ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page

Advanced search

Immigration Daily


Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network


Chinese Immig. Daily


Connect to us

Make us Homepage



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of free

Immigration LLC.

Immigration Daily: the news source for
legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers
Enter your email address here:

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

[Congressional Record: October 24, 2001 (House)]
[Page H7300-H7307]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore ((Mr. Osborne). 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, as I have been waiting this evening to 
address the House, I have, of course, been listening to the comments of 
my colleagues from the other side with regard to airline security. It 
will undeniably be an issue that will be brought to the attention of 
the American public in this fashion as a point of general order and, of 
course, discussions in the House as we meet daily. It is, of course, a 
very important issue, there is no 2 ways about it, that people in the 
general public believe that airline security has to be enhanced. I do 
not know that there is a single Member of the Congress that does not 
think that airline security needs to be enhanced. Of course, we will 
have differences of opinion as to exactly how that should

[[Page H7301]]

 happen and we, unfortunately, will take advantage of the differences 
of opinion about this to make partisan points and to be incredibly 
divisive and to reintroduce the whole issue of partisanship into the 
debate about airline security. But that is, of course, the nature of 
the business when we are in. When 2 individuals or, in this case, 2 
parties have different opinions about issues like airline security, 
each side will claim that the other side is being partisan for holding 
on to their opinion.
  It is intriguing certainly, intriguing, to say the least, that a 
great deal of time is being spent on the discussion of airline security 
with the thought in mind somehow that a change in who pays the wages of 
the people who are charged with the responsibility for conducting 
security, that somehow or other, this fact, this and this alone, will 
change the whole arena and will change the whole feeling of the general 
public about security, and will make people feel better about 
traveling; just simply changing who pays the wages, whether it is the 
Federal Government paying the wages or a private employer. Somehow or 
other, people then will become much more intent upon doing their job, 
much more competent in doing their job.
  Well, I must tell my colleagues that I do not believe for a moment 
that that is what will give us confidence in this country in terms of 
our general, overall security. I do not believe it is the issue of who 
is paying the person who is looking through that little screen as our 
bags go through as to whether or not; and, by the way, people I guess 
think of that as being some very complex job that only a very highly 
skilled person, a ``Federal employee'' is able to do, right? Now, 
again, I do not know what makes anybody think that a Federal employee 
is more capable of looking into that little screen and seeing a light 
go off, because they are not actually trying to identify any individual 
part of the package going through; they are simply there to see when a 
light goes off, and the light tells them, search that package, that is 
it. Frankly, Mr. Speaker, it is not really a very high-level job. It 
just means the light went on. Can you tell? If it does, search the bag, 
  Now, somehow or other, the other side would have us believe that if 
we hire Federal employees, give them all the benefits of Federal 
employment, of course, more importantly, the security of never being 
fired for being incompetent, the security for being able to strike, the 
security of being able to shut the whole Nation down by a work stoppage 
because they can do that as a Federal employees union and never be held 
accountable for it, that part never comes up in this discussion about 
transferring this responsibility.

                              {time}  1945

  We are led to believe that if only the Republicans, these ideologues, 
as my friends on the other side kept calling us, if only these 
ideologues will agree to federalizing this entire work force, we will 
be safer. But never has anybody said why. I ask my friends anywhere in 
this House to tell me why it would be safer to have a Federal employee 
looking through that screen to see the light come on, or any other 
variety of jobs.
  If we need better training for the employees who do this work, I am 
all for it. I am all for it. If we want to federalize anything, 
federalize the standards that have to be met. I have no qualms about 
that whatsoever.
  But who is the ideologue here in this discussion, in this debate? Is 
it in fact the people on our side who are suggesting that the safer and 
better thing to do would be to allow people to be hired and fired if 
they are incompetent, to be fired if they threaten to strike and shut 
down the entire Nation's air transport system, and yet be held to high 
standards of ability in order to assure whatever degree of security we 
want established at our airports?
  Those of us who want that, are we ideologues, or could it be people 
on the other side who want those people to be Federal employees? Again, 
nobody has said why that is so necessary. The reason they do not want 
to say it, Mr. Speaker, is because the reason they want Federal 
employees is because Federal employees will contribute to the Federal 
employees' union, which will contribute to the campaign coffers of the 
people on the other side. That is ideological, in my estimation.
  So the real issue here, as far as I am concerned, has nothing to do 
with airline security; it has everything to do with securing our 
borders. This is the issue we should be debating tonight, and every 
single night and every single day.
  I have never heard, and I have done this many times; as the staff and 
maybe the Speaker will attest, I have have done this many times: I have 
come to the floor on special orders to plead with my colleagues to look 
at the issue of immigration reform, to look at the issue of defending 
our border as the first line of defense in defending this Nation.
  I have begged for that; and oftentimes, far too often, I have been 
the only person here. I am happy to say that I am joined this evening 
by a colleague to join in this debate who I will recognize in just one 
second. It is just that never have I heard anyone from the other side 
of this aisle come to this floor and talk about this issue.
  Frankly, from my point of view, I am much more concerned about the 
fact that we have porous borders through which people can come and do 
come who wish to do us harm, and we have absolutely no desire to try to 
stop them there, but we spend enormous amounts of time talking about 
who should be the guy or the lady looking through the screen to see if 
the light comes on in the machine. That is what is going to make us 
feel better?
  I do not want them in this Nation to begin with. I do not want them 
in the airport in the United States, the people who are here to do us 
harm. I do not want them getting across the border. I do not want them 
being given a visa in any nation in this world which requires a visa to 
come to the United States. I do not want them getting it in the first 
  That is where our emphasis should be, because frankly, Mr. Speaker, 
every single member of the organization that came here on September 11 
and hijacked those planes, drove them into the World Trade Center and 
into the Pentagon, and would have come here, were people who were not 
citizens of this country. They were here on various visas, some of them 
illegal because they had overstayed or not done the right thing on 
their visa, and we did not care. We did not go after them. The INS 
could not care less. I have tons of information we will get into 
  That is where I want our emphasis put. I want it put on stopping them 
from getting here. I am all for airline security. I am all for making 
sure that man or woman who is looking through the little scope on that 
thing, and when the light goes off, I want to make sure that they say, 
okay, open that bag.
  Yes, I am all for it. I am actually for doing a lot more than that 
with everybody who gets near the airplane. Food service handlers and 
baggage handlers, let us make them accountable, too. We do not need to 
make them Federal employees to get there, but that is a secondary 
issue. The issue is, how do they get into the United States to begin 
with, and why is it that we continue to be so afraid of paying any 
attention to this issue, so afraid of discussing the issue of 
immigration and immigration reform?
  Someone who is not afraid of that has joined us tonight, and I yield 
to my friend, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth), for his 
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado for 
yielding to me.

  Let us acknowledge what he has said. Yes, it is important to 
understand what is transpiring in terms of aviation safety. Yes, it is 
important to have scrutiny to the point that we can ensure airliner 
safety in many different areas, not only those who would come to get on 
the plane and have themselves and their hand-carried luggage checked, 
but also, transcending that, the caterers, the cleaners; a myriad of 
other people who have access to aircraft. That is very important.
  But it seems, to borrow the line from I guess Rogers and Hammerstein, 
``Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.''
  It is the unmistakable, undebatable function of the Federal 
Government to secure our borders and to be in control of those who 
would come to this Nation. My friend, the gentleman from

[[Page H7302]]

Colorado, points out the story of the 19 villainous vermin who came 
here to do us harm; in fact, who launched this war with acts of terror 
that were indeed acts of war that cost so many Americans their lives.
  When we read the stories that our intelligence gatherers have been 
able to come across, we understand that, either through 
miscommunication or an unwillingness and inability to follow up on the 
status of visas, or special visas that require really no scrutiny, we 
allowed many of these horrific people to come and stay and perpetrate 
their acts of terror and war.
  We must secure our borders. The challenge in the early 21st century 
is that there are those who would take an issue of national survival, 
try to dismiss it as jingoism or xenophobia, or a myriad of attacks of 
the politically incorrect, when, instead, they are elemental tools that 
the American people cry out to see activated.
  It is not only the border to our south. Mr. Speaker, I am sure there 
are those who join us, and they see the gentleman from Colorado and the 
gentleman from Arizona, and they say that it is the United States' 
border with Mexico that causes the problems.
  Mr. Speaker, I would point out that some who have perpetrated acts of 
terror and war against this country came in through our border to the 
north in Canada. I would point out the unbelievable situation, 
according to some press accounts, that at least one of the perpetrators 
voted in our Presidential election in 2000.
  Now, there reaches a point in time when enough is enough. With the 
war we confront and the nature of our enemy, we must take the steps 
necessary to defend this Nation.
  Governor Ridge has taken over as our director of homeland defense. 
Our first line of defense is securing our borders and taking account of 
those who have come here. It is very simple. The old saying is, when 
you have dug a hole for yourself, stop digging. Until we get an 
accounting of exactly who is here, and quite frankly, who should be 
escorted beyond these borders, only then can we take control.
  One other note. And lest this is confused, Arab Americans have a 
chance to lead the way in our fight in terms of an understanding of 
culture and language and their own sense of patriotism. They have a 
chance to lead the way in this fight.
  This is not for a second to impugn the motives or the patriotism of 
any Arab American. Indeed, I know many personally who are guts-up 
Americans who have served in the military of this country, who stand 
ready to defend this land in any way, shape, or form.
  But to those who have come illegally and to those who would do us 
harm, it is time for a change; to harken back to what is absolutely 
required of us in this constitutional Republic, and that is control of 
our borders and an accounting of those who are here, and actions to 
send home those who are here unlawfully.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his comments.
  It is not as if we had not been warned more than once. It is not as 
if all of this happened to us in the United States, the events of 
September 11, and we thought, Gee, how could this have occurred? Why 
were we not warned? Why did no one ever come forward?
  Well, of course, people have come forward. Many people have come 
forward, and earlier than the 11th, actually years before. There has 
been testimony before this House of Representatives, before the 
Congress of the United States, about the dangers we face as a result of 
having border that we cannot control.
  As early as January 25, 2000, a terrorist expert by the name of 
Stephen Emerson testified at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on 
international terrorism and immigration policy. Rereading Emerson's 
testimony is chilling, but it is also infuriating, because he laid out 
chapter and verse how terrorists enter the U.S.
  Emerson virtually predicted the attacks. In a 35-page document, 
Emerson listed the various reasons for the emergence of terrorist 
groups in the United States:
  One, an ability to operate under our political radar system;

  Two, an ability to hide under mainstream religious identification;
  Three, loopholes in immigration procedures;
  Four, ease of penetration of the borders;
  Five, limitation on FBI and other agencies performing law enforcement 
functions, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the 
Customs Service;
  More sophisticated compartmentalization of terrorist cells around 
loosely structured terrorist movements;
  Exploitation of freedom of religion and speech;
  Exploitation of nonprofit fund-raising, and lack of government 
  Does all this sound somewhat familiar? Every single issue that he 
brought up of course we now know to be part of the great mosaic that 
has been presented to us here as the terrorist threat:
  Increasing cross-fertilization and mutual support provided by members 
of different Islamic terrorist groups;
  Ease of ability to get student visas from countries harboring or 
supporting terrorists;
  Failure by universities to keep track of foreign students and their 
  Protection afforded by specially-created educational programs;
  Ease of visa fraud and the intervention of false credentials from 
passports, driver's licenses, credit cards, and Social Security 
  Blowback from the anti-Soviet Mujahedin that the U.S. supported in 
  Again, it is almost uncanny, but this was testimony to the United 
States Congress, and we chose to ignore it. Why? It is because this 
issue, the issue of immigration and immigration reform, paralyzes so 
many of us. We are afraid of the kind of epithets that are thrown at us 
when we enter into this debate.
  Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. TANCREDO. I am happy to yield to the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Jones).
  Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman, and certainly 
the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth), as well as my friend, the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and the gentleman from Minnesota 
(Mr. Gutknecht), who is here to speak in just a few minutes.
  Concerning a point the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth) made as 
well, and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo), let me say today, 
as a matter of fact, I was in a 1-hour call-in show in Raleigh, North 
Carolina, the home of NC State, where this gentleman played football 
years ago, and there came up several times a point you and he made when 
I first came on the floor.
  Certainly those of us in the Congress, whether they be on the 
Committee on Armed Services, which I am on, or it could be on the 
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other committees, we 
have known for a number of years that the possibility of a rogue nation 
or a terrorist group making an attack on the American people was a 
matter of probably when it was going to happen. Would we be prepared? 
That is another question.
  The point that was made today by four or five callers is prior to 
September 11, we have had a problem in this Nation. I know that is what 
the gentleman has been speaking about, I know that is what he has been 
speaking about, and I know that there are many people in this Congress, 
and the gentleman has taken the lead on some type of legislation.
  We have done a very poor job as a Nation, as a country, of tracking 
those who come visit our Nation and what they might be doing, and 
whether they are extending their length of time in this Nation without 
permission, so to speak, from the government.
  We need, as the gentleman was saying tonight, and the gentleman from 
Arizona, to do something. The time of debate about what we should have 
done is past. What are we going to do is the debate of the present and 

                              {time}  2000

  So I want to say that I am glad to be here with this group tonight 
because the American people, the five callers that I had today on this 
Raleigh radio station said, yes, we know we have a problem. What are we 
going to do to reform the problem? What are we going to do to make sure 
that American people are safe from a security standpoint?

[[Page H7303]]

  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth).
  Mr. HAYWORTH. Just to echo that point and to thank my friend from 
North Carolina for mentioning my alma mater, although my football 
experience there may not be quite NFL caliber, but we will not go to 
  But the town halls of the areas, whether it is talk radio WPTF in 
Raleigh; KFYI in Phoenix, Arizona; a town hall meeting we held on city 
cable in Scottsdale Friday evening, the people who came there demanded 
that in this time of war we absolutely control our borders. That is the 
first step in homeland defense.
  It is not for a second to suggest it is the only step, but it is the 
first step.
  Mr. TANCREDO. The gentleman is so correct. We cannot stand here 
tonight, nor have we ever stated in this debate that unequivocally we 
know that if we simply control our borders, do everything we can 
possibly do to make sure that the people who are coming in are 
identified, that we know what they do when they come in here, that we 
know when they leave, that if we did all of these things that we could 
prevent any other kind of event. But not doing those things makes us 
  At this point in time I will say this, that God forbid, if there is 
another event of a similar nature as there was on September 11, and it 
occurs as a result of somebody else waltzing across our borders, 
somebody that we should have been able to identify as being one of the 
bad guys, somebody that we recognize or who even comes in under 
legitimate passport or visa but then does something here for which he 
should have been deported and we do not do it, if anything like that 
happens, we are not just being irresponsible, we are actually being 
culpable at that point. This Congress is culpable if we do not do 
everything we can do to stop it. It may still happen, but we have a 
  It is like saying they still rob banks even though we have laws 
against it. What does that mean? Should we pile the money on the 
desktop in the bank? No. We should still do everything we can do to 
stop it. And that is what we should be thinking about in this Congress.
  Our immigration reform caucus, I see Members joining us here tonight 
who are members of the caucus; and I sincerely thank them for their 
participation in that effort because that is the only thing that is 
going to move legislation through this is getting enough folks to add 
their voice to those that have been raised in this debate so far.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht).
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and my colleagues that are here tonight for 
having this special order because I think as we talk about this war on 
terrorism, if we are not serious about really dealing with some of our 
immigration problems, then we are not really serious about the war on 
terrorism. Because if we have enemies from within and we are doing 
nothing about it, I think the gentleman is exactly right, then we are 
culpable. Shame on us for not doing more.
  The more we learn about this, the more troubling this becomes. I was 
surprised to learn, and I think most of my constituents, when I talk to 
my constituents, I ask them, for example, how many people do you think 
come into this country every year on average on some form of visa? I 
get numbers like 100,000, 200,000. And when I say to them, it is 31.5 
million people, they are taken aback. Then the question I ask is, what 
happens to those people? Where are they now? And the truth of the 
matter is we do not know.
  One of scariest things if we look back at the events of September 11, 
two individuals went up to the ticket counter of American Airlines at 
Dulles Airport just a few miles from here, they used their own names 
and they purchased tickets on American Airlines to fly. Now, the 
interesting thing was the INS knew that those two individuals were 
members of the Egyptian jihad. Now that did not preclude them from 
coming into the United States. But the interesting thing is the FBI did 
not know that, and neither did American Airlines.
  I was at the Pentagon the other day, and I walked down the hall where 
they have the pictures of all the people that were killed that day. And 
I think the saddest picture of all is that picture of that young bride 
in her wedding dress. Somehow when I think about that, that here the 
INS knew that these two individuals, using their own names, were 
members of the Egyptian jihad, and yet that information had not been 
shared with the FBI or American Airlines.
  Shame on us. We have got to do something about this. In fact, the 
more I have learned about this, and I want to thank the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) because he has done a great job of shedding the 
light of day on this issue because we need to know. The American people 
need to know. For example, in the last year that we have numbers for, 
895 people came to the United States on visas from Iraq.
  Now, we do not have a whole lot of business dealings with Iraq. We 
buy a little bit of oil from them. We know that they have been 
problematic relative to harboring terrorism. How did 895 people get 
into this country on visas? And, most importantly, where did they go?
  Mr. TANCREDO. Let me answer that question, at least a partial answer 
as to where did they come from? How did they get here? How is it that 
895 people from Iraq were given visas?
  Something else your constituents should know about, something all of 
our constituents should know about. There is another program operated 
by the government, we passed it not too long ago. It is called 
diversity visas. Diversity visas are given to countries that we do not 
think have actually sent us enough people. As bizarre as this sounds, 
this is the truth. Congress passed it a few years ago. There are 55,000 
allotted every single year. They go to countries, as I say, that it has 
been determined, it is a formula basis; and if a certain country has 
not sent us enough people, then they go to the head of the line, these 
diversity visas, 55,000 of them. The bulk of those 55,000 visas go to 
countries in the Middle East, Egypt, Iraq, Iran. They are put on the 
top of the list.

  So I do not know if the 895 people from Iraq came on that basis. But 
I am telling you that 55,000 visas are set aside just for those kind of 
countries. They have not sent us enough people. That is as bizarre as 
it gets. No, that is not as bizarre as it gets. Believe me, it gets 
even weirder around here when you start talking about his issue.
  Tell your constituents this, that of the 31 million people who come 
here every single year on visas, something like 40 percent violate 
their visas. That is 12 million people a year who do something to 
violate the visa. They overstay it. That is the most common. But they 
break our laws. That is another very common thing that happens. Of the 
12 million who violate these visas, we actually end up with maybe 
100,000 of them going into the judicial system, maybe 200,000.
  Of the 200,000 of the 12 million who get to the immigration court, 
about 100,000 actually get deported. No, actually get sentenced to be 
deported. A judge hears the case. He hears about the person who beat up 
the old lady, raped the young girl, murdered somebody in the street, 
robbed the bank, whatever it was, and the judge sentences this person 
to be deported.
  At that point in time, in the system we now have, in the immigration 
system, that person is turned over to the INS for enforcement 
procedures. And I had a judge, an immigration judge call my office one 
day and say I have got to tell you this because I am going crazy. I am 
so frustrated. I have been here 12 years on this bench. He said, day in 
and day out I listen to these stories. I adjudicate and I find someone 
guilty of violating their visa and I order them deported. And day in 
and day out they turn around and walk out the door, and I know they 
will never be deported because INS does not go after them. They do not 
care. That is not their main interest.
  He said, I think there are about 225,000 of these people wandering 
around the United States. So we went on the television and everywhere I 
would go I talked about it. I said by now it is about a quarter of a 
million. I thought I was pushing the envelope a little bit. He said the 
information was about a year old. I thought by now it is probably a 
quarter million.

[[Page H7304]]

  Finally, someone from Human Events and a newspaper in California went 
to the INS and kept pressing them. They finally admitted, yes, it is 
true that there are a few folks out there who have been ordered to be 
deported but they are not gone. How many? It was 300,000 per year.
  This is what the INS says they have lost. No, the INS says we know 
they have been deported. We cannot find them. We do not know where they 
are, and we have not gone after them.
  Can you imagine explaining this to anybody, a constituent, and having 
them say, well, Congressman, what are you going to do about that? And I 
say, it is very tough because you try to get any immigration reform 
across here and they would rather talk about the airline security guy 
who is looking through the screen.
  Mr. JONES of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. TANCREDO. I yield to the gentleman from North Carolina.
  Mr. JONES of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I will leave in a second; 
and my good friend and part of our immigration caucus, the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Goode), will be stepping up.
  Let me say, this is what I want to leave to my colleagues here 
tonight from Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, and Virginia. We need for 
the American people, we all have been on this floor numerous times with 
friends, let me say this, that support you, we need for the American 
people to understand that this is absolutely critical that we reform 
the immigration laws of this country if we want to protect the national 
security of the American people. And for that to happen, they need to 
let their Members of Congress, their Senators, their President know 
that this is a critical issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) 
to know that I will do everything I can to help him move forward with 
this reform because it is critical to the national security of America. 
I thank the gentleman for that.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman. I must tell 
the gentleman, I could not be prouder of the people on this floor 
tonight who are here to support this effort. It is great.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode).
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado 
(Mr. Tancredo) so much for his leadership on the immigration issue and 
for his work in diligent, hard-working fashion in finding out so many 
statistics and facts that we need to bolster our argument to end 
illegal immigration and to curtail legal immigration.
  I wanted to share with you an article from the Arizona Republic that 
talks about the 19 terrorists that were involved in crashing the 
airlines into the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and into the field 
in Pennsylvania. It appears that over half of those hijackers were 
illegal. There are no immigration records on six of them. And I will do 
the best as I can in reading their names. Fayez Rashid Ahmed, Satam 
M.A. Al Suqami, Hamza Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Saeed Alghamdi and 
Wail M. Alshehri.
  Those six have no immigration records. And the gentleman was talking 
about the situation of walking in across the Canadian border or walking 
in across the Mexican border, and any of those six could have taken 
either of those routes into the United States.
  Then we go to four that were here at one time legally, but they were 
out of status and that means they were also illegal. They entered 
legally but overstayed the visa was Nawaf Alhazmi, admitted to the 
United States as a nonimmigrant visitor in January 2000. He appears to 
have overstayed his visa. Waleed M. Alshehri, admitted in June 2000 as 
a nonimmigrant; and on the date of the September 11 was in illegal 
status. Ahmed Alghamdi believed to have been admitted as a nonimmigrant 
student and appears to have overstayed his visa. The other, Hani 
Hanjour, admitted as a nonimmigrant student in December 2000. INS 
officials say they were unable to determine whether Hanjour was legal 
on September 11.
  Another issue in the area of immigration that I feel we need to focus 
on is H1-B visas. These are the high-tech visas, and we recently in a 
prior Congress increased the maximum number from 65,000 to 110,000.
  In my opinion and I know the gentleman has worked for this and 
others, we need a moratorium and H1-B visas. That is one thing that 
could help our economy now because American citizens need these jobs.
  I want to just briefly lay out the job layoffs in the fifth district 
of Virginia.

                              {time}  2015

  In my home town of Rocky Mount, 500 jobs were lost at Lane Furniture. 
In Altavista, Virginia, 500 jobs were lost. In Clarksville, Virginia, I 
received a call from the Mayor today, 600 jobs at Russell Stover are 
lost. Last year, in Henry County, Virginia, we saw Tultex Corporation, 
which was the biggest sweat and fleece wear manufacturer in the country 
go completely out of business; JPS Converter, in Halifax County, 250 
jobs, 2 months ago. And in Lunenberg, Mecklenberg, and Halifax Counties 
we have seen tobacco workers lose their jobs because of the change in 
climate in the tobacco industry. And there have been thousands of other 
textile workers.
  We need to be retraining these persons so that they can do the jobs 
in the high-tech industry instead of bringing in persons from other 
countries under H-1B visas.
  And if the gentleman will just give me a couple more minutes, one 
issue that is going to be facing us soon is going to involve an 
extension of 245(i).
  Mr. TANCREDO. The gentleman should perhaps explain.
  Mr. GOODE. Well, 245(i) is a way for persons in this country 
illegally, who have been here for some time illegally, to go around the 
process and immediately get legal status.
  This is a real slap in the face to those from other nations that go 
through the process, that go through the interview process, that talk 
with the consuls, that talk with the INS people, who get fingerprinted, 
that wait in line for their turn. These people under 245(i) go around 
the line and get to the head of the line and they are immediately 
  We are going to be asked, I feel, on the Commerce, Justice, State 
appropriations bill to extend 245(i). The Senate passed it for, I 
believe, an indefinite extension; and that measure has not made it 
through the House, so they are going to attach something, I am fearful, 
on that appropriations bill. And the message would be clear: if you can 
get in here illegally, if you wait it out, you can get amnesty.
  We do not need amnesty at this time. An amendment putting forth 
245(i) for an extension, even if it is just for 6 months or a year, 
would be the wrong message, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, on 
the wrong bill. And I hope our body will defeat it.
  Mr. TANCREDO. I appreciate the gentleman's comments, and I want to 
reemphasize something he was talking about in terms of the economic 
stimulus package that was passed earlier today. It was a very 
controversial package of legislation, primarily dealing with tax cuts.
  I hope that it will do the job. I hope that it will, in fact, provide 
the stimulus this country needs to put people back to work and to deal 
with the people in the district of my colleague, the gentleman from 
Virginia, in the district of my colleague from Minnesota, all of whom 
are looking at us for some way to describe what is happening to them, 
some explanation of what is going on and perhaps a way to help out.
  We can do certain things. We can tinker with the monetary policy, and 
we can tinker with the fiscal policy, and we can hope that down the 
road apiece all that will kick in and in maybe 6 months or a year we 
will see the effects of it. But we could have done something today with 
an immediate reaction, immediate reaction, and, frankly, I had asked 
for permission to offer amendments to the bill but was not allowed to. 
We were not allowed to bring this issue up. But I am going to talk 
about it, and the gentleman brought it up tonight, and we are going to 
continue to talk about this because we are going to introduce a bill 
even in the next couple of days, and I hope my colleagues will join me 
on this, and that is to repeal the particular provision that the 
gentleman is talking about that has allowed us to expand the number of 
people who can come in here on visas and take jobs.
  We were told by many people that we needed them; that we could not 
fill the

[[Page H7305]]

jobs with Americans; that no matter how hard they tried, no matter how 
many ads they put in the paper, and we are talking now about white 
collar jobs, these are not the folks that are coming in across the 
border to do some of the more menial tasks. We are talking about white 
collar jobs that are relatively highly paid, and we have been told for 
years that we cannot get enough people in here to do it. Well, I think 
we have people in the United States today, American citizens, who are 
willing to do the job. But what is happening to us, because of the 
visas we have allowed, the particular kind my friend refers to, and we 
raised the cap on that visa, that particular visa, we now have allowed 
195,000 a year, and they can stay for 6 years.
  Now, figure that out. That is 1.2 million people after that period of 
time, and that is only from this point on. It does not even count all 
the ones that have come here up to this year under that visa program. 
So there is 1.2 million potentially here in a relatively short time. 
And we could close the door on that and we could improve the 
opportunity for a lot of people in this country to get jobs again by 
simply saying that if you are here, and I am sorry, if you are not an 
American citizen and you are taking a job, you have to leave. Because, 
frankly, we have our own people that we have to employ.

  I am telling the truth here, and I am as altruistic as the next guy, 
but I want to give the job to the American citizen before I give it to 
somebody overseas. It is not as if we do not have people who want the 
job. I have had people in my office, two just last week, both of them 
displaced because they had people come in here on visas and take their 
job. It was not because they did not want the job. That was not it at 
all; but they could be replaced with somebody who would work for less, 
pure and simple. So they are out of work.
  And now, by the way, some of these visa holders have been thrown out 
of work. And their visa says very, very clearly that they must leave 
the country if that job ends. But the INS said just the other day, not 
to worry; to spend a few months, they said, and look for another job; 
compete with the Americans who have been thrown out of work, they said. 
This is the INS. This is the group that we charge with responsibility 
of monitoring our borders, of actually enforcing our immigration 
policy. But they are not on ``our side'' here.
  I had a debate in Denver, Colorado, not too long ago, with a lady who 
was the representative of the INS in my region. During the debate the 
radio announcer, the host, said to her, I do not understand, why does 
the INS not go after these people who are here illegally and send them 
home? And she said, without hesitation, this lady said, because that is 
not our job. She said, our job is to help them find a way to become 
legal citizens.
  I mean, I was flabbergasted. But I do not know why I should be 
flabbergasted any more about things I have heard with regard to this 
immigration issue because it is all mind-boggling. In fact, we are 
compiling in my office, and if anybody has stories out there that can 
be verified of these, what I call ``unbelievable but true stories,'' 
they can call our office, 202-226-7882, because we are compiling these 
stories, and I will bring them to the floor night after night. I am 
going to list the top 10 most incredible stories. We could be here 
every single night for the rest of this Congress talking about these 
incredible but true things like I have just described where an 
immigration official said that the responsibilities of the INS was not 
to go after people who were here illegally, but in fact to find a way 
to get them into the United States and make them legal.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota.
  Mr. GUTKNECHT. I will be real brief here, but the point the gentleman 
is really making, and this is what we need to debate and discuss here 
in Congress and for too long we have been cowed, and I want to come 
back to that, from having an honest debate about immigration, but 
Americans are being injured. We talk about what happened September 11, 
and the list was very, very instructive from my colleague from 
Virginia, but people are being injured every day by legal, semi-legal, 
and illegal immigration in America today because no one is minding the 
  They are losing their jobs, people are being injured through crimes, 
rape. We have had that actually happen in my town of Rochester, where 
illegal people or people who were here on visas have committed serious 
crimes, and yet there was no consequence. They are losing their jobs 
and they are losing their futures because of this immigration, and at 
the same time the INS is taking this unbelievably bizarre attitude. 
Worse than that, we in Congress, the people who are elected to set the 
policy for this country are cowed from debating this, or have been up 
until the last several months, because we are all sons and daughters 
and grandsons and granddaughters of immigrants.
  We are a Nation of immigrants, and we understand that immigration is 
part of our culture. And as Ronald Reagan said, we are one of the only 
countries where people can come here and become Americans. I could go 
to Germany, and my heritage is of German heritage, but in all 
likelihood I would never become a German citizen. It is very difficult 
to get German citizenship. You can go to France, but you will probably 
never become a French citizen. And that is true of most of the other 
countries of the world.
  We permit every year more people legally to come to the United States 
and become American citizens than all of the other countries combined 
in the world. And that is good, because we are a Nation of immigrants. 
But we have to have an honest discussion about illegal immigration and 
what happens when those people who come here on visas and they break 
our laws, when they take our jobs, when they do not play by the rules. 
What are we going to do about it?

  And the fact of the matter is we have not even had an honest debate 
about that. But the good news is the American people are waking up on 
this and they are far ahead of the public policymakers. When I have my 
town hall meetings, when I talk on the radio, and when I meet with my 
constituents, they understand. They get it. And they are way ahead of 
us. And they are beginning to say, when is Congress going to begin to 
take some serious action about this issue.
  I want to make one more point before I yield back my time, and that 
is to say, and our colleague from Arizona made this point, that we want 
to be careful that we do not sound here on the House floor that we are 
anti-immigrant or, more importantly, that we are anti-Arab or anti-
Islamic immigrants. We have a large number, about 300 in my hometown of 
Rochester, folks who came here who are practicing members of the 
Islamic faith. And I have never been prouder than last Monday when they 
had a rally in Rochester, Minnesota, to hear people who could barely 
speak English shouting and chanting with American flags in their hands 
saying God bless America.
  It reminded me of a country and western singer a couple of weeks ago 
when he said something so profound and so simple, and it needs to be 
repeated. He said, ``You know, the terrorists just don't get it. They 
do not realize that we don't just live in America. America lives in 
  We do understand and appreciate the value of a balanced and fair 
system of immigration. But the system has become so skewed and so 
unfair. When we have 31 million people coming into this country and we 
do not keep track of them on visas, when there are 200, perhaps 300,000 
people who are in fact subject to deportation and yet there is no real 
consequence, when there are people breaking our laws and no real 
consequence, then the system is broken and it really is the 
responsibility of the United States Congress to begin to fix it.
  We want to work with the former Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge, 
who has a very, very difficult job, and we all understand and 
appreciate that. But we need to work with him, we need to work with the 
administration, we need to work within the confines of the Congress to 
make certain that we bring some sense of order out of this chaos, 
because what we have right now in immigration policy is absolute chaos.
  When people can walk up and buy an airplane ticket and the INS knows 
in their computer files that they are members of potential terroristic 
groups and that information is not shared, we

[[Page H7306]]

have a serious problem. When people can take jobs from hardworking, 
law-abiding American citizens, and there is no recourse for those 
citizens, there is something wrong with the system.
  We have a chance, we have an opportunity, and most importantly I 
think we have an obligation to fix that system.

                              {time}  2030

  We want to work with Governor Ridge. We believe he represents perhaps 
the best opportunity to begin to get control of all of this and working 
with the Congress to come up with a new immigration policy that 
recognizes we want immigrants in our country, we want to be that 
shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan talked about, but we also 
want to have some rules and see to it that those rules are abided by, 
and that ultimately we do not have a system that literally invites 
terrorists to come into our country to set up shop, to be able to move 
freely around our country and never have to be accountable to anybody.
  So I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) for participating tonight to help 
tell that story because I am convinced the more the American people 
realize what is going on in this country, the more that they are going 
to demand from their Members of Congress, from this administration, 
from Governor Ridge and others that the system begin to change in a 
responsible way.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I sincerely appreciate the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht) coming to the floor tonight, all of my 
colleagues, because frankly I could not have said it better and 
especially the gentleman's last statement in regard to his constituents 
and others who were recent arrivals to the United States and stood up 
there with an American flag and saying God bless America and saying God 
bless them.
  Certainly, it is an interesting aspect when the gentleman talks about 
the idea of dual citizenships, the fact that someone cannot go to other 
countries and become a citizen, and it is very true that it is very 
difficult in many countries to become a citizen of that country. It is 
very easy here.
  Another interesting aspect of all of this is that there is another 
phenomenon we are witnessing with this massive influx of immigrants, 
both legal and illegal, but the ones that eventually become legalized. 
There are today as we stand here six million people in the United 
States that hold dual citizenships, that have either refused to 
relinquish at one point in time the citizenship of the country from 
which they came or chose later to accept a second citizenship.
  Mexico just recently passed a law a few years ago allowing for this 
to happen and the numbers exploded. Six million here. I do not know 
this of course, but I will bet my colleagues that not one of those 
people that stood up where the gentleman talked about and waved that 
flag and were singing God Bless America, I bet none of them have 
latched on to dual citizenship because you have to ask frankly, whose 
side am I on. When it really comes down to it, when a person takes the 
oath of allegiance to become a citizen, that person is supposed to 
relinquish any allegiance to any foreign potentate or power. That is 
the old wording of it.
  If the person has another citizenship, have they really done that? 
Why is this happening? Should we allow it to happen?
  I do not believe that United States citizenship should be conferred 
on anyone who has some other loyalty. It is just another part of the 
picture here that we have to bring forward and wonder about.
  It has been a long time that I have been debating this issue, it is 
true, and it is also true that now some Members of the Congress are 
joining us. Those of us who have been in this caucus know that now we 
are getting people coming to us and saying they want to join, and I say 
that is wonderful. I hate the idea that it may have been the events of 
September 11 that brought it about. I do not want to win on that basis.
  I wish that was not the reason why this whole focus has changed 
because it is such a horrific event, but we have to deal with reality 
here, and the reality of the situation is this: That immigration is an 
important part of this picture and immigration reform is a very 
important part of the solution. That is undeniable. There is not a 
Member of this body that can honestly look a constituent in the face or 
another Member in the face and say forget about immigration, open 
borders. Even organizations like The Wall Street Journal and others who 
have been for years on their editorial page pushing the issue of open 
borders, free trade and all this, and I am a free trader, so that is 
not the issue at all, but even they now, I have noticed, have some 
degree of reticence to come forward with those kinds of editorials and 
I am glad of it. I just wish it had not been anything quite so 
horrendous to force them into this position.
  I yield to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode).
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, in town meetings and public forums, even 
before September 11, I saw in my district what the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Gutknecht) was describing in his district, grassroots 
America is fed up with massive illegal immigration, and they really 
want to see legal immigration curtailed, and that was that feeling in 
America before September 11 because these people are at the local 
level. They are in the counties and cities all across America, and they 
are seeing the impact in their communities.

  The gentleman talked about the INS officials that do not deport. A 
factor in that is once we deport them, if we send them north or if we 
send them south, they can make a U-turn and come right back in. I know 
the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is the chief sponsor of the 
resolution focusing on the integrity of our borders, and I would like 
to see that resolution moved forward and get us tighter security on 
both the northern border and the southern border.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, perhaps anecdotes are useful and I feel 
they are useful to sort of portray a much bigger problem.
  Every day somebody comes up to me because I have become sort of 
involved with this issue and people know. So these people will tell me 
stories about something they have heard something else that just 
occurred. I will share with my colleagues and the Members here 
something that happened again a short time ago, and it is one of those 
things that one says no this cannot be, this is impossible.
  Remember here, he was telling the story about, I thought at the time 
three-quarter of a million people who were running around the country, 
and I was saying to him, it is better to be a crook as an alien here in 
the United States than it is to be a citizen crook. A citizen crook 
goes to our justice system, to a regular justice system. In fact, if 
the person is found guilty he is going to go to jail. It is a very good 
chance if the person is found guilty as an alien, there is a very good 
chance the person will never see the inside of a prison cell.
  He said, again, well, listen to this. He said, You think that is 
something, listen to this. This gentleman had been a member of the 
Committee on the Judiciary, the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Gallegly), a member of the Committee on Government Reform, and if I am 
not mistaken, chairman of a subcommittee at one point in time, but he 
was telling me about an immigration magistrate who had called him and 
said I have had the most amazing thing happen. This is about the third 
or fourth time.
  He said a young man, I think it was 18 or 19 years old, came in, came 
before me, and he had just mugged an old lady, broke her leg, stole her 
purse. When the police arrested him, he had no ID, and so the policeman 
said what is your name, where are you from. He said I am an illegal 
alien, I am here from Mexico. So they took him to immigration court, 
and the judge said, well, you have two choices. I will either send you 
to jail or deport you right away. He said, well, judge, I will be 
deported. So they put him on a bus from San Diego, sent him back to 
  He goes in as one somebody, the person he said he was, gets into 
Mexico, calls his mother in the United States. By the way, this young 
man I am talking about was born in the United States, parents were born 
in the United States, grandparents were born in the United States. He 
was a United States

[[Page H7307]]

citizen but he had learned the scam. He had learned that it was much 
better to go before an immigration judge and be turned over to the INS.
  So he calls his mom after they deport him, after they send him back 
on a bus to Mexico, calls his mom and says bring down my ID. She gets 
in the car, drives 120 miles, hands him his ID. He now enters the 
country as John Doe, whoever he is, and of course, that record is 
completely erased of who he was, that he went in and the violation. 
They do not know anything about him. By the way, this magistrate was 
telling the gentleman from California (Mr. Gallegly) this was not the 
first time this had happened, that they had found this out.
  Here is the thing. If the kid on the street, the average thug, a 
mugger has figured out that it is better to be sentenced by an 
immigration judge, what does that tell one about how many people are 
actually taking advantage of the system who are, in fact, aliens? They 
can with impunity violate our laws and do so and never fear that they 
will ever be caught.
  I see that we are coming to the end of our time. I want to thank the 
gentlemen very much for joining me tonight, and I just want to end with 
a little comment here that was on the earlier thing I read.
  The U.S. can bomb Afghanistan to dust but terrorism will remain. In 
some bizarre thought process understood only in Washington, D.C., the 
possibility of tightening up immigration laws paralyzes most 
politicians. Absolutely true, but not with the people who have joined 
me here tonight, and I want to thank my colleagues for their courage.


Immigration Daily: the news source for
legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers
Enter your email address here: