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[Congressional Record: April 7, 2003 (House)]
[Page H2838-H2839]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                              ADAMS FAMILY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Madam Speaker, it was a little over a year ago that I 
had the opportunity to visit with a gentleman who was, at that time, 
the head of a ministry in the Vicente Fox government in Mexico. His 
name was Juan Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez was head of a new agency that 
was called the Ministry for Mexicans Living in the United States. It 
was interesting that that would be the name of any new governmental 
entity that had just been created, but that was it, a new agency, the 
Ministry for Mexicans Living in the United States.
  In the discussion we had, I found it interesting in that when I asked 
him specifically what was the purpose of such an agency, he said, well, 
it was to, first of all, increase the flow of Mexican nationals into 
the United States. I asked him for what purpose. He said essentially 
that in doing that the hope was, of the Mexican Government, that it 
would influence United States policy towards Mexico, because he wanted 
to have a large number of Mexican nationals living in the United 
States, but with political, economic, and cultural ties remaining to 
Mexico. So his job was split between encouraging the flow, on one hand, 
and then encouraging this connection on the other, a connection that 
would remain.
  We talked a little longer. There were two other Members of the 
Congress there with me that evening. He said something that I thought 
we were all kind of amazed at. He said, Congressman, it is not two 
countries, it is just a region.
  I know that he believed that, and many other people do. I think 
perhaps even people in this body may think of it that way: It is not 
really two countries, it is just a region where the border does not 
matter; it is inconsequential, and it is sometimes even problematic 
because it does restrict the free flow of people across that particular 
part of the country. There are folks who look at it in that way. 
Borders, they think, are anachronisms, not necessary, anymore; and 
after all, it was really just a region.
  What has happened as a result of this shift in philosophy, this shift 
in government philosophy in Mexico in particular, the push for people 
to come north? In the past, Mexico had treated people coming across the 
border with some disdain, and there was actually a derogatory term 
applied to people who left Mexico.
  But in the last 5 to 6 years, because of the importance of what Mr. 
Hernandez was described as trying to influence American foreign policy 
vis-a-vis Mexico, and also because of the importance that remittances 
play. Remittances is the amount of money made in the United States, or 
countries outside of Mexico, but sent back into Mexico to family 
members that now accounts for something over 30 percent of their gross 
domestic product. Therefore, of course, they are very interested in 
using America as a way of expanding that particular phenomenon. That is 
  On our side, we have, of course, abandoned the borders. We have made 
sort of an unwritten agreement with Mexico that we would not really do 
anything to significantly impede the flow of those people into the 
United States for our own reasons, some of it dealing with cheap labor 
and our demand for it; others because of the political consequences 
that arise as a result of a massive flow of people across the border 
into the United States who will sometimes themselves vote, even 
illegally, but eventually become voters after a period of time, or 
their children will after they have been born here and are citizens of 
the United States.
  But this has had an impact on certain folks. We do not hear anything 
about them. That is why I come just about every week with another 
individual, another person. Tonight I am going to talk a little bit 
about Frank Adams. Frank and his wife Barbara operate a small ranch of 
about 500 acres. It is about 3\1/2\ miles north of Douglas, Arizona.
  Here is a picture of Frank. They have lived on this ranch for about a 
half a century. They are only 3\1/2\ miles north of the border. Their 
daughter lives on that ranch with them, and they have two grown sons 
living in Texas. Their experience is not an awful lot different from 
many of the other ranchers on that border area who I have brought to 
the attention of the body in the past.

[[Page H2839]]

  Their lives have been completely turned upside down by this 
phenomenon, this elimination of the border, the fact that there is no 
longer a border, the ``It is not really two countries, it is just a 
region'' philosophy. Their lives have been turned upside down. Their 
ranches are being destroyed. They are being essentially driven out of 
their homes.
  I just wanted to bring Mr. Adams to the attention of the body as a 
homeland hero.