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

[Congressional Record: March 25, 2003 (House)]
[Page H2302-H2307]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                          ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 7, 2003, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to bring to the attention 
of the body another group of people that I would like to bring into 
what we are now calling the homeland heroes. These are folks whose 
daily lives confront them with incredible stresses and challenges far 
different than what their business had provided them with to begin 
  They started out ranching, and that is a difficult task in and of 
itself. But after generations in that particular industry and living in 
the same area on the border of Mexico, living in Arizona, many of the 
people who reside there are now living in what we can, I think, 
accurately describe as a war zone. Every week I have been bringing to 
the House the names and pictures of those people that I want to induct 
into this homeland heroes hall of fame, I guess is the way we will 
describe it.
  Tonight I want to talk about Rob and Sue Krentz, who own and operate 
a ranch located on the far southeastern corner of Arizona, about 12 
miles north of the U.S./Mexico border and 25 miles northeast of the 
city of Douglas. They are third-generation ranchers. This ranch has 
been in their family since 1907.
  Rob and Susie Krentz have three children they raised on that ranch. 
Their two sons, Andrew and Frank, attend New Mexico State University, 
and their daughter, Kyle, is a high school senior.
  The Krentz family story is similar in many ways to the experiences of 
hundreds of other ranchers in this border region. Yet to them and their 
children it is unique and it is personal and dreadful in the impact it 
has had on their lives and the future viability of their way of life as 
  Just one tiny statistic that begins to tell the story of what these 
folks face every single day. In the month of November, 2002, in the 
Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, which includes Cochise County, 
where this the Krentz ranch is located, the Border Patrol apprehended 
23,000 border crossers.
  That was in the month of November. It is anybody's guess as to how 
many people actually come across, but many, many people would suggest 
that the ratio is just about maybe one in five, and that is a very 
conservative estimate, that for every one person we apprehend on the 
border, at least five get through. Again, I think it is closer to one 
in ten, but I will accept even this

[[Page H2303]]

very, very conservative estimate, that for every one we get at the 
border apprehended, five go by them.
  This means that in just the month of November near this ranch and 
over their property, when we had 23,000 apprehended, using the 
conservative estimate of one to five, it meant that 115,000 people 
cross the border illegally, that same area. We are just talking about 
one little chunk of the border, the Tucson Sector.
  That means if we project that out over the course of a year that 
1,300,000 people come across that border in that sector. I guarantee 
that is a conservative estimate, but let us use it. One million three 
hundred thousand people coming across that border and coming across the 
lands of the people that live there, including the Krentz family.
  I had the opportunity to spend some time down there just a few weeks 
ago, and I can attest to the fact that on any given evening one can 
watch dozens and dozens of illegal aliens trespassing across the land. 
The Krentz family will call the Border Patrol to come and intercept 
them. Sometimes the Border Patrol will come; sometimes they will not.
  Mr. Krentz estimates that over the past 5 years his family has 
suffered a loss of at least $300,000 a year due to cut fences, stolen 
and damaged vehicles and farm equipment and damage to the rangeland 
itself. This is very, very delicate land. It is desert land. It is 
something that has to be conserved and protected; and when we have got 
1,300,000 coming across there every year, believe me, it is not being 
conserved and protected. It is being destroyed.
  The Krentz ranch has 1,000 head of cattle. The continual movement of 
people across that domain constantly disturbs the livestock, impacting 
their own value, and sometimes somethings happen that are even worse. 
In February of last year, for instance, a calf was butchered by illegal 
alien trespassers. Two men responsible were caught. They were tried. 
They were found guilty. They served a total of 51 days in jail. They 
were also ordered to pay $200 in restitution to the Krentz ranch. The 
Krentz ranch has not seen a cent of that money; and, of course, our 
best guess is they will not because these people have been released. 
They came back into the population either up here or have returned to 
  These losses that are estimated in the neighborhood of $300,000 
include damage and disease that comes into the water tanks and the 
waterlines on their ranch. The family and their employees cannot drink 
out of the water tanks any longer because of the disease that happens 
to be in the water on the land brought in by illegal alien trespassers 
and the damage done by purposeful, deliberate vandalism.
  The estimated value of the water that has been lost on their property 
to date is $4 million. In June of 2002, the Krentz brothers discovered 
two separate instances of damaged waterlines. Illegal aliens had broken 
the two-inch PBC waterline in order to get drinking water. The Krentz 
ranch waterline runs for 40 miles and is one of the best gravity-flow 
waterlines in the State of Arizona. Because of these two breaks in the 
long pipeline, several hundred thousand gallons of precious water were 
  The Krentz family continually has to deal with threats, physical 
threats, from illegal border crossers. Recently, a family member came 
upon a group of 39 trespassers and was threatened by them when he asked 
them to turn around and get off his land. He returned home, called the 
Border Patrol, and they did come and apprehend them. But we both know 
what happens is they put them into a revolving door near the border and 
in a few days or in a few hours many times they are coming right back 
across the border.
  The Krentz family members are not vigilantes. They do not try to 
apprehend illegal aliens by force. They do not carry arms for their own 
protection. They will always call the Border Patrol when they observe 
trespassers. They and the other ranchers are trying to follow the law 
and work with the Border Patrol, and all they want from their own 
government is to enforce the law as well as to protect them and their 
property, and that is what we owe them. I mean, they are only asking 
the minimum, protect their lives and property from people coming across 
that border, from this invasion.
  And there are no two ways about it. That is an appropriate word to 
use to describe what is happening on our southern border especially. It 
is an invasion, and they are asking their government to protect them 
from that invasion.
  I want to salute Rob and Susie Krentz, Phil and Carrie Krentz as 
homeland heroes who are bearing the brunt of an invasion of over a 
million illegal aliens crossing our southern border. We need to 
understand their plight. We have a moral obligation to do something 
about it.
  Now for the rest of my time I would like to talk about another aspect 
of the issue of illegal immigration, and we are going to be doing this 
for the next several weeks, going to be taking this issue and breaking 
it down into, I think, more understandable parts. We are going to be 
explaining its various aspects because I will assure the Members this 
is one of the most complex, this is one of the most challenging aspects 
of domestic policy. It has ramifications that go on and on and on. They 
will affect every aspect of our life.

  Massive immigration into this country, as I have said on many 
occasions, combined with a pernicious multiculturalist attitude and 
philosophy in this country is a cocktail mix of dangerous components. 
The one component we are going to talk about tonight, the one part of 
this picture that we are going to focus on this evening is the issue of 
our national security, the threat that exists to the United States of 
America as a result of the fact that our borders are porous and that 
people can and do cross them at will.
  There was a time that the United States of America could be seen as 
somewhat naive, and because we were protected by two oceans we felt 
that the world was a place of general safety for us and that we really 
did not have to be too concerned about borders. There was always 
illegal immigration into the United States. That has certainly been the 
case, but it never reached a level that posed a threat to the Nation's 
  It now has reached that level, not just, as I say, because of the 
fact that we have far more people coming across these borders than ever 
before in the Nation's history and into our ports and into our 
airports, people who come here legally but then overstay their visas, 
which comprise about 40 percent of the maybe 13 to 20 million people in 
this country here who are here illegally, but the southern border 
alone, as I mentioned earlier, is a place of enormous illegal 
immigration. The numbers are just staggering.
  What is very, very worrisome is that in the last several years there 
has not just been an increase in the number of Mexican nationals coming 
across the border, but there has been an alarming number of people who 
are classified as OTM. This is ``other than Mexican'' coming across our 
border, coming from all over the world. This phenomenon has been 
observed and has been noted by the Border Patrol, and they have talked 
about it. They have indicated that there is a change going on and that 
this is a strange situation because, all of a sudden, through that 
southern border and our northern border with Canada, we are seeing 
people come from many Middle Eastern countries, from Asian countries, 
many from South America, specifically from a place called the tri-
border region.
  Let me tell the Members about this. The tri-border region is an area 
that is really the borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, and 
there is a very large group of Muslims in that area, a very large 
Muslim population in that area.

                              {time}  2000

  Over the last decade or so, without much attention being paid to it, 
there has been an enormous increase in the number of Muslims living in 
South America, and even in Canada. Many of them, in the millions, live 
in this tri-border area. It has become a place through which now we are 
seeing a great number of people transiting from Middle Eastern 
countries into Brazil, getting Brazilian documents, then coming north 
into the United States through Mexico.
  When we intercept them, we chalk them down as Brazilian. But we are

[[Page H2304]]

finding that they are not really Brazilian. For the most part, they are 
Middle Easterners coming from places throughout the Middle East. Brazil 
is a very eclectic country. It is a place where it is difficult to look 
at someone and say, you are from Brazil. It is not that easy. So people 
who are Middle Eastern can easily be characterized as Brazilian, 
especially if they are carrying Brazilian passports and Brazilian 
  But we have had this enormous increase in the last couple of years, 
it goes off the charts, of Brazilians intercepted at the boarders. It 
is up in the thousands.
  Our Border Patrol people are saying, what is this all about? How come 
we are seeing so many people from this area? It is because that is the 
area that actually provides the funnel from the Middle East through 
South America up into the United States across the Mexican border.
  As a matter of fact, there is a statement that I think is certainly 
worthy of us spending a few minutes on here. Here is the quote. It 
comes from the National Commission on Terrorism established in the year 
2000: ``The massive flows of people across the U.S. borders makes 
exclusion of all foreign terrorists impossible.''
  Now, this is not an amazing quote, not a very profound quote, but 
something we should pay attention to. This was a commission established 
to look into the issue of terrorism. What they are essentially saying 
is, because so many millions of people are coming across our borders 
illegally, that we cannot possibly hope to defend ourselves from 
terrorists coming into the United States.
  Is that not an incredible statement, when you think of it? On the one 
hand, it is completely logical. It is certainly truthful, we all know 
that is true, because the ``massive flows of people across the U.S. 
borders,'' this makes the exclusion of all foreign terrorists 
impossible. ``Duh,'' as the kids say, sure that is the case.
  What are we going to do about it? What kind of a challenge does this 
pose to us? This is 2000. This is before 9/11, remember. So, this 
particular statement, along with the entire commission report, as far 
as I know, was tossed into File 13, because no one wants to hear this. 
No one wants to deal with this.
  No one in this body, no one in the administration, really wants to 
tackle this issue, because, you see, they know that if you try to stop 
people from coming across that border, if we actually try to defend our 
borders with our military, which is absolutely necessary, which any 
country on the face of this Earth would do in these circumstances, any 
sane policy would tell us that if you are going to be fighting wars 
halfway around the world and you are doing it today with the new kind 
of threat we face, that it is not just the war on the battlefields of 
Iraq that we have to be worried about; it is also the United States of 
America, the homeland; and just creating a Department of Homeland 
Defense does not in fact create a defense of the homeland.
  It may create the illusion of a defense by the name, but that is it. 
Because there is no way that that department, funded at the levels that 
are anticipated, could possibly deal with this one statement, ``the 
massive flows across the United States border makes it impossible to 
exclude terrorists.''
  They could not deal with it. They need technology. We need the 
military. We need the military on the border. Maybe at some time in the 
future we will have a homeland defense agency that is so competent, so 
technically advanced, using the best kind of monitoring devices and 
cameras, and even the low-tech stuff of things called walls and fences; 
yes, fences. You know, we actually can employ that low-tech type of 
device to stop a lot of what is happening here.
  But we will not even do that, and the reason is because we do not 
want to stop illegal immigration. That is the dirtiest little secret 
that passes around this place periodically: We do not wish to stop 
illegal immigration. That is this government's policy. It is to allow 
that flow, for a variety of reasons.
  On one side we have a political party, the Democratic Party, that 
sees that flow as a source of support for their political party, that 
eventually those people will turn into supporters of the Democratic 
Party, as tradition has certainly proven, that immigrants into the 
United States, at least for a generation maybe or so, tend to vote 
Democratic. So the Democratic Party sees that as a source of support.

  They also, of course, have to cater to a very strong minority group 
within their own party who wants open borders, who wants illegal 
  On our side, unfortunately, we have a problem also, because there are 
a lot of people who look at illegal immigration as a source of cheap 
labor. I certainly hear from a lot of folks who tell me all the time 
that they would not be able to open their business, their dry cleaning 
establishment, their restaurant, their hotel, unless they had illegal 
aliens working for them.
  This is amazing. Today, in the Denver paper I was reading, flying out 
here from home, it talked about a job fair, a job fair held in Denver 
over the weekend. Something like 6,000 people attended. There were 
maybe 400 jobs available. Six thousand people attended, maybe 400 jobs 
  But I hear from people all the time that tell me they simply cannot 
hire any ``American willing to do the work.'' I have a neighbor who has 
been unemployed for over a year. He was at first employed in the high-
tech industry, very, very competent individual, very significant job 
with a very good salary. He has been unemployed. That industry, 
everybody knows what is happening to it. He is right now doing data 
entry work and driving a limo to try to keep food on the table and a 
roof over their heads. I hear all the time that we do not have 
Americans who will do these jobs, these other jobs.
  There was another article in the paper not too long ago in Denver 
that talked about the fact that one restaurant, the Luna Restaurant, a 
Mexican restaurant on 38th and about Lowell, put an ad in the paper for 
a $3-an-hour waiter position. They had 600 applicants the first day for 
that one job. Six hundred applicants for one job at $3 an hour. Are all 
600 of those applicants illegal aliens? I do not think so.
  I think there are a lot of American citizens who want those jobs. I 
think right now American citizens are in competition with those people 
coming in across the border, but in fact employers want to pay people 
less. That is natural. Unfortunately, many employers want to exploit 
their employees. We see accounts of this happening all the time. So, 
they want illegal immigration, they want porous borders. They do not 
want anybody stopping their flow, even if this means that it is 
something that could pose a danger to this country, and it does pose a 
danger to the Nation.
  It is a very immediate danger, because, you see, when you cannot 
distinguish at the border, which no one can do, nobody has shown me a 
way today to distinguish between that illegal immigrant coming in who 
is just coming to do the job no one else wants to do, who wants to be a 
restaurant worker or whatever, noone can distinguish just looking at 
these people, of course, what they are coming for. You can't say, 
``that one looks like he is just looking for a job, but that one over 
there, they look like they might be coming to do something bad.''
  You cannot tell. You have to secure the borders and have everybody 
coming into this country legally through a process that allows us to 
identify them, find out what they are coming in for, how long they are 
going to be here and for what purpose, and find out when they leave. 
You need internal enforcement in the United States of our immigration 
laws to make this thing work.
  So it is not just the border where we need to have the military, but 
we have to have the INS using its resources inside the country to 
identify people who are here illegally and remove them.
  I absolutely do not want us, I am not asking for, we never have 
proposed, using the military for interior enforcement of law. There is 
a law against that. It is sometimes referred to as the Posse Comitatus 
Act of 1878. That is not what I am talking about.
  I am talking about using the military to augment our homeland defense 
forces on our borders, at our ports of entry, at our coasts, until that 
Homeland Defense Agency is ready to take on that job itself.
  We can do it. We do not have to have people strung out arm-in-arm 

[[Page H2305]]

5,000 miles of border. That is not what we are talking about. It would 
take relatively few people but people who are trained and have the 
technology. That is what the military offers us, training and 
technology, which can be employed for that purpose.
  Yes, people say to me all the time, we have got this war going on in 
Iraq, and are you saying you would use troops on the border? I say, 
yes. Yes, I would use troops on the border. Because, of course, we only 
make life more dangerous for everybody. There is not a soul who does 
not think life is more dangerous for the average American as a result 
of us going to war in Iraq, at least at the outset of this thing.
  I pray to God that our efforts in Iraq will be successful. I hope 
they are successful immediately. I do not want to see another person 
hurt or injured. I certainly do not want to see an American soldier in 
that situation. I want them home as quickly as possible. They are 
fighting a just war. We have to win it. I hope we win it soon. Then I 
do believe the world will be safer.

  But I know this: That the threat of terrorism will increase as a 
result of our efforts in Iraq. Even our own government admits that. We 
went to a heightened state of the alert status immediately upon going 
to war. Everybody knows that is the case. Everybody knows it is more 
dangerous right now.
  So, yes, I would say use troops on our border, because in fact that 
is our first line of defense. That is exactly where we should be 
employing some of our military assets.
  We do not need many. We do not need hundreds of thousands of troops. 
I was on the border, the northern border, observing an operation that 
used 100 Marines to control 100 miles. That was the test, 100 Marines, 
100 miles. And do you know what? When you combine their efforts with 
the Border Patrol and the Forest Service personnel on that border, it 
  I saw them interdict people coming across that border on ATVs, all 
terrain vehicles, and people flying small planes across the border. 
Believe me, they would have gone unnoticed. It is the most rugged 
terrain you have seen up on the northern border, in this case just a 
few miles north of Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
  We can do it. Let us extrapolate here tonight and say 100 Marines, 
100 miles. You have 5,000 miles, you employ 5,000 troops. It would be 
more difficult than that, I recognize, but it would not be that much 
more difficult, and it would not take that many more troops.
  If nothing else, we can train them there. Our troops have to be 
trained somewhere. The Marines told me that that was the best training 
experience they have ever had. I was told that by the Marine commander 
of the unit that that was the best training they had ever had, because 
it was real time, they were trying to stop real bad guys coming across 
that border, and it was the most rugged terrain you could possibly 
imagine. So, if nothing else, we should be training on the border.
  It could serve two purposes: The training of our troops and also the 
interdiction of people coming across this border illegally.

                              {time}  2015

  Let us go to some of the specific instances that we have witnessed 
here in the recent past. Here is an interesting one. Wadih El Hage, he 
was arrested in the Saguaro National Park for possession of an 
automatic weapon, an AK-47 rifle. He was using this AK-47 for target 
practice. On September 15, 1998, Wadih testified before a Federal grand 
jury which was investigating the bombings of the American embassies in 
Nairobi, Dar es Salaam. Several days later, he was charged with 
perjury. On October 7, he was indicted in connection with the embassy 
bombings. He was subsequently convicted for both offenses and is now 
serving a life sentence.
  Now, what happened? How they got him is that he was observed and 
arrested after he had just come across the border; he was observed in 
the national park by a park ranger. He was testifying, Wadih was 
testifying at this trial in September and he was saying that he has 
never fired a weapon, he has no arms, he does not know why he was being 
harassed. A Border Patrol agent came across this guy's picture and he 
said, you know what? I remember that guy. I remember arresting him not 
too long ago in the Saguaro National Park. And you know what? He was 
practicing with an AK-47. So that testimony ended up, the testimony and 
evidence provided by the Border Patrol ended up with this conviction 
for perjury in September; and later they were able to connect this 
gentleman to the embassy bombings.
  Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a 23-year-old Palestinian, 1996 arrested 
twice within 6 days for crossing over the Canadian border illegally. 
Both times turned over to the INS who released him back across the 
border and, of course, the revolving door, he came right back down. In 
1997 he was arrested a third time coming across the border illegally, 
and later arrested in New York in a plot to blow up the New York 
  This guy, talk about a lucky catch, my colleagues may remember 
something about him. Ahmed Rassem, December 1999, Ahmed Rassem was 
arrested with 1,000 pounds of explosives and four timers, the timers 
are right here in the picture at the bottom. He was arrested at the 
Olympic National Park, Washington. He chose Port Angeles because of the 
lack of technology and the manpower there. He was convicted of 
participating in a plot to blow up Los Angeles Airport on New Year's 
Eve, 1999. Now, these are three we got.
  Remember what I said earlier that for everybody we actually find, 
actually interdict at the border, for every one of them, at least five 
people get across. Now, let me tell my colleagues, those are folks who 
get across and they are the most unsophisticated and perhaps unskilled 
in the manners and mechanisms that could be employed to come across the 
border. These are folks, many of them, that are just simply looking for 
the jobs that are available. They get by on a ratio of 5 to 1. Can we 
imagine how much more, what the ratio is, I should say, for people who 
are a little more sophisticated in the smuggling business? How many 
more Ahmed Rassems got through?
  We know that the Center for Immigration Studies has indicated that we 
have 115,000 illegal immigrants from various Middle Eastern nations who 
are currently residing in the United States, as many as 115,000 from 
Middle Eastern nations. Day after day after day we are confronted by 
news stories of very scary folks coming across the border, sometimes 
doing very scary things.
  This is an interesting article. This was in the Tucson paper not too 
long ago. An Arizona couple has discovered a diary written in Arabic in 
a backpack apparently dropped on their property by an illegal alien 
entering the United States, reports the Sierra Vista Herald Review. 
According to the report, Walter Kolbe, he owns a ranch down there, was 
chasing some wild animals away from his home last week when he stumbled 
upon the backpack. Not an unusual occurrence on his property, since it 
is a path used routinely by illegal aliens coming from Mexico. He 
brought it home, but did not immediately open the backpack. After going 
away for a weekend, Kolbe's wife, May, looked into the backpack and 
discovered the diary. He says, I found it about a hundred yards from 
the house near a barbed wire fence. I was just going to throw it in the 
trash. According to Mr. Kolbe and, by the way, his brother serves in 
the House of Representatives here from Arizona, most of the writing was 
in Arabic, though there was some Spanish writing as well.
  When I was down on that border in that same area, I came across a lot 
of material in what are called pickup sites. What these are are places 
where a large number of people will gather after walking into the 
United States illegally, they will gather, and it is near a road 
always, sometimes a dirt road, sometimes a paved road, and they will 
await transportation northward. It is all arranged, it is taken care 
of, because now this has turned into a very big business. And the 
people who used to be selective and only were involved with 
the importation of drugs are now importing people because it has become 
very lucrative. And in these pickup sites, as I say, there will be 
thousands of people gathered and there is trash strewn everywhere, lots 
and lots of backpacks, as is evidenced here, and lots of materials 
laying all over the ground.

  Not too long ago in this same area we found a prayer rug, a rug that 
is used

[[Page H2306]]

by Muslims to conduct prayer ceremonies. It was found, by the way, at 
one of these pickup sites. There are all kinds of instances where we 
have found Arabic materials, Arabic passports, Arabic papers, 
accoutrements in these pickup sites.
  Now, there is a road not too far from Douglas, Arizona, that is 
referred to by the locals in the area as the Arab Road. And when you 
ask them, what do you mean by that, they say, well, because the Arabs 
are willing to pay so much more to come into the United States, up to 
$30,000 per person, that they are sometimes transported separately. 
They will not come in through the same pipeline as the Mexican 
nationals. Some of these, the high-paying folks, they will be brought 
across a different area, brought in a little nicer, like going first 
class. They pay a little more so that they can come in with a little 
less possibility of heat exhaustion or dropping dead in the desert from 
exposure because they will pay, as I say, a lot more money. But they 
are coming into the United States with purposes that we know are the 
most diabolical, to do something here that threatens our safety. They 
are coming across the border because it is the easiest way to get into 
the United States if you want to do something bad, because our borders 
are undefended. They are unprotected. It is incredible. Certainly it is 
something to go down in future history books. I just hope that those 
chapters will not be titled something like ``The Last Days of the 
American Experience.''
  I see I am joined tonight on the floor by a friend, a member of our 
caucus who has been a champion, is the best way I can describe it, ever 
since I came to the Congress of the United States and have been pushing 
this issue. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) preceded me here 
and certainly was laboring in this vineyard before I ever got here and 
continues to offer his observations, which I invite him to share with 
us this evening.
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado 
for his focus on this issue, for bringing it to the attention of this 
Congress, for bringing it to the attention of America. He has made many 
trips and seen firsthand the huge problem that exists on our border, 
the huge danger that it poses for all of us in the United States. He 
has been the head of the Immigration Reform Caucus; and he is 
awakening, I believe, in many of us the need to take action and to do 
more than we have done.
  We have one piece of legislation before this Congress, H.R. 277, in 
addition to a number of other measures, aimed at stopping or curtailing 
immigration. But H.R. 277 would authorize the utilization of U.S. 
forces on our borders. We have troops on the borders now, but they are 
not United States troops. Troops from Mexico frequently come to the 
border and have various activity and occurrences there, but they are 
not our troops.
  The focus of the 107th Congress in large part was on homeland 
security. A big focus of this, the 108th Congress, is homeland 
security. On the Committee on Appropriations we have a subcommittee 
devoted to appropriations matters related to homeland security. They 
are going to be in charge of billions of dollars. Working with the 
executive branch and the other body, they will craft a budget for that 
Department; and I can tell my colleagues when it is voted on here on 
the floor, it will contain, as I said, billions upon billions of 
  But spending a huge sum of money in and of itself will not guarantee 
us homeland security. There may not be anything that can guarantee us 
100 percent safety in the United States of America, but I will tell my 
colleagues one thing that can significantly enhance our homeland 
security, and that is having a troop presence on our southern border 
and on our northern border.
  We had a discussion in the 107th Congress on an amendment for troops 
on the border on the defense authorization measure. It passed the 
House. We debated that issue. A fear was voiced that the troops might 
shoot someone; and, in fact, years ago, that occurred, and that has 
some persons upset. But if we want a lifesaver, I would submit having 
troops on the border will be a lifesaver. Hundreds die every year 
trying to cross the border. Some suffocate, a few drown, others are 
lost, and some just die in the hot desert sun. Troops on the border 
would save those lives. We need a lifesaving position, and that is 
having troops on our borders.

                              {time}  2030

  In World War II, prior to World War II, there was a book that 
received considerable attention after World War II. That was entitled 
``Why England Slept.'' America is asleep today by not positioning and 
having troops on our borders. They are too porous.
  I was handed some information that appeared in Newsweek where the 
mastermind of the September 11 occurrence discussed bringing operatives 
through the Mexican borders. He indicated that officials were concerned 
that the United States remains dangerously unprepared for terrorist 
attacks on several fronts. The easiest way for them to come in would be 
across our porous northern and southern borders.
  If we are to get a handle on illegal immigration and if we are to 
prevent a situation which has millions of illegals in this country, we 
must start with troops on the border, and by adopting other measures of 
the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus sponsored by the gentleman 
from Colorado and others.
  We also need to discourage those from coming to this country 
illegally. Under the laws of a number of States, illegals have the 
opportunity by one way or another of getting a driver's license. My 
home State of Virginia this year adopted legislation to prohibit those 
in the country illegally from having a Virginia operator's license.
  They also adopted legislation, and I was proud of this because this 
is a discouragement to illegals from entering the country, they adopted 
legislation to say that they could not get an in-state tuition rate at 
our community college system if they were here illegally. I would 
suggest that they should not even be at the community college system. 
However, the debate was over whether we should give someone in this 
country who either came across the border through no checks or 
overstayed their visas and were undocumented an in-state tuition rate.
  What they were saying with a policy like that is if you were from the 
State of Maryland and you wanted to go to Northern Virginia Community 
College, you had to pay one rate; but if you were here illegally and 
you happened to be in the State of Virginia, you got a lower rate. That 
is the type of encouragement for illegal immigration we need to do away 
with in this country.
  Another thing we cannot do again that we did in the past was adopt 
another amnesty. Millions that come across the border say, you know 
what, if I can make it across and not drown, if I can make it across 
and not die in the hot desert sun, and stay in America a few years and 
have an employer, I can get amnesty.
  We need to send the message loud and clear, if you are here 
illegally, you are not going to get amnesty, not now and not in the 
future. If we adopt that forthright position, we will not have between 
9 million and 11 million persons in this country illegally.
  I will never forget a few months ago standing on the steps of the 
Cannon Office Building. There was a gentleman there. He had a son that 
was killed on September 11 at the World Trade Center. He said, if I had 
to pick out a fact that I think contributed a great deal to what 
happened to my son, it was the massive illegal immigration in the 
United States. He said, those 19 terrorists that were here on September 
11, all illegal, they were swimming in a sea of illegal immigration. 
How could the officials ferret out 19 out of the millions and millions 
that are here that are not supposed to be in the United States of 
  He was right on the money. We need to stop illegal immigration, and 
we can do that by adopting some of the legislation sponsored by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) and others in the Congressional 
Immigration Reform Caucus, and we need to put troops on the border 
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. He brings up an 
incident I recall well, and I am glad he did bring it to our attention. 
It was a very emotional time when the father of some young man that was 
lost in the

[[Page H2307]]

World Trade Center did in fact say exactly that, that those people were 
allowed to be in the United States because they were able to swim in 
this sea of illegal immigration and they were undetectable.
  This is why when people talk to us about immigration, and we often 
have people respond when we start talking about the national security 
issues. I have been in Mexico and have had Members of the Mexican 
Government say, you know, none of those people were Mexican that 
committed those crimes. Of course not. It is the fact that we are only 
as strong as our weakest link. If we cannot control our borders because 
we are trying to let illegal immigrants come across from Mexico who are 
not trying to do anything really bad to us, we cannot possibly hope to 
protect ourselves from those who are trying to do something bad. That 
is the point here. That is why we are talking about this as a national 
security issue.
  My friend, the gentleman from Virginia, mentioned this Newsweek 
article. He has learned that 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed told 
interrogators that he discussed bringing operatives through the Mexican 
border. They worry about these people coming across, suicide bombings 
at soft targets like malls, public transportation.
  Another worry, of course, is that a terrorist could acquire shoulder-
fired missiles and shoot them at passenger planes. Of course, any 
number of horrendous things could happen. Our minds could run wild on 
all the things that could happen in this country because we are an open 
and free society. We do not want to change that.
  The best way to avoid having an overreaction in the United States and 
trying to pass laws that we worry about in terms of what we will do to 
civil liberties, as Members know, we get lots of mail on the PATRIOT 
Act, and whatever kind of legislation that may be being formulated here 
as an addition to the PATRIOT Act. There are concerns, and concerns I 
share, about overreaching government activity. But one way to avoid 
that, Mr. Speaker, is to protect our borders. It is to stop, to the 
extent humanly possible, them from getting here to begin with.
  Maybe we will not be able to make it absolutely secure. No, in fact, 
I know we cannot. Even if we do all the things I and the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Goode) and other Members of the Congressional Immigration 
Reform Caucus are suggesting, we cannot make it perfect; but it is our 
best effort we are supposed to exert here in this Congress. That is the 
best we can do.
  If we have something happen even after we have done it all, we can at 
least say we have tried everything. That is our responsibility. We 
cannot continue to ignore the existence of this threat to our very 
  Other recent news, the Nation's biggest commercial nuclear power 
facility faces a possible terrorist threat. It just came out. Energy 
Secretary Spencer Abraham said Thursday, he told the Senate Committee 
on Armed Services that terrorists may have targeted the Palo Verde 
Nuclear Plant in Arizona. He said he would not go into details about 
intelligence reports concerning the plans that may include an attack on 
the plant.
  The Washington Times reported Thursday that terrorists have targeted 
the Arizona plant, and security officials are looking for Iraqi 
government sleeper cells that might carry out the attack. The threat to 
the facility came from sensitive information indicating the plant was 
targeted by Middle Eastern terrorists who were not further identified.
  Earlier this week on our Florida coast, a Cuban Coast Guard vessel 
slipped in, it was a military vessel, got into Key West without ever 
being detected. These things go on and on.
  In Miami, U.S. authorities made a fresh and urgent call for public 
help yesterday to find a Saudi-born man who could pose what they termed 
a very, very serious threat as part of an al Qaeda plot against the 
United States. Stepping up their search with an appeal to the U.S. 
Muslim community for information, the FBI said Adnan El Shukrijumah was 
a friend of a man now serving prison time for plotting to blow up a 
Florida power plant. The agency said that this individual is not 
charged with a crime but is being sought for questioning, involved with 
al Qaeda activities.
  Just a couple of days ago as Baghdad was being bombed, it was 
reported on Fox News and Sky News as well as Worldnet Daily that there 
was a search going on for six Iraqis in either northern Mexico or the 
U.S. Southwest. They were said to be carrying toxic materials requiring 
temperature control. That means they are either biological or 
radiological. Either way, they are ominous and dangerous. According to 
tips by undercover investigators, the search had been going on for 2 to 
3 days on the Mexican side, and now it is starting on the United States 
  We could go on through stories like this all night long. Long after I 
have run out of time to deliver those stories they could be available, 
because they are there. When we talk about immigration and immigration 
reform, we have to understand the importance of this concept.
  It is not just an issue of jobs; it is not just an issue of 
acculturation, of integration into the society, of balkanization of 
America. All of those things are disconcerting. It is not just an issue 
of American citizens who are out of work and being displaced by people 
coming here from foreign countries. All those things are serious 
  It is not just the issue of the amount of drugs coming across both 
borders and into our ports every single day. We talk about harmful 
substances and dangerous substances. Certainly the tons and tons and 
tons of drugs that are being brought in by illegal smugglers, by 
illegal aliens carrying things on their shoulders and backpacks, in 
those backpacks it could be 60 pounds of marijuana, sarin gas; it could 
be all kinds of very, very ugly things.
  All of those things are serious consequences, serious threats, I 
should say, serious issues. But we decided to start this series of 
discussions tonight with this one specific one of the danger to the 
country posed by porous borders because of the threat of terrorism that 
is so real.
  I hope and pray that we never have to stand on this floor and say, I 
told you so, I told you, unless we secure those borders, something 
horrible is going to happen. Somebody is going to waltz across them and 
do something very, very bad. Do Members know what is going to happen? 
Not only are we going to be rushing to the borders to try and do 
something, but we are going to be overreacting, probably, internally. 
There are going to be threats to civil liberties that will develop as a 
result of some incident that occurs in this country.
  I hate to think about this, and I hope and pray I am absolutely wrong 
in this prediction, but it is certainly not out of the question to 
suggest that this could happen. We are told by Homeland Security 
Director Ridge and everybody else in positions of authority to expect 
such a thing, to expect an event. Well, at least if this event occurs, 
let us at least be able to turn to our constituents and say, we have 
tried everything we can do. We have committed to you, when we have 
asked you for a vote and you have asked us to adhere to the 
Constitution and uphold that Constitution, we have tried to do that. 
The part of the Constitution that specifically refers to the protection 
of life and property, we have tried to do it. That is what I want to be 
able to say. We cannot ensure perfect security and safety, but we can 
try our best. That is the least we can do is the best that we can do, 
and we are not anywhere near it, I am sorry to say.