword. They are not unique in the world. It has 
happened before. There are many times in the world's history where we 
have seen this kind of thing happen. The fact is that we are dealing 
with it now, today, in America; and the perpetrators are fundamental, 
radical members of Islam, as a result of the fact that there are who-
knows-how-many millions of people out there who have our destruction as 
their main purpose and goal in life.
  Mr. Speaker, several things are important for us to do. One is to 
understand what I just said, that that is their intent. It is not to 
change our foreign policy, Mr. Speaker. It is not just to get a respite 
from the atrocities, from the conflict in the Middle East. It is not 
just an issue of the Palestinians versus the Israelis. It is far, far 
more serious than that, far deeper. As I say, its roots go back 
  Therefore, recognizing that we cannot change it simply by changing 
foreign policy; recognizing that the mechanisms that can be employed 
today to bring about our destruction are far more threatening than they 
ever have been in the history of mankind; recognizing that what 
happened on September 11 is probably just a teaser, and that the next 
event could very well be horrendously more devastating. The gentleman 
from Connecticut (Mr. Shays), the chairman of one of the House 
committees that deals with the issue of security, has said on this 
floor, said on television, I have seen him, I have heard him and he 
said more than once, that it is not a matter of if they are going to 
use weapons of mass destruction; it is a matter of when.

                              {time}  2320

  Knowing that, then, Mr. Speaker, why would I not do everything I can, 
stand up here at this microphone as often as I possibly can, to 
encourage, to cajole, to talk to this body about the importance of 
doing this one thing: gaining control of our borders. It is the only 
thing I can do. It is the only mechanism I have.
  I can introduce the legislation, but I assure the Members, it will 
not pass. I assure Members it will not even be heard by the committee 
of reference because there is this kind of knee-jerk reaction to 
anything like this that it is too controversial, that we would make too 
many enemies in certain communities in this country.
  How can we let these things guide our actions today, Mr. Speaker? How 
can we? It is more important than politics. It is more important than 
how many votes we are going to get at the next election from any 
particular ethnic group in the United States.
  It is for every ethnic group in the United States that I plead. It is 
for every human being here, from whatever racial origin. It does not 
matter who they are, where they come from, but if they are here, if 
they are American citizens, it is they that I plead for.
  I plead for their safety, for their security, for the security of 
every Mexican-American who just came here and came legally and is a 
member, or anybody who is even here illegally, it does not matter, I am 
pleading for their security. I choose not to identify any particular 
ethnic group.
  I know every time we talk about immigration reform, it comes down to 
this thing. I have read in the paper attacks on me personally because I 
have called for immigration reform, and the suggestion the other day in 
the Denver paper, there was someone who wrote an editorial saying, why 
is he talking about reforming immigration? Why is he talking about 
shutting off the border? It was not Mexico that attacked the United 
  Of course it was not. Who said it was? It has nothing to do with 
Mexico; it has everything to do with porous borders between Mexico and 
the United States and between the United States and Canada, and the 
United States and the rest of the world. That is the problem. It is not 
any ethnic group. It is

[[Page H6132]]

our inability to control our own destiny because of our inability and 
unwillingness to control our own borders.
  Many philosophers have used the phrase ``demography is destiny,'' 
many times. I agree. We have an ability to help control our destiny, 
but it means controlling our borders.
  Mr. Speaker, I once again take this microphone and once again suggest 
that the only way we will ever get immigration reform through this body 
is for people to rise up and let the Members of this body know how they 
feel about it. They have to do it directly and quickly and 
vociferously, and they have to be unwavering in their commitment to get 
their point across that we desperately need true immigration reform.


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