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[Congressional Record: July 9, 2002 (House)]
[Page H4416-H4422]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                              {time}  1945
                      ITEMS OF CONCERN TO AMERICA

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Kennedy of Minnesota). 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, I rise tonight to bring to the attention 
of my colleagues a number of issues. I have listened, as I have been 
sitting here preparing my notes, to the previous speaker, and there are 
many concerns that he expresses that I certainly share.
  Before I get into the main part of my comments, I do just want to 
make one statement regarding the issue of wildfires and their cause, 
the reason

[[Page H4417]]

for the severe nature of the fires we are having in my State and the 
others around the West.
  I certainly agree with the gentleman from Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer) 
when he says that what has contributed to this condition in our 
Nation's forests has been 100 years of fire suppression philosophy. The 
idea that we had to try to put out every fire that started in our 
forests has undoubtedly been a wrong-headed approach. We recognize now 
that fires, of course, can be healthy. I say ``can be,'' because it is 
not necessarily the case. It is not always the case that every type of 
fire that you have is a ``healthy'' phenomenon.
  There are certain kinds of fires that are enormously destructive, not 
just in the terms that we naturally think of when we hear of a 
wildfire, but there are certainly other aspects of it. So not allowing 
for a natural process to occur, constantly getting in there and trying 
to stop all fires, is not good, and I agree.
  Now the question becomes one of how to deal with it. Is it to simply 
ignore the fact that we have forests in the Nation that have 
accumulated up to 400 tons, 400 tons per acre, of fuels, when the 
average amount, what we would call a healthy natural forest, is around 
10 tons per acre? Is it to simply ignore that, leave it, and say 
because we do not like the idea that mankind, that governments have 
attempted to intervene in this process, and that has been problematic, 
is it to suggest that we have no role to play?
  I would state categorically that it is just the opposite. Now that we 
know what the problem is, now that we have some sense of what has 
contributed to this enormous problem, then what we need to do as a 
government and as a public policy is to try to address it, and it is 
not to ignore it. It is not to pretend that the potential for these 
catastrophic fires does not exist and to simply walk away from the 
forests and the management thereof to some other kind of bucolic world 
in which, after all of the forests in the United States have burned to 
the ground, in a couple of hundred years they will all be back in a 
more natural and pristine state. That is essentially what our 
environmentalist friends are asking us to do.
  However, we do have options. We do have alternatives. What we have 
learned is that you can actually now reduce the catastrophic kind of 
fires that we are experiencing in the West by management, by 
enlightened forest management. Part of that is what we call controlled 
burning, where we go to the area, the Forest Service goes into a 
particular area and does in fact burn a lot of the underbrush and burn 
those fuels in an area and in a way that they can contain it so it does 
not, hopefully, get out of control. It has happened in the past, Los 
Alamos is a horrible example, but, for the most part, it does not 
happen that it gets out of control. We have in fact over the years had 
hundreds, if not thousands, of controlled burns. They have all worked 
perfectly well. It does help create a more natural environment.
  It also helps stop the spread of catastrophic fires like the one we 
are having. I have seen it with my own eyes in Colorado, in the forests 
we are now dealing with, with the firings we are now dealing with, 
where we have allowed for a controlled burn. The Hayman fire, which is 
the one that has consumed 150,000 acres, you can actually see where it 
has come up against what was called the Polhemus burn, which was a 
controlled burn, come up against that area, and essentially stopped 
because there was not the fuel to have it continue.
  We can manage the forests by controlled burns. We can also manage the 
forests by thinning, by going in and actually taking out a lot of this 
underbrush, by cutting down trees, yes, I am saying it, cutting down 
trees, especially the trees with the small circumference, and a lot of 
the underbrush that has been so problematic in these fires. We can do 
  There are ways to manage forests, not to stop all fires, but to make 
the fires that do occur a product of or manifestation of that healthy 
ecosystem. It is this area, this point of conflict, that we find 
ourselves in with our friends in the environmental community, 
especially the more radical elements of that community, who have 
stopped every single attempt on the part of the government to try and 
manage the forests, of the Forest Service to try to manage those 
forests, and, as a matter of fact, were successful in stopping the 
Forest Service from doing any sort of thinning right in the middle of 
the area we now call the Hayman fire.
  A year-and-a-half ago the Forest Service proposed to go in there and 
thin parts of that area, to clean out that kind of underbrush. The 
environmentalist community filed appeals. They worked for a year-and-a-
half with them to try to come to some resolution of their concerns. 
When the Forest Service thought the concerns were met, they went ahead 
to start the process. What do you think happened? Guess what? The 
environmentalists went in there and filed the appeal again, stopped the 
process again. That was a year-and-a-half ago, and, of course, now that 
issue is moot, irrelevant, because that part of the forest, along with 
another 150,000 acres, are simply pieces of charcoal.
  So we can do a lot to mitigate the disastrous effects of the fire. As 
for the wildlife wildland-urban interface, that is problematic. We can 
also control that. There are zoning laws we can adopt and, in many, 
many cases, have already. It is not the fault of an American who wants 
to live near a forest or in the forest area. It is not their fault that 
we have fires or that the fires are catastrophic.
  To this point, we have not had a fire in Colorado, of which I am 
aware, actually, that was started because someone was living near a 
forest. I am not saying that has not happened. Nothing I am aware of 
recently. None of the major fires were started by people who happened 
to live in or near the forests.
  Unfortunately, the two most horrendous fires we have burning or have 
just brought under control in the United States, one in Colorado and 
one in Arizona, were started by Forest Service personnel. In Colorado, 
the lady that started the fire apparently, apparently started the fire, 
I should say, is a Forest Service employee directly. The gentleman in 
Arizona who apparently started this fire is someone who is employed by 
the Forest Service to go in and help the Forest Service fight fires. He 
is a smoke jumper and he wanted to essentially be employed, so he 
started this fire thinking I will get the job; I can go in and fight 
the fire. It got away from him, and 500,000 acres burned down. An area 
actually now larger than the size of Los Angeles has burned in Arizona.
  So this idea that you have got people living on or near the land and 
therefore we have these big problems, that is really not it. Yes, there 
are homes that are destroyed, and it is true and horrible, but the 
people who have chosen to live there take that kind of risk and pay 
insurance premiums that reflect that, for the most part.
  Anyway, I just wanted to talk about that. There are many other 
issues, but that was not the main purpose of my coming to the floor 
  I did want tonight to reflect upon another speaker who had the hour 
before the gentleman from Oregon, and this was my dear friend and 
colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul), a gentleman whom, by 
the way, I respect enormously and whose opinions and attitudes I 
believe are incredibly profound and need to be heard. The gentleman 
from Texas (Mr. Paul) is a devout libertarian who has in many, many 
cases and many, many times, I think, been a lone voice for a variety of 
different causes here and a perspective that is not heard often enough.
  Of course, there are certain aspects of his presentation, of his 
discussion tonight, with which I must disagree, especially in terms of 
what our responsibility is as a Nation to defend ourselves against the 
war that we are now involved in and whether or not we can argue about 
the purpose of the war, I should say the genesis of it. But I do not 
think we can argue about the fact that we are in one.

  The question that I think this House must always deal with, and I 
commend my colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul), for being 
such an articulate defender of the fact or the idea, the philosophy, 
that we must never surrender individual freedom and liberty in the 
pursuit of ultimate security. I certainly agree with that, that that is 
a terribly difficult balance that we are asked to try and maintain here 
in this Congress. And the issue is to what extent does this government 

[[Page H4418]]

a responsibility to actually try to defend itself against the threat 
that we, I think, that we now face, and what are the measures that we 
can legitimately take to defend ourselves, considering the nature of 
our opponent, our enemy.
  That is really the ultimate debate we are having. What is the nature 
of the fight we are in? Is it just against this small band of 
terrorists who have, as we have been told, hijacked a particular 
religious philosophy? And, if so, if it is just against a small band? 
Maybe we can name them al Qaeda. If that is it, if that is our only 
war, I would agree with my colleague, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Paul), that the steps presently taken, the steps we have taken up to 
this point in time, may have been overreaction, because it is a 
relatively small group and we can identify who they are by name, we can 
go after them wherever they are, find them, arrest them, kill them, if 
that is the only alternative.
  But I believe that that is not the nature of the battle or of the 
enemy that we face. I believe it is much broader than that. I believe 
it is in fact fundamentalist Islam that we are fighting tonight, today, 
yesterday, and will be fighting for many years to come. It is something 
far larger than this small group of people.
  Tonight, maybe, during this discussion we will have the opportunity 
to go through this at greater length, to determine what exactly it is 
then our Nation should do, if we are faced with that broader, more 
broadly defined enemy. One of the things I believe we must absolutely 
do is to work to control our borders.
  It is incumbent upon us, it is incumbent upon us because we call 
ourselves a Nation State, because we believe ourselves to be a 
sovereign Nation. We claim that, and I believe we are, I believe we are 
separate and distinct from the other nations of the world.
  I believe that becoming an American citizen, for instance, means more 
and should mean more than simply crossing a line, simply stepping over 
a boundary. I believe there are all kinds of things that are incumbent 
upon an individual when they become a citizen of this country, and I 
believe that there are people in this world, there are, in fact, far 
too many people in this world, that would destroy this Nation, 
everything we stand for, everything we believe in, and physically 
destroy us, not just our philosophy, but all of us living here.
  I believe that that is the nature of the fight we are in, and I 
believe that there are many things we need to do. Among them is to 
actually secure our own borders. It is to say to the world that we have 
a right, a responsibility, to defend ourselves. Part of that may be to 
seek out our enemies in Afghanistan and in Iraq and in the Philippines 
or wherever they may be hiding. But it is also to defend our own 
borders from those who would come across for the purpose of doing us 
harm. And I do not think we should be condemned for that or called 
myopic or xenophobic or anti-individual freedom. It is the least that 
our citizens can expect of us, to defend them, so that they can be free 
to practice their religion and their political philosophies and their 
individual ways of life.

                              {time}  2000

  I see that I am joined tonight by the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Rohrabacher) and another colleague whom I will introduce in just a 
moment. I am glad that they are here. I will gladly yield to my 
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, I would like for 
the record and for anyone who is observing this presentation this 
evening, to understand the pivotal role that the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is playing in this battle for our Nation's 
security in terms of the fight against illegal immigration.
  Now, I may or may not agree with the gentleman about the nature of 
the terrorist threat to the United States; I tend to think that there 
are many, many Muslims throughout the world who are as much against 
terrorism as we are, standing right here in this body today, and that 
they are horrified that the bin Ladens of the world are being presented 
to the American people and to others as spokesmen for Islam. They are 
just horrified by this.
  But to the degree that there is a threat there, what is important is 
what the gentleman from Colorado has been doing to make sure that we 
focus on a major vulnerability of our country, which is the fact that 
our government is not concerned about the sanctity of our immigration 
system and the security of our borders, so that the people of the 
United States of America are being made vulnerable every day in many 
ways; economically, but also in terms of their own personal safety, as 
well as the safety of our government and our institutions, by a massive 
flow of illegal immigration into the United States of America.
  The gentleman from Colorado has taken it upon himself to try to 
mobilize public opinion and mobilize the opinion of Members of this 
body so that the public, as well as this body, will understand the 
great risk we are putting ourselves in by not controlling the flow of 
illegal immigrants into our country. It is a risk that has economic 
ramifications, which the gentleman from Colorado has time and again 
talked about, and about how the standard of living of the average 
working person has been going down; and yet, of course, we have the 
ownership class in America who seems to be able to take advantage of 
cheap labor.
  We have also heard from the gentleman from Colorado about the 
criminal elements that are coming into our country; and now the 
gentleman from Colorado is also warning us about the potential 
terrorist implications to not having control over our borders.
  Now, I have been fighting illegal immigration for as long as I have 
served, and have been privileged to serve, in this body; and that is 
why I feel so strongly that the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) 
is playing a role that is just indispensable to the security of our 
country, because he is carrying much of this load on his own shoulders.
  But I have been especially concerned over the years about the 
security risks that illegal aliens pose to our country. We do not need 
to just make this fundamentalist Muslims, because I happen to believe 
that there are a lot of fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist 
Jews that say crazy things about other people's religions, and there 
are radicals who would murder people in every faith. We must make sure 
that we are opposed to any of this type of radicalism, and it should be 
denied access to the United States of America. If you have a radical 
Christian or a radical Buddhist or a radical Communist or a radical 
Hebrew or a radical Muslim, any one of those who are willing to kill 
other people because of their faith, should not be permitted in the 
United States of America, period.
  Well, since 245(i), which was an amnesty for illegal aliens, was 
proposed in 1996, I have talked myself hoarse about why this was such a 
grave matter to our national security. Mr. Speaker, 245(i), as we know, 
permits people who are in this country illegally not to have to go back 
to their home countries in order to readjust their status so that they 
could in some way be here legally. In the past, if someone is here 
illegally, they have to go back before they can adjust their status.
  Well, others in this body have openly scoffed, saying that 245(i) is 
about, what they claim, is about uniting families, or fairness, or 
economics, or anything else than what it is.
  Mr. Speaker, 245(i), which is an amnesty for those people who are 
here illegally so they do not have to go home to adjust their status, 
they can do it here, is an invitation to criminals and terrorists and 
anyone else who would overstay their visa to come to this country and 
break our laws. It is an invitation for everyone who comes here on a 
visa to overstay their visa because, after all, now that they are here 
in the United States, and they can be adjusted. And while 245(i), which 
we put into place, was supposedly a limited right of these people who 
are here illegally to adjust their status, it has had already horrible 
impacts on the safety of our people.
  Now, the 245(i) amnesty for illegal aliens has claimed the first 
victims that can be officially proven to be the victims of the action 
of 245(i) by this Congress, and it is a very prominent case. The INS 
Congressional Relations Office confirmed to my office that the Egyptian 
gunman who killed two people at the El Al counter in Los Angeles 
Airport, at LAX, on July 4, was in this country only due to a 245(i) 

[[Page H4419]]

That is that Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, an Egyptian citizen, a man who 
apparently either was part of a terrorist system which we do not know, 
he may not have been, but we do know that he lost his composure or 
perhaps he did it intentionally, but he went to LAX and murdered two 
people, two innocent people.
  Think about this. Mr. Hadayet, and I do not know if that is the way 
you pronounce his name, who was due to be deported, became a resident 
of this country due to a 245(i) amnesty. What a travesty.
  Now, this is a case that we can document. I would contend that there 
are probably many other cases in this country where people have been 
brutalized or murdered or raped or robbed, or that you have someone who 
imposes a terrorist threat in our country because of this, but this one 
we can document. If we had deported him, those two people there at LAX, 
those beautiful young people, may be alive today, would certainly be 
alive today, and their families and their friends would have been saved 
this enormous grief.
  Estimates from the INS and others are literally several hundred 
thousand, by the way, in terms of how many illegal aliens have already 
applied for and received legal permanent status through 245(i). So let 
us make that clear. Hundreds of thousands of people have received their 
permanent resident status, even though they were in this country 
illegally at the time, because of 245(i).
  Now I might add just for the record that the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Berman), my good friend and colleague, the two of us 
debated this issue out. I was claiming at the time that hundreds of 
thousands of people would seek to utilize this loophole if Congress 
passed the 245(i) extension. The gentleman from California (Mr. Berman) 
emphatically stated that it would only be 30,000, he could never 
imagine more than 30,000 or so people claiming this, and this was his 
official estimate by some, of course, source that either did not know 
what they were talking about or were intentionally misleading the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Berman).
  But I remember him saying, if you have over that many people apply, I 
will buy you dinner. Well, I say to the gentleman, I am ready for 
dinner. I am ready for dinner. And I want the gentleman to know that I 
will not mention over dinner the death of those two poor people at the 
El Al counter at LAX, because they can be traced right back to that 
245(i), and there are not just a few thousand people who applied, there 
are hundreds of thousands, and it is a gigantic loophole that we do not 
need to open wider, we need to stop that loophole. We need to plug it 
so we do not have any more maniacs in our midst who might have been 
deported; at least they would not have been here. Who knows.
  I had a person from the INS tell me that the reason why we want them 
here, if they are here illegally, the reason we want them deported back 
to their home country to check them out is because that is where the 
records are. That is where all the authorities in those countries know 
in their country who has been arrested for unstable behavior. Maybe 
this man was not a Muslim extremist. He may have just been a very 
disturbed person.
  Well, guess what? We do not want a very disturbed person in this 
country who is here illegally either. And if Congress should pass 
another extension of 245(i), which is, of course, what we were being 
pressured to do, and let me add that the vote that they were leading up 
to, and there is enormous pressure on us to pass 245(i), that vote was 
supposed to be on what day? 9-11.
  If those people would not have flown those planes into the World 
Trade Center, if those terrorists would not have slaughtered thousands 
of Americans up there in New York, this body would have been in session 
and we would have been voting for 245(i) that would permit these types 
of threats to our security and to the personal safety of our people to 
remain in the United States. Had Congress passed 245(i), there would 
probably be, and we estimate, another 300,000 illegal aliens permitted 
to stay here and to start to legalize their citizenship status and 
their immigration status.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time for just a minute, the 
gentleman makes a very interesting and, I think, dramatic point here, 
something I did not know, something that I think a majority of 
Americans did not know. And I will guarantee my colleagues this: What 
my colleague has just stated about the status of the gentleman who was 
here and killed those two people at El Al, that fact, I would be 
willing to bet anyone dinner and anything else, would never, ever, ever 
have come out had it not been for the dogged determination of the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher).
  These are the things that we hear about, but the INS will never admit 
to. And I hope to see, but I wonder if tomorrow morning we will see on 
the front page of every newspaper in this country and on every talk 
show in the country this fact, the fact that my colleague has just 
pointed out to us; and I will bet again, if it is brought up at all, it 
will probably be buried, except for the very few parts of the media 
that have a tendency to support our point of view on this.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield, the 
gentleman is precisely correct. My staff, when this happened, noticed 
that there was a discrepancy about why this person was actually in the 
country after he had been given deportation notices. I talked to them 
about it and, frankly, several of my staff members worked very 
diligently to find this information out. Rick Dykema, who is my chief 
of staff, headed the investigation; and the INS, although they finally 
confirmed it this evening, right before I came up here, the INS was 
being very nebulous and it was like, oh, well, they did not want to 
admit that this was it.
  How many people around the country are going to hear this? As the 
gentleman says, how many newspapers are going to report that? I am very 
grateful, and I thank the gentleman very much for noting that it took a 
lot of hard work for us to do this.
  I would just hope that those people who want to extend 245(i) go down 
and take a look at the blood on the floor of the LAX airport before 
they do. Take a look at the picture of those poor people who were 
murdered by this either fanatic or unstable foreigner who was here 
illegally, whom we could have sent back, but instead, we kept, because 
our colleagues have bought into this idea that it is in some way a 
positive thing to permit this loophole to exist.

                              {time}  2015

  By the way, if there are another 300,000 people who now the INS has 
to process because of 245(i), let us remember that the INS is already 3 
million cases behind in processing people who already have made their 
application. Why are we adding to their work in processing these 
applications, and while they are doing it, permitting these people who 
are here illegally to stay here in this country?
  If there is a backlog of 3 million people, it is going to take them 
years to work and to try to find or go over everyone's case like this, 
and now we are just adding more and more people who are able to stay 
here without the serious background check that they would get if they 
were sent home because they were here in this country illegally.
  With the July 4 attack, we knew that we were in a horrible situation. 
We must take a look at 245(i) and the entire immigration policy of this 
country after this attack on July 4, but we should have been doing this 
after September 11, as well.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, absolutely. Here is the thing: we are now 
10 months past 9-11. We can talk about the errors we have made in the 
Congress in the past and the errors this government has made in the 
past in the crazy-quilt patchwork type of immigration policy that we 
have been dealing with here for years, and we can affix blame there, 
and rightly so.
  But would the gentleman not think that subsequent to 9-11, subsequent 
to that horrible event, we would have done something to correct this 
action, to say, okay, we have made mistakes and we recognize it?
  But not only have we not done anything significant to correct it, but 
an interesting article that I came across just the other day said that, 
since 9-11, we have given out over 50,000 visas to people from 
countries on the terrorist watch list. This is not just people from

[[Page H4420]]

countries that are kind of on the fringe; these are people from the 
countries on the terrorist watch list. We have given out 50,000 visas 
since then.
  It is still the case that if people live in Saudi Arabia and want to 
come to the United States they do not have to go see an actual 
counselor; they can put it in a drop-box. They can get the visa. No one 
interviews them. This is coming from Saudi Arabia, a country that we 
already know many people have come from who have done horrible, 
horrible things to the United States.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, as the gentleman knows, all 19 of those 
people who flew the planes into our buildings and murdered our people 
were Saudi citizens. I think there are some people in Saudi Arabia who 
are friends of the United States and allies of the United States, but 
we have to take a look at what is going on in Saudi Arabia. We have to 
protect ourselves, to make sure that we just do not have an open door, 
because they have not cleaned up their own house. They have not put 
their own house in order. Thus, they have made it unsafe.
  How many other countries are like that?
  Mr. TANCREDO. Reclaiming some of my time, I want to say that the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) has been enormously 
flattering in his description of my efforts, and I sincerely appreciate 
it. But I also know that long before I came to this Congress, there 
were people here laboring in this vineyard, and the gentleman is one.
  I want to tell the gentleman how much I appreciate what he has done 
in this area. It is by circumstance and event and whatever that I ended 
up in the position of being the spokesman for our caucus, but it is 
only because of work like the gentleman has done and another colleague 
I will introduce right now that we have the ability to actually bring, 
I think, some sanity to this discussion. It is because they have been 
here for some time, and they have been really and truly pressing this 
  Now, of course, it is on everybody's plate. It is on everybody's top 
list of things to be concerned about. Why? Only because of horrendous 
events. They should have been listening to my colleagues a long time 
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Deal).
  Mr. DEAL of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his 
leadership, as the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) has 
already expressed, for leadership on the Immigration Reform Caucus.
  I would like to take a few minutes to share more information. I think 
the information just brought forward by the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Rohrabacher) is certainly pertinent to the issue of the 245(i) 
matter that is still pending before this Congress.
  Mr. Speaker, we should learn some things when we have studies and 
censuses and other reports made, because we spend a lot of money doing 
this. If we will just look at a few statistics. For example, the latest 
census of 2000 tells us that approximately 8.7 million people 
are undocumented illegal aliens living in this country. That is about 1 
million more than most people estimated was going to show up in the 

  According to those figures, we are having about 700,000 a year 
illegal immigrants entering this country. If that translates down to 
1,918 per day, 80 per hour, and approximately one per minute, in other 
words, since 9-11, we are approaching a half a million illegal 
immigrants who have entered this country and virtually nothing is being 
done about it.
  Let me share some other things. As the gentleman has already alluded 
to, the 19 terrorists in the 9-11 attack all had Social Security cards, 
all had Social Security numbers. In fact, 13 of them obtained Social 
Security cards legally. In that regard, a recent report was issued by 
the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration in which he 
said that one in every 12 foreigners receiving new Social Security 
numbers have done so using false documents. He indicated in his report 
that preliminary results show that some 100,000 Social Security numbers 
were wrongly issued to noncitizens in the year 2000.
  He goes on to say that even before 9-11, that he had been 
recommending that the Social Security agency check its records with the 
INS before issuing Social Security cards, and had received no support 
and cooperation from Social Security. Since that time, Social Security 
has agreed with that recommendation, but still is having difficulty 
coordinating records. We, of course, have tried to pass legislation 
previously to deal with that issue.
  Let me deal with another subject. Speaking of ironic situations, I 
have discovered in my research and in my talking with local INS agents 
that one of the reasons we are having difficulty deporting illegals is 
that a lot of times we do not have any detention facilities to keep 
them until we can process them for deportation.
  One of the major reasons is we cannot use many of our jails where we 
are housing American citizens for criminal activity. They do not comply 
with the INS detention standards. The INS has adopted detention 
standards that do not correspond with the American Correctional 
Association standards. Now, these are the standards that are used in 
over 21,000 detention facilities all across our country, but the INS 
says they are not good enough.
  Let me give the gentleman just a few examples. Non-English speaking 
detainees must be provided with more than just simple access to a set 
of English language law books. They must also be allowed to have 
presentations made by outside groups informing them of U.S. immigration 
laws and procedures, and the INS encourages these presentations.
  What about meals? Detainees under the INS standards must be served at 
least two hot meals a day. Any sack meal shall contain at least two 
sandwiches per meal, which at least one must be nonmeat and one must be 
meat, and that must be nonpork, and they must also include one piece of 
fresh fruit and a dessert item.
  I was recently told that in my hometown in Hall County, Georgia, we 
could not use the local detention facility which houses all other 
detainees simply because that facility serves a cold breakfast and a 
balogna sandwich for lunch, and that was just not good enough for the 
housing of people who are illegally in this country.
  Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman tells me that it is all right to detain 
our neighbor who has a traffic violation or a bad-check charge, or even 
our children in the school lunch program who do eat balogna sandwiches 
and are sometimes served cold breakfasts, and it is not good enough for 
those who are illegally in this country, but it is good enough for 
American citizens, let us get real about this.
  What about telephone access? We have all heard the proverbial, I am 
entitled to my telephone call. If one is an illegal alien in this 
country, let me tell the gentleman what they are entitled to about 
telephone calls. They cannot, first of all, be placed in a detention 
facility unless they have unlimited access to telephones; and they 
cannot be limited, except if they do attempt to limit the time, it can 
be no less than 20 minutes.
  They have also required, the INS has required, their telephone 
service provider to program the telephone system to permit detainee 
calls to numbers on the pro bono legal representation list, and permits 
them to use debit cards to make the calls. Now, that is not the same 
privileges that are entitled to Americans who are detained in our 
detention facilities.
  They also say that if one is a normal detainee, one has to make all 
long distance calls, and they have to be collect. Not so if one is an 
illegal alien. They are entitled to use a debit card. I am told by one 
that even the detention facility may have to have international 
telephone access to meet the requirements.
  I know that we all recall some of the debates that surrounded the 
1996 Immigration Reform Act. We are in the process of looking at that 
act again, trying to clarify some things. One of the issues was what is 
a deportable offense. Generally, it was considered to be certain 
felonies that are of an aggravated nature.
  For example, just to have a DUI is not enough to get one deported. 
Let me read from a letter from a local judge in my hometown. This is 
what he said:
  ``Last week I sentenced a gentleman on his fourth DUI committed in 
the last 2 years. This gentleman is an illegal immigrant. I directed 
the probation

[[Page H4421]]

department to contact INS in an attempt to prevent further violations 
in Hall County.'' He goes on to say that that was not enough to get him 
  He also makes reference to local gang activity. I might just say 
within the last months we have had two drive-by murders and gang-
related activity in my community.
  He goes on and summarizes. He says that people who repeatedly drive 
drunk and are known to be involved in gang activity are allowed to 
basically run free, with no fear of prosecution, because of the current 
INS policies. That is a real tragedy and a real shame. It needs to be 
  How many DUIs does the gentleman think a person should have who is, 
first of all, illegally in the country to begin with? One is not enough 
to get them deported, two is not enough, three is not enough, and in 
this case he cites an actual case where four DUIs is not enough to get 
him sent out of this country.
  I ask, where is MADD on this issue? Where are those who say that we 
ought to get tough on drunk driving and the other things that disrupt 
communities and endanger the safety and lives of our local citizens?
  I commend the gentleman, and I will conclude with this comment. It is 
a comment that was presented to our reform caucus by a senior INS 
special agent. I think he says it very well when he says this: ``The 
first laws that aliens entering the United States encounter are those 
laws that the INS is supposed to enforce. When the INS fails to 
effectively, consistently, and fairly enforce these laws, we are 
sending a very dangerous message to aliens seeking to enter the United 
States. In effect, we are telling them that not only can they expect to 
get away with violating our laws, they can anticipate being rewarded 
for violating our laws.''
  I think he says it very well.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. Although the 
gentleman did say it very well, it was made even more profound, I 
think, and more articulate by the gentleman's brilliant analysis. I do 
sincerely appreciate the gentleman coming down this evening.
  The gentleman points out several ironic, would be one way to describe 
them, or infuriating is another way to describe these situations, these 
events, these things with which we are now dealing almost daily. It 
seems to me I confront something like this all the time where we hear 
something like this and we say, How could this be? This could not 
really be. For instance, four DUIs, and he cannot be deported?
  We have constructed on our Web site a list of things that we call 
``incredible but true,'' and Members can go to that Web site, and go to the immigration page on that Web site, 
and Members will see these.
  If they wish, people are able to go to that Web site and sign a 
petition to the President of the United States asking him to please 
augment the forces that we presently have on the border, the Border 
Patrol people that are so, right now, inundated. They are so overrun, 
outgunned, outmanned by the people they are trying to keep out of this 
country that they are in desperate shape. So we are asking the 
President to actually help us help them by putting military on the 
border. Members can go there and sign a petition.
  I see that my colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Rohrabacher), has something else he wants to say.

                              {time}  2030

  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, I would just like to reaffirm something 
we talked about earlier, and this is for people who may have missed the 
beginning of this Special Order, that due to research from my office, 
we have discovered that the murderer who may well be a terrorist or may 
well be just a very disturbed man or may be a cold-blooded murderer who 
is in this country illegally, managed to stay in this country through 
the use of the 245(i) process, this is the murderer who killed those 
people on July 4 at LAX. So we have confirmed officially for the first 
time at least, these are known victims of the 245(i).
  This is outrageous. And hopefully by exposing this, it should wake up 
some of our colleagues to just how serious it is to not regain control 
of our borders which are just totally out of control. And, number two, 
hopefully this will alert our fellow colleagues to the danger of the 
245(i) reform, which they call it, which is a gigantic loophole which 
permits people who should be deported or should not be in this country 
because they are here illegally, to stay in this country and adjust 
their status here in the country rather than having to go back to their 
native country.
  Had this man who came from Egypt been forced to return to his country 
as was the law without 245(i), those two people who were murdered on 
July 4 at LAX at the El Al counter would be alive today. And this grief 
that we brought upon their families is the grief that can be brought 
upon any American family.
  We just heard from our colleague of someone having four DUIs. What 
does that mean? That person was driving, that person was a threat to 
killing our families on the street. Now, why are we permitting people 
who are in this country to pose a risk to the safety of our people and 
the security of our country? This is ridiculous. I would hope that 
those listening understand just how serious this issue is and demand 
that Congress act on this, and watch what Congress does, and, again, 
that people pay attention to people like the gentleman from Colorado 
(Mr. Tancredo), who is offering tremendous leadership on this issue and 
he has taken a lot of personal hits.
  I can tell you years ago I was called a racist skinhead for 
suggesting that instead of giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to 
medical benefits to illegal immigrants, that they should be sent home 
to their own countries for medical benefits. There was one man in my 
district who received over $300,000 worth of medical treatment. He had 
leukemia. Now, I am sorry he had leukemia, but $300,000? What does that 
do for the amount of money that we have available to take care of our 
own people?
  Obviously, America has not been taking the steps necessary to secure 
our own borders. Obviously, the leaders in America are not putting the 
safety and security and well-being of the American people first. Who is 
to care about America unless we do?
  The gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) has been in the forefront 
of this type of patriotism, caring about his country and watching out 
for our people.
  I thank the gentleman very much for letting me participate.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for joining us this 
  The gentleman brought up several interesting points, not the least of 
which is the cost of illegal immigration, the cost to the country. 
There are a whole host of ramifications of illegal immigration into the 
country. People do not like talking about any of them. But there is an 
enormous economic cost to illegal immigration, and it far outweighs the 
amount of money that is contributed, quote/unquote, to the American 
society by the taxes that many of these people pay.

  It is true that if they come here and they work and they are working 
for wages that can be taxed, that is to say they are not working under 
the counter, just being paid under the table, they will pay some sort 
of tax, and they pay a tax on the things they buy. But the reality is 
that for the most part 90-some percent of the people who are here and 
especially who are here illegally have the lowest-paying jobs. They are 
low-skilled people who, therefore, of course are employed at a marginal 
level. They pay relatively little, if anything, number one, in income 
tax and certainly not all that much even in the sales tax because their 
purchasing power is relatively low. We do not gain a tremendous amount 
of revenue from the people who come here and are working illegally. But 
we do gain a tremendous amount of cost.
  Recently Rice University estimated that the undocumented aliens in 
the United States cost taxpayers $24 billion every single year. And by 
the way, in Arizona a Federal judge has just added to that. To go on 
the list of incredible, but true, things about immigration, let us add 
this one: right now 175 illegals in Arizona are getting free kidney 
dialysis treatments, free kidney dialysis. Many of them came across the 
border to obtain this service.
  Now, it was supposed to end on June 30, but Judge Browning has 

[[Page H4422]]

the benefits for five illegals who are ``very ill.'' Now the question 
we have to ask ourselves, how many people in our own districts, how 
many people who have been here all their lives, that were born here, 
grandparents born here, that are citizens of the United States, paid 
taxes all their lives, how many of them can afford kidney dialysis or 
have it paid for or that were able to have it paid for by the State? 
And yet people who can come into this country illegally, take advantage 
of our system, take advantage of our laws, can receive this treatment? 
It is not fair. I am sorry for them that they need the treatment. How 
much can we possibly afford, is the question? How much can we afford? 
And why should we be doing it for people who are not citizens?
  There are a lot of people who would suggest that in reality there is 
nothing different from being just here physically in this country and 
being here as a citizen. But I suggest to you that there is an enormous 
amount of difference, and we should not ignore it.
  Another colleague who has joined me this evening, another member of 
our Immigration Reform Caucus and another member who, long before I 
came to the Congress, has been laboring in this vineyard and bringing 
to the attention of the American people concerns about illegal 
immigration, my colleague from Virginia (Mr. Goode).
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado 
(Mr. Tancredo). First, I want to thank him for his tireless effort on 
behalf of reining in the huge problem of illegal immigration in this 
country. I also want to thank the Congressman from Georgia for pointing 
out the situation where four drunk driving convictions are insufficient 
for deportation. I would also like to thank the Congressman from 
California (Mr. Rohrabacher) for pointing out the background of the 
killer of the three persons at Los Angeles Airport on July 4. He 
mentioned one cost and this gentleman has mentioned one cost, and that 
is the free medical treatment that illegal immigrants impose on the 
United States.
  I was just reading a letter from another Member of Congress in a Dear 
Colleague about a cost of a million dollars for treating immigrants in 
the State of Florida. In Patrick County, an illegal immigrant ran a 
citizen off the road in an automobile accident. That citizen had to go 
to Baptist Hospital in North Carolina, was in a coma, and the young man 
is still not recovered. And this treatment of him has been going on and 
that is a tangent cost. It is not a direct cost, but it has long 
surpassed the resources of that family.

  I also wanted to talk this evening a few minutes about the need for 
troops on our borders. This past week we celebrated Independence Day. 
And I think one of the best birthday presents this Nation could have 
would be secure borders. With secure borders we could greatly reduce or 
stop terrorism. We could greatly reduce or stop illegal immigration. 
And with secure borders we could greatly reduce or stop the illegal 
drug traffic. And I know that several of us with the gentleman's 
leadership have urged the administration to deploy the military on our 
borders; and we stand committed towards that end, either 
administratively or through legislation. In particular, the southern 
and northern borders of the United States are porous.
  Canada and Mexico are still not doing an adequate job of screening 
the immigrant traffic and cargo in and out of their countries. Aside 
from obviously being dangerous to the welfare of citizens in this 
country, the porousness of our borders adds an unacceptable burden on 
our already overworked border patrol.
  The Immigration and Naturalization Service is struggling to meet the 
demands of new threats, and it is in urgent need of the support of our 
military. Congress is working to give the administration greater 
authority to use the military on our borders. As the gentleman noted, 
the House adopted an amendment to the defense authorization bill that 
would allow the Department of Justice, if requested by the INS or the 
Customs Service, to utilize troops on our borders. This legislation 
would allow the direct involvement of the military in assisting Customs 
and our border patrol in preventing the coming into this country of 
terrorists, drug traffickers, and illegal aliens.
  If we really want to make our homeland secure, we have got to do more 
than reorganize homeland security. That is a good positive step. And we 
have taken other good and positive steps, but to have our borders 
secure we needs troops; and that will have a three-fold purpose of 
stopping illegal drugs, stopping illegal immigration, and stopping 
terrorists. And, again, I want to thank the gentleman for his tireless 
efforts on behalf of this.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I sincerely appreciate it.
  The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) has been also enormously 
helpful as a member of our committee and a person to whom I turn often 
for advice and consultation. It is important I think that we should 
point out that it was the amendments of the gentleman from Virginia 
(Mr. Goode) to the defense authorization bill that did, in fact, 
provide, if it is passed by the other body, signed into law, it will 
provide the President with that authorization. And I sincerely hope 
that it is retained by the Senate.
  This would not be the first time we have passed that resolution, and 
every time we have done so in the past the Senate has chosen to simply 
ignore it. This is, I hope, a change as a result of all of the events 
of the last several months. The last 10 months really would help the 
Members of the other body understand the need for doing this and 
certainly would help the President also.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I want to just say that there has been an 
enormous amount of talk about the need to protect the United States 
from future terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, there has not been enough 
action, certainly far more talk than action. Since 9-11, we are 
absolutely not one bit safer today in this country. Our borders are not 
one bit more secure than they were at the time that the terrorists flew 
the planes into the buildings here in the United States and killed 
3,000 of our citizens. That is an unacceptable position to be in for 
the Members of this body. For the administration to ignore the security 
of our borders as one aspect of this war that we are fighting, is 
irresponsible to say the least. And all I can hope is that they will 
heed the advice of the colleagues that joined me tonight, especially 
the President, in putting troops on the borders, that is the number one 
thing, and the rest of the Members of this body to tighten up our 
immigration policy.