[Congressional Record: September 24, 2002 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING CONGRESS
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Wilson of South Carolina). 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 was sitting here preparing my
remarks, I listened to the remarks of my colleagues; and it is
encouraging, to say the least, to think that there are people on both
sides of the aisle who have concern about the fiscal house that we try
to keep in order around here. It is discouraging to think about the
fact that regardless of who happens to run this place, the Republicans
or the Democrats, it appears to me, anyway, as we look over the numbers
over the last couple of decades, that it really hardly matters most of
the time; that we are spending certainly more than we should and that
our deficits are a result of our inability as a body, not as a party,
but as a body, to control our appetites, to control the willingness,
the desire, the need to respond to a plethora of programs and
supporters of programs throughout the Nation that constantly demand
more. Nonetheless, I am glad to hear it, and I am always hopeful that
we will be able to actually change the situation around here when it
comes to spending. I do not hold much hope out for it, but I have that
spark of hope that does remain alive.
Mr. Speaker, before I get on to the issue that usually brings me to
the floor of the House, which is, of course, immigration and
immigration-related issues, I would like to just for a few moments talk
about something that I am also very, very concerned about and also, I
think, should be a concern of the Members of the body, and that is the
situation in Sudan, a country that has experienced at least a decade,
actually 2 decades of incredible internal conflict, a country that has
experienced more casualties of its population, 2 million dead at the
present time, more than 4 million displaced. These are numbers that are
far higher and far more significant, frankly, than any other country
since the Second World War.
Yet, little is known about the situation in Sudan. Unfortunately,
relatively few people seem to care. But there are folks who do care.
Since this past Wednesday, people have been gathering in Galvez Park
here in Washington, D.C. to pray and stand for the people of Sudan, who
are subjects of a brutal, genocidal campaign.
Saturday, September 21, high school and college students led an all-
day vigil. These young people represent the best of American ideals.
They are acting on behalf of the people that they have never met, but
whom they know are being oppressed. We should marvel at their
commitment, but more so, we should join them.
I stand here today to talk about what has brought these young people
from across the country here to the Nation's capital, and to talk about
how the government of the Sudan, the National Islamic Front, has for
years and continues today mercilessly to drive back Christians and
animists from their homes, starve them, kill them because they are not
I want to tell the Members about the bombing. The government of Sudan
has converted Russian cargo planes into primitive bombers called
Antonovs. These planes regularly fly over villages and towns in
southern Sudan, far from the front lines of the fighting. These
villages have no military value, the only people who live there are
civilians; yet, still the bombers come. Sometimes they drop bombs;
sometimes they do not. That is part of the terror campaign the
government is waging. No one in southern Sudan knows if they will be
When the planes drop bombs, they are not precision weapons, like we
used in Afghanistan, to avoid civilian casualties. Rather, they are
crude homemade bombs, sometimes 55-gallon drums packed with explosives
and nails, designed to maximize civilian casualties.
These primitive bombs are rolled out of the back of planes, falling
on those below. These bombs maim and kill, they destroy crops and
homes, they fall on hospitals and churches. No one in southern Sudan is
immune from their reach, and it may be only a matter of the shifting
winds whether you or your neighbor is hit by a bomb.
The first country I visited as a Member of Congress, and I had only
been here as a Member of this body for a few months, and this was a
little over 3\1/2\ years ago, the first country I ever visited was
Sudan. I went there with a delegation led by Senator Brownback.
I will never forget, we went into a little town called Yei. When we
got there, all the kids in the village gathered around us very closely,
and they would hardly move. As we tried to move through the village,
they were almost stuck to us. They were yelling something. Of course, I
did not understand it. I asked our guide to interpret for me, what was
going on; why were they clustering around us so closely. He said, it is
because they believe that because you are an American Congressman, they
won't be bombed; they cannot be hit by a bomb, if one flies over; that
they won't bomb you because you are here from the United States. Of
course, I was hoping the same thing, to tell you the truth.
The reality is, of course, there was no such discrimination, and
there were bombs that fell, even while we were there. They destroyed
hospitals and they destroyed schools and they destroyed people.
The government targets churches, relief compounds, hospitals,
markets, fields, and homes. It rains bombs down on villages with no
military value except to further the government's campaign of terror.
The barbaric bombing is going on as we speak.
On September 9, the bombs came down on the town of Yabus, killing two
children, ages 4 and 7, and wounding eight. Yabus has no military
value, but is one of the major staging areas for the relief workers in
Last Thursday, the government bombed the town of Lui, the site of no
military installations, but of a large hospital run by Samaritan's
Purse, a Christian relief organization headed by the Reverend Franklin
Graham. This is the only hospital serving approximately 400,000 people.
Yet, the town has been bombed repeatedly. These attacks are appalling,
and they are plainly directed at killing civilians, either directly, or
by denying them food and medical aid. It is an unimaginable horror.
The people in Galvez Park prayed all week for the victims of these
bombings. We must join with them. We cannot tolerate the Khartoum
regime's brutal actions. We must stand firm with the people of Sudan in
their quest for peace and for life.
Mr. Speaker, this House passed a bill that I sponsored called the
Sudan Peace Act. It went to the Senate, where it has languished.
Senator Brownback has introduced an amendment to the bill that I hope
will be the thing that actually does allow it to move forward. I
believe that will happen relatively soon. I hope it will happen in time
to save the lives of the people who are now so directly affected by
this campaign of terror, the most recent campaign of terror.
Only a few days ago, really, I had the opportunity to meet with some
representatives of the Khartoum government in Sudan. They assured me
that there was no such action; that they were being cautious in the way
they advanced the efforts on the part of the military, and that the
bombing of civilians and the strafing of civilians was absolutely
prohibited. But, of course, that is apparently not true.
I do hope that the good Lord hears the prayers of the people that
have been gathered here in Washington all week for those in the Sudan
who hunger for nothing but peace, but who, for now a generation, have
heard nothing but war and seen nothing but war.
I hope that the Sudan Peace Act quickly comes back to the House and
we are able, in a conference committee, we are able to address this
issue as a body, as a Congress, I should say; and that the President
will sign it, and that will affect the outcome of this war, that it
will bring it to a quick close.
Let me now talk about another issue that of course is of great
concern to me, and is oftentimes an issue that is not very well
addressed, or not very well amplified, either in the media or even here
in the House. That is the issue of immigration and immigration reform.
In my own district, Mr. Speaker, over the last week or so, a little
over a week now, we have had the most extraordinary discussion, I guess
I should put it that way, public discussion in the press and in the
media in general. Of course, on the radio and talk shows everybody is
talking about a couple of things that I want to address tonight,
address to the Members tonight.
As a matter of fact, the issues have spread beyond my district. They
are now being discussed, as I see the clips coming into my office, they
are being discussed in cities all over the country. These are two
events in Denver, Colorado. Let me briefly review them.
A little over 1\1/2\ months ago, the Denver Post, which is the major
newspaper in Colorado, printed a story, a front-page story, about a
family, the Apodaca family. It was a story, according to the author of
that particular piece, that was brought to the Post by the Mexican
consulate in Denver. The name of the family was provided by the consul,
and the purpose of this collaboration was to set the stage for a more
general debate on an issue of state politics.
In this particular case, we are talking about whether or not people
in the State of Colorado and in the United States, for that matter,
illegally, that is to say, people who came into this country without
our permission, whether they should be given the same opportunities for
subsidized educational expenses, in this case, higher education, as a
citizen of the State of Colorado and as a citizen of the United States
This is not unique to Colorado, this is happening all over the
country. Legislatures in Utah, Texas, and California are dealing with
this. Some have dealt with it already, and passed laws that will allow
people who are here illegally to attend institutions of higher
education and have their education subsidized by the taxpayers of the
This is being pushed by immigration advocates, immigration advocate
groups all over the country. It is being pushed even by representatives
of the Mexican government; as I say, the Mexican consul.
The story focused, as I say, on one family, the Apodaca family; in
particular, the oldest boy of this family, who wanted to go to the
University of Colorado, but could not afford it if he did not have that
experience paid for by the taxpayers of the State. It presented them in
a very sympathetic light.
They are, apparently, by all accounts very fine people, a nice
family. The father is employed in some business that was not identified
in Greeley, Colorado. They have, I think, maybe four or five kids. This
particular young man that wanted to go on to school was an A student.
So certainly, the story appealed to the emotional side and said, look,
here are folks who have been here, they are hard-working, the kids have
been in school. Why should we not give them access to higher education
at taxpayer expense?
This goes along with the agenda or this is part of an agenda
throughout the country to obtain all kinds of benefits for people who
are here illegally: driver's licenses, welfare, tuition payments, and
the like. The hope or the desire is that eventually we will eliminate
all of those things in this Nation that would distinguish one as being
That is to say, if they can come into the country illegally but have
their children educated, as they can today; go through the public
school system at our expense, at taxpayer expense; if they can have
access to all of the social services that any other citizen of the
United States has access to; if they can obtain a driver's license as
their sort of passport into society, which a driver's license is in our
country; if they can have all of these things, then there is very
little, if anything, that can distinguish them as someone here
illegally. They are just here. They are just simply in the United
States, and therefore, they have all the rights and privileges of a
citizen of the United States.
That is the desire of the folks who push this agenda. They used the
Apodaca family perhaps willingly; that is to say that, for all I know,
the Apodaca family was quite willing to
expose themselves to the public as being here illegally, as having
entered this country without our permission. But they did not really
have, or it did not seem from the story that they had a very big
concern about that.
In a way, of course, we can understand why they could have been
encouraged to come forward without some great fear of repercussions.
There are 9 million to 13 million people living in this country
illegally. The INS has done little if anything about it. This
government has done little if anything about it.
There are many reasons why we have shirked our responsibility as a
Federal government to assure the sanctity and integrity of our own
borders, but for all the reasons that exist that have caused this
situation to occur, we now see, as I say, people willing to come
forward in the press and say, I am here illegally; essentially, what
are you going to do about it?
I do not know about the Speaker, but here is what I thought when I
read that article. I thought, is it not amazing? I am sure the Speaker,
like every other Member of this body, is confronted by people in his
office who is asking us to help them adjust their status in the United
States; to obtain some sort of INS recognition that would allow them to
We all know that there are literally millions of people around the
country trying to come to the United States legally. We know there are
people that have spent years in the process, filling out the forms,
taking language courses, doing everything that we ask them to do to
become American citizens legally. They do it. God bless them for doing
I speak to these folks as often as I get a chance. I have spoken to
groups that have become citizens of the United States when they are
taking their oath of citizenship; and I tell them, first of all,
welcome to the United States, almost. Secondly, I thank them for doing
this the right way, for coming here and working through the process to
become an American citizen even though I know it is challenging, it is
onerous; but I thank them for doing it the right way.
It was ironic in a way that several days after this story appeared,
there was a very small story that appeared in both papers in Denver
about all of the immigrants that were being sworn in as legal citizens
of the United States, a small story relative to what this family, who
chose not to come that route, but to come here illegally, small, small
story compared to what the Apodacas got.
I thought that was unfair, simply and basically unfair. If a person
comes to this country legally and they go through the process to have
the newspapers showcase a family who has done it the other way, snuck
into the country, albeit these folks are I am sure fine people, I have
nothing against them. They seem like, from what I read in the paper, to
be people we would be happy to have as neighbors and friends, but that
is irrelevant to the situation. The situation is they came here
illegally, and they are being showcased; and we are being asked to give
them a special advantage, an advantage that we give usually to
So we are telling all of the people who have come here the right way
that they are nothing but suckers and that really they could have saved
themselves a lot of time and money and certainly a lot of brain damage
going through the bureaucratic hoops that they are put through to come
here legally by simply sneaking into the country, staying under the
radar screen, eventually we will give them all the same amenities, all
of the privileges of citizenship. That is what that story said to me.
It was unfair.
About a month after the story appeared, I called the INS in Denver,
the head of the INS, a gentleman by the name of Mr. Comfort; and I said
to Mr. Comfort, I have a question for you, a hypothetical question, and
that is, What would you do if somebody came up to you on the street
today, as you were exiting your building, and said you know, I am a
good guy, I have a wife and family and a job and everything but I am
here illegally and so is my family, what would you do about that if
they confronted you with it? Well, of course, I would have to take them
into custody, and I said, Really? He said, Yes. I said, Then what would
happen? He said, Then we would have to go through a hearing process and
if they were determined to be here illegally then, of course, we would
set up deportation arrangements.
I said, Well, that is interesting. What did you do about the family
that told you that in the paper about a month ago, the Apodaca family?
He said, Well, we have not done anything about it. He said, We really
do not have the resources; it is really not the same because it is not
coming up to me on the street, even though, yes, it is on the front
page of the Denver Post, and they tell you the name and where they are.
He said, It is not the same. He said, And I do not have the resources
to go after them. I said, I am not really asking you to send in the
SWAT team or devote any resources away from the very important tasks
with which you are involved, catching terrorists and felons who are
here illegally; but I do wonder whether or not you would not just send
a letter, why would you not just send a letter maybe to the family and
ask them to come in and talk to you because they are saying that they
are here illegally and you want to talk about the status.
He agreed that that could be done and that that would be done, and I
hung up the phone.
The next day, the Denver Post printed another story and the headline
was ``Congressman Tancredo Demands Deportation of Jesus Apodaca.''
Although I never mentioned him nor did I demand anything, that is the
way the Post chose to portray this story; and they ran a picture of
this young man, again a very sympathetic figure in this whole thing. He
came here, of course, as a young kid with his parents. He had no choice
in the matter, and I can certainly understand his plight.
This grew into a huge, huge debate in Colorado with everybody taking
sides and the media getting involved and that sort of thing, the media
actually promoting it certainly, because here we had set up this
interesting debate; and it was worthy, I think, of the interest of the
media, not to mention the way in which a portion of the media, in this
case the Denver Post, chose to spin the story.
I assure my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, that if the Apodaca family is
here illegally as they claim to be, of course I do not know whether
they are or not. I do not know whether they were put up to this or not.
They may be perfectly legal, but they were used in order to advance
this agenda that I was talking about of getting tuition and driver's
licenses and all the rest of it; but if they are, in fact, here
illegally, as they claim to be, then the law says they should face
deportation hearings, and if the judge says that they should be
deported, they should be deported. I am absolutely in support of that
I have no great hope that the INS will diligently pursue this,
knowing the INS; but I think they should at least do what they told me
they would do, that is, to write a letter to the family, ask them to
come in and discuss this issue with them.
This, as I say, was playing out in the paper over several days when
all of the sudden another story appeared. This was a front page, above-
the-fold story again in the Denver Post. This was, I think, last
Thursday or Friday. Apparently, according to the Post, two people came
into the Post, the Denver Post, and identified themselves as being here
illegally, in and of itself an interesting situation. I mean, do people
really just advance that? Of course they do because they were put on
the front page of the paper and no big deal; but they went one step
further, and they said not only are we here illegally, but we are
felons. We falsified the documents that we supplied to our employer so
that we could get hired. That is a felony. They said we were hired by a
company, a construction company that eventually did work in Congressman
Tancredo's basement. They put in a home theater and finished our
So the above-the-fold headline, banner headline in the Denver Post,
remember this story took precedent over the situation we were in with
Iraq, the economy, a variety of things that I actually consider to be
even more important, but the Post did not. The Post thought this was
deserving of that kind of placement, and the headline was
something like Tancredo Hires Illegal Aliens to Finish His Basement.
Of course, no one knows the truth of that story and the reality is,
Mr. Speaker, that that story could not have passed the discretion of a
high school newspaper editor because, of course, what do we have here?
We have an allegation made by two people who were not identified about
their relationship to a company that I hired to finish my basement, a
situation over which, of course, I have absolutely no control. I did
not hire the folks that actually did the labor. I hired the contractor.
It is a reputable firm in Denver. According to the newspaper, they have
all of the documentation necessary by the law to confirm that these
people were here illegally.
What do we have? What is this story? This is a fascinating thing. The
story is that two people alleged, and they are themselves alleged to
exist. I do not know that they exist. I do not know even if two people
came to the Denver Post and claimed that they, in fact, were ever in my
home. Let us face it, Mr. Speaker, this is a very, very emotional
issue. It is possible that people would even make up something like
that in order to advance a particular agenda. It is possible. I am not
saying it happened. It is possible. I do not know what happened.
Neither would I suggest does the Denver Post.
Of course, there is no way to tell. No one can judge the merit, the
truth of this matter because they will not tell who these people are.
They are withholding their names because the Post said they fear that
these people will then be prosecuted. So the Denver Post, if they
believe these people, they are harboring felons who have given false
information in order to be hired.
Again, I do not know whether the people who worked in my basement,
who were employees of the company that I did hire, were here legally or
not. I have not the foggiest idea, to tell my colleagues the truth. It
is not my responsibility to try and do that.
As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, if I were to go to them and ask
them after they were hired, let us say they are working in my basement
and I heard them down there and said I am just going to go down there
and find out if these folks are here illegally, and if I went down
there and said, hey, stop for a second, are you legal, I want to see
your papers, of course, I would be sued. Of course, I can be sued under
the Civil Rights Act because you cannot ask people like that. Only the
employer can request that kind of documentation. Even the employer
cannot say things like, are you here legally. They can say I need the
documentation that you are a citizen. I have to fill out an I-9 and
need Social Security and driver's license. If you are presented with
that as the employer, that is what you keep on file, which according to
the newspaper, this particular company I hired, has on file.
So what is the story? What is the story here that commanded front
page, above-the-fold attention? Fascinating.
I do not where this will go. I have no idea. Will the INS
investigate? I cannot get them to. I have a hard time getting them to
actually do anything about people who are here illegally and that have
been absconders; 360,000 people so far have been ordered deported
already from the United States for various violations from rape,
robbery, murder, just name it. They have been ordered to be deported.
They have simply walked away from the courtroom, and the INS has never
found them or gone after them.
So I doubt very much whether the INS is going to get too involved in
either of these two cases; and as I say, I certainly do not want them
and I do not rank these cases on the same level as the potential
terrorists that are here, the felons that are here. I want them to
devote a lot of time to that; but they should not ignore this case,
either one really now because this is such big news. They certainly
should not ignore the Apodacas.
I have not yet seen in the paper any company that comes and says, I
would like you to showcase me because I hire illegal aliens, but they
are all nice guys; so we should change the law. I have not seen that. I
assure you, Mr. Speaker, that should that be on the front page of the
Post, I will call the INS and I will say, I would like to know, what
are you going to do about this? I cannot demand anything because
frankly I cannot. It is an executive branch agency. But I can inquire
and I would inquire if some company did what the Apodacas did. I would
inquire. I would say here are people that are blatantly claiming their
status as illegal and/or claiming to have violated the law by knowingly
hiring people who are here illegally. Either of those two cases, I
think, demands a little bit of attention, if it is nothing more than a
But the Post has written in the last 10 days, I think 28 articles so
far. There have been 28 articles, editorials and/or commentary about
this. I have never seen really anything command so much attention as
long as I have been in political life, which has been a long time, and
I am a very controversial figure; but I do not remember anything like
this. That is just that newspaper. The Rocky Mountain News has also
written story after story. It has been on the news. I get clips from
California and Texas and Chicago and calls from all over the country
about these two stories, the Apodaca case and my basement.
The issue of course is not the Apodacas. The issue that we should be
really debating and discussing is not just the companies out here that
are alleged to have hired illegal aliens or the companies that do,
because of course we all know there are plenty of them. I do not doubt
for a moment that I have had dinner at a restaurant and been served by
or had my meal prepared by someone who was in fact here illegally. I
would bet any money that has happened. I would bet that I have gotten
in a cab in this city and have been driven to a location by someone who
is here illegally. We all know this happens.
The issue is not just the individual who has done that. The issue is
the whole concept of immigration, immigration reform, and the integrity
of borders. That is what we have to talk about tonight, and I hope
night after night after night after night and day after day that is
what we have to talk about because the ramifications of illegal
immigration into this country, massive immigration, both legal and
illegal, are enormous. As I have said on many occasions, they will
determine not just what kind of country we are, that is to say,
balkanized, factionalized, or united; but it will also determine if we
will be a country. That is why I devote as much time and attention to
this issue as I do.
It is not an issue that is easy for us to talk about. The stories
that I have just described that were in the paper have caused a lot of
people a lot of pain. The company that I hired was identified. It has
received calls from people who have threatened them and left messages
of the most vial nature. Families, a lot of people have been affected
by it. Certainly I guarantee that our office has received a similar
type of response along with, of course, an overwhelming number of
people who are supportive of our efforts in this regard.
This is an issue America is talking about whether we want to talk
about it or not. It is an issue that Americans care about whether we
care about it or not. It is an issue that Americans want us to deal
with whether we want to deal with it or not. Poll after poll after poll
tells us that the American people want us to crack down on illegal
immigration, want us to crack down on employers who are employing these
people, want us to reduce the number of people coming into the country
even legally because they know there is something happening in the
United States that needs discussion and warrants their concern. We
choose not to deal with it because we are fearful of the consequences.
We are fearful of the kind of response that the stories in the Denver
Post and Rocky Mountain News have elicited, the vitriolic antagonistic
sort of communications that we get when we start talking about this.
Nobody likes this stuff, Mr. Speaker. Certainly I do not. Nobody likes
being called names. Nobody likes being vilified in the press or
anywhere else, I assume. And I assure that if I did not think that this
issue merited the attention of this body and of this government, I
would not bring it up. There are other things that I also believe are
important; but this issue has, as I say, an overwhelming importance I
the American public and to me, and it has got nothing to do with race
and it has got nothing to do with ethnicity, although that is always
the card that is played when one talks about it.
But what is interesting, Mr. Speaker, is that I went on a television
station in Denver, I think it was yesterday morning, as a matter of
fact, and did just a 2- or 3-minute explanation of this issue, and as I
was leaving, a young man came up to me who was evidently a staff person
there, who had on a little microphone thing and earphones. He came up
to me as I was leaving and he spoke with a bit of an accent, and he
said to me, Congressman, I want to tell you that I absolutely agree
with you, 100 percent agree with you. You know what I had to go through
to get here legally, and I just got my papers a little bit ago.
And I thought this guy speaks for millions of people who do not get
publicized by the Denver Post. His picture will not be on the front of
the Denver Post. He did it the right way. But there are millions of
people out there who recognize the injustice here, the unfairness of a
system that in fact sets up these huge barriers and tells people that
if they come to the United States and they want to be a citizen, here
is what they have got to do. It is a very heavy responsibility, and
here are all of the things that one must do to become a citizen and
here are all the papers one has to fill out to become a citizen, and we
will have to wait for years and we will go through processes, and one
might have to go to court and might have to spend thousands and
thousands of dollars to become a citizen, to come here legally; and yet
people do it. While at the same time, the same government turns a blind
eye to all of the folks coming across that border at their will?
Am I the only person who sees the injustice here, the unfairness of
it? I guarantee I am not because I guarantee, Mr. Speaker, that we have
heard from thousands of people in my office over the course of time who
feel exactly the same way, and I know there are millions of people out
there who also feel the same way. But we ignore it; we pretend it does
not exist because there are all kinds of political pressures here. The
Democratic Party does not want to deal with this issue because they
know it means votes and the more folks they can bring in here, legally
or illegally, the more folks will eventually end up in the camp of the
Democratic Party. That is their experience; that is what they believe.
On the other hand, the Republican Party is loath to discuss this
issue because there are of course workers, laborers who come here and
compete for jobs and therefore keep wages low; and so as long as we can
ensure the flow of low-skilled, low-wage workers, we will have the
Denver Post and certainly the New York Times and the Wall Street
Journal pressing for more and more immigration, both legal and illegal.
We have the administration that wants to make it a wedge issue in the
next election; and, Mr. Speaker, even though we have gone through all
of the debates in this body in the last several months over things like
amnesty for people who are here illegally and we have been able to stop
it from happening, I assure that after this next election when things
quiet down and we have 2 more years before we have to face our
electorate, there will be another push to provide amnesty for people
who are here illegally and to essentially open the borders.
Here is what I suggest that we all do. I suggest that we have a
larger debate on the topic of borders: whether or not they should
exist, whether or not we should have them. What is the purpose? What
purpose do borders serve? Are they anachronisms as some of our
colleagues would suggest? Are they simply impediments to the free flow
of goods and services? Or are they meaningful? Do they distinguish
nation states? Do they indicate and actually give as an example what
sovereignty is all about?
I think borders are important, but I may be in the minority, Mr.
Speaker. Maybe a majority of the people in this House and the President
of the United States believe that borders are of no significance. That
could be. If that is the case and my side of this debate comes up short
of the votes to sustain our position, so be it. That is the Nation in
which we live. That is the democracy we all here take an oath to
support. But let us at least have a debate. Let us at least have the
bill. I want to see people go on record. I want to see people stand up
and make a vote as to whether or not they want borders or they do not.
Because, Mr. Speaker, if we have them, if we decide to have them, then
that means something. It means they have to have integrity. It means
they have to be defended and not in the halfway measures that we are
presently doing, not just putting some folks down on the border putting
their lives in peril as we are doing.
One young man a little over a month ago, Kris Eggle, 28 years old, a
park ranger in Arizona, Organ Pipe Cactus National Park. Mr. Eggle and
a border patrol agent interdicted a couple of people coming across the
border from Mexico who had just killed four people in Mexico as a
result of some drug war-type of thing. And Mr. Eggle got out of his car
to go over and stop these people to put them under arrest. They got out
of their car with automatic weapons and killed him. Mr. Eggle's face
has not appeared on any newspaper that I know of, and his story has not
been told by any major newspaper of which I am aware, but he died in
the line of service to this country. He died because we told him to go
down there along with his comrades in the border patrol and the custom
agents and the U.S. Forest Service. We told him to protect our borders,
protect the sovereignty of the Nation. But, Mr. Speaker, we do not
believe in that war. We sacrificed Kris Eggle. And 2 weeks ago, two FBI
agents were dragged across the border into Mexico and beaten almost to
death with rocks. They are now in a hospital in Texas, both of whom, as
I understand, in critical condition in a coma.
Their faces have not appeared on any major newspapers that I have
seen. The story has not been told. May 27, a Mexican vehicle from the
Mexican Army, a Mexican Humvee comes across into the United States, is
confronted by a border patrol agent and is fired upon by Mexican
military. The bullet goes through the rear window of the vehicle and
ricochets off the metal screen that separates the cab and the back and
goes out the right window.
A foreign power, the military of a military power comes into the
United States, and what they are doing, frankly, is protecting drug
shipments. Many of the people on that border, many of the Mexican
military and Mexican police are actually working for the drug cartels
and protecting drug shipments into the United States.
On the northern border, we have drug shipments coming across in huge
proportions. There are cartels up there that are run by Muslim
individuals. There are 25,000 Muslims living in Calgary, Canada. A
portion of them are involved with a drug trade into the United States,
according to Mr. Hutchinson, our drug czar. A portion are involved with
smuggling drugs into the United States, mostly methamphetamine
components, which are cooked down here, sold down here, the funds go
back up there, and they support terrorist activities throughout the
Both of our borders are places of warfare. The Denver Post and
newspapers all over this land want to portray the face of illegal
immigration as the Apodaca family, benign, good citizens, sympathetic
in every respect. That is what they want Americans to believe is the
face of illegal immigration. But the face of illegal immigration on the
borders is something much uglier. It is the face of murder, of rape, of
robbery, of drug cartels, drug smuggling, and of people coming into
this country for the purpose of doing us great harm, terrorist
infiltration. Go to the southern borders and the northern borders, see
what I have seen. Look in the faces of the Border Patrol who know that
they have been asked to hold back a flood, and have been given a sieve.
They know that their lives are in danger, and we do not give them any
We do not really want to close those borders because it would mean
the end of the flow of cheap labor, and the end of the flow of
potential voters for the Democratic Party. How vile the motive. That is
why we do not do it.
If people cared about these folks, if people really cared about the
safety and security of even the people coming across illegally, they
would stand with
me to try and stop that illegal immigration. It is a dangerous thing
for these folks. They hire people, called coyotes, who bring them up to
the United States, and sneak them in. Often the women are raped, the
men are robbed and they are pushed into the United States into some
desert area where they perish. Hundreds have perished. They are abused
on the way, they are abused when they get to the border, and they are
abused many times by unscrupulous employers in the United States who
take advantage of them. Knowing that they are here illegally, they will
pay them less, and not give them the benefits that they deserve, and
they are cast aside.
If we cared about them, we would do something about our borders and
we would do something about our immigration policy. We would create a
guest worker program that would allow people to come into the United
States legally to take the jobs that, quote, no one else will take,
which we have heard and which I will challenge. If there are such jobs,
fine. There are ways in which people can come into this country
legally, that their rights can be protected. They do not have to hire
coyotes. They do not have to come up here and be abused by employers.
We can tell who they are, how long they are here, who they are working
for, and when they return. But no, that program will not be adopted. I
have a bill for that purpose. It will not be heard because it is
easier, of course, to simply ignore the folks coming across illegally.
It is easier to hire them. People do not have to go through all of
the paperwork. Just open your door and say where is your green card,
where is your work permit, and those things are purchasable at just
about any flea market in America. You can buy your Social Security card
and any other kind of identification you want. So employers would just
as soon not have that kind of burden.
Of course as I have stated already, there are a lot of people here
who want to simply abolish the borders. If we have a true guest worker
program, then you need borders. Borders mean something then because
then you are distinguishing who can come across them and who cannot.
But if you do not want borders, then why would you want a guest worker
program. You would not. What you want is to allow as many people as
possible into the country, then chip away at every single law in
the country that distinguishes someone as a citizen, that confers some
right on them as a citizen. There are municipalities in this Nation, in
this city, as a matter of fact, that are pushing for voting privileges
for people here illegally.
Okay, as I say, Mr. Speaker, if that is where we are going, fine.
Just make a decision. Make a conscious decision as to the direction
this Nation is going. Abandon the borders or protect them. That is
really and truly the choice we have. As long as we ignore it and as
long as we maintain this half-baked posture, we are abandoning them.
That is exactly what is happening. We are doing that, I think, to our
I have a dear friend by the name of Hugh Fowler. Hugh and Shirley
Fowler have been friends of ours for 30 years or more. They gave me a
great book. It is called ``Crowded Land of Liberty'' by Dirk Chase
Elderidge, and I certainly recommend it to anyone. It talks about the
impact of massive immigration.
There are all kinds of ramifications, as I mentioned, Mr. Speaker.
Certainly just in terms of the numbers, the growth in our population,
and everyone wonders how it is in Colorado we have this huge number of
people coming into the State every year. Growth has gone wild. We are
building highways and schools and hospitals. California has to build a
school a day to keep up with the numbers. Where are they coming from?
Is this the natural birth rate of the country? No, of course not. Our
natural birth rate is almost replenishment level. It is almost 2.1. The
increase in population in this country is as a result of immigration.
Immigrants coming in, immigrants having children. That is the
population increase. There are ramifications. Crowded conditions,
crowded public lands. Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone, which
you cannot get to any more. You have to wait in long lines. Pretty soon
you will have to have reservations to go to scenic spots in America,
and there are not that many scenic spots left any more because houses
are popping up where there once was pristine grasslands. This is
happening because of population pressure, population growth. Where is
it coming from? It is coming from immigration.
Now, it could be okay. That may be absolutely all right with
everybody, but it should be a condition that we establish in this
country followed by an honest debate over a controversial issue.
Mr. Speaker, these are difficult issues. There is certainly no two
ways about it, and difficult for us to discuss and deal with. I just
want to say from a personal standpoint, it is good for us all to kind
of stand back once in a while and think about things that put
everything in perspective because we have a tendency for all of us to
get wrapped up in this stuff.
A little over a week ago my youngest son and his wife had a baby. My
daughter-in-law gave birth to a little boy named Gabriel. I went out to
California the Saturday before last to see him. When my son walked out
of the delivery room carrying him and handed him to me and I took him
in my arms, I thought, This does put the world in perspective. It is
for Gabriel and it is for Thomas, my oldest grandson, and for William,
his brother, that we do all of these things, that we try all of us, not
just Members of Congress, everyone I know, that is what we labor for.
It is the future. And it is for them, Mr. Speaker, that I do in fact
try to advance this issue. I believe it is an important one. I want to
leave them a country as good if not better than the one I grew up in.
That is why we labor here.
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