ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers

Home Page

Advanced search

Immigration Daily


RSS feed

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network


Chinese Immig. Daily


Connect to us

Make us Homepage



Immigration Daily


Chinese Immig. Daily

The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of free

Immigration LLC.

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

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

[Congressional Record: June 3, 2003 (House)]
[Page H4868-H4874]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Burgess). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) 
is recognized for 60 minutes.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I want to address the House tonight on an 
issue that I try often to bring to the attention of my colleagues and 
the Nation, and that is immigration and immigration reform, and I want 
tonight to induct another member into the famous ``hall of homeland 
heroes.'' This is an exercise that I have gone through several times, 
and we have identified quite a number of people who have experienced 
things that should come to the attention of this body and the Nation, 
because these folks and what has happened to them really and truly are 
extraordinary events and they are extraordinary activities with which 
they have been involved in trying essentially to keep their own land, 
raise their family, and do what every American has a right to do, but 
they do so under very severe circumstances.
  They do so in an area of the country that is very harsh, very 
challenging, and very unforgiving. The geography of the land, the 
climate of the land is in every way, shape and form severe. It is the 
southern deserts of the United States. It is the area in and around 
Cochise County, Arizona, and it is the area adjacent to our border with 
Mexico. All of these things make living in the area very, very 
  Of course the land has always been unforgiving. The environment has 
always been harsh, but only in the recent 5 or 10 years has the 
proximity to Mexico become also very problematic in terms of trying to 
run a business, trying to actually just live your life.
  Because they have had so many problems in this regard, and because so 
few people have paid attention to these problems, I have decided that 
one way to bring their plight to the attention of the Nation is to 
create this thing we call the ``homeland heroes'' and every once in 
awhile to come up here with another person that we are trying to induct 
into that ``hall of heroes.''
  Tonight it is Ruth Evelyn Cowan. Ruth Cowan is a fourth generation 
rancher who has been forced to move off of her land because of the 
dangers posed by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who cross her 
land every month and every year. Ruth Cowan and her husband own 16,000 
acres of ranchland located 45 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border 
north of Douglas, Arizona. They have about 400 head of cattle.
  Like many ranchers in the area, Ruth Cowan and her husband must work 
two jobs to make ends meet because the cost of operating a ranch often 
exceeds the income. Her husband works 130 miles away in Phoenix during 
the week. It is not safe for Ruth to live on her own ranch in her own 
home. She is very isolated. She has to live in Tombstone and drive to 
the ranch daily to supervise the operations.
  Each day she drives to the ranch, she must carry not only her cell 
phone, a two-way radio, a camera, marking tape and a flashlight, she 
always carries a pistol for self-protection.
  To some liberal church groups in the Tucson area, this makes her a 
vigilante. It also would make her a vigilante to some of the more 
liberal publications that emanate out of the East Coast, publications 
that employ writers to talk about this issue, writers who have never 
set foot in the desert, do not have the slightest idea what it is like 
to live in this area and yet take great pleasure in characterizing 
people like Ms. Cowan and others who do have to face the trauma of life 
in this area, and characterize them as vigilantes.
  She carries a gun for self-protection on her own land. This does not 
make her a vigilante, it makes her a victim of failed immigration 
policy and open borders. Three years ago she had to take a leave of 
absence from her job as a flight attendant because the ranch requires 
her round-the-clock attention. This additional demand on her time is 
due almost entirely to the costs and other problems imposed by the flow 
of illegal aliens across the land.

                              {time}  2200

  Among the additional costs thereby imposed on her family has been the 
purchase of COBRA insurance at over

[[Page H4869]]

$400 a month. Her ranch business has been hurt financially by the flow 
of illegal aliens across the land, a flow of people and illegal drugs 
that have increased dramatically since she and her husband first 
purchased the family business in 1996. Her ranch has three different 
south-to-north routes used by illegal aliens. Her trucks have been 
stolen and vandalized leading to both direct losses and increased 
insurance costs. She has lost many animals to the illegal aliens, 
including a $2,400 registered bull that died from eating a plastic bag. 
Another bull was hit by a hit-and-run driver and had his leg broken and 
had to be destroyed.
  You say, eating a plastic bag? The fact is that the area around there 
has been so inundated by illegal aliens carrying their supplies and 
then depositing their trash throughout the land that in many areas it 
looks similar to a huge trash dump. It looks like a municipal trash 
dump. This is the middle of, as I say, a very pristine area; but you 
will come across these areas, 50, 100 acres at a time. They are called 
pickup sites where these folks will meet, they walk into the country 
illegally, they meet at these sites, prearranged where they are going 
to be picked up by trucks that bring them into the interior of the 
United States, trucks similar to those that were identified recently in 
Victorville, Texas, in which several illegal aliens died tragically. 
But from these pickup sites, then, trash is distributed throughout the 
area. The wind, of course, takes it; and we have a definite problem 
with the kind of pollution that that causes, and then not only that, of 
course, cattle eat the plastic, the trash bags and whatever, and they 
eventually die because it will not digest and it will kill them. This 
happens time and time again. This was certainly not unique.
  But again, explain this kind of thing to someone living in 
Washington, D.C., writing for The Washington Post or some of these 
other e-mail magazines, online magazines. They have not the foggiest 
idea of what we are talking about and what these people have to deal 
with all of the time.
  Because of the broken fences, cows wander onto highways and cause 
accidents. A nurse hit a cow recently and threatened to sue the Cowan 
family for negligence. Unfortunately, the illegal trespassers who cut 
the fence were not available to answer the court summons or to pay 
damages. Cut and downed fences make it very difficult to maintain a 
special breeding program for the cattle. Herds mix and become 
mongrelized and are more susceptible to diseases from neighboring 
herds. This means that the market value of their cattle diminishes. 
Thus the Cowan family suffers real economic loss as a result of these 
cut fences. Repair costs for gates and fences and broken waterlines 
have skyrocketed. The real estate market for ranches south of 
Interstate 10 has plummeted because no one wants to purchase a place 
imperiled by all of these problems. Ruth Cowan has been forced off the 
local roads many times by overloaded trucks running at high speeds. 
Unfortunately, when these speeders cause real accidents and hurt 
innocent people, they do not have insurance and flee into Mexico before 
they can be prosecuted. We are going to talk a lot more about that kind 
of a phenomenon later on this evening.
  It is often alleged that critics of the open border policy are simply 
bigots, that they do not want Mexican workers in the country or as new 
citizens. This is hogwash, and the experience of the Cowan family shows 
why it is hogwash. Ruth Cowan has two employees who are Mexican 
nationals and work on the ranch with legal work papers. They live in 
Agua Prieta, Sonora and drive to her ranch about 50 miles every single 
day. Ruth Cowan has been trying for 5 years to get immigration approval 
for the wife of one of the employees to come and join her husband. The 
employee could then live on the ranch and not have to commute 50 miles 
in each direction daily. These legal Mexican workers are equally 
indignant about the problems affecting the Cowan ranch because they see 
the problems firsthand and know that it affects their own lives as 
well. One of the employees had his own truck stolen by illegal 
  This is something else that really deserves the attention of the body 
and, again, the attention of the people back here who either write or 
opine about the problems that we face in the United States and in the 
western United States with illegal immigration. What they do not 
understand is that it is not Anglo-Americans that are imperiled by 
this. It is not a race issue whatsoever. Every time I do this, that I 
come to the floor and I talk about this issue, I will go back and there 
will be a lot of e-mails, a lot of calls on our line. Most of them are 
quite supportive, and many of them, a high percentage of them are from 
people who suffer these kinds of problems, people of Hispanic descent 
who say to me, what you are doing is right, what you are saying is 
right, we have come here legally, we are trying to work through the 
process, we are trying to live a life in the United States, build a 
life here. We live by the rules and by the laws. And they resent it 
that other people get to sort of jump in front of the line, in front of 
them, that other people take advantage of our lax immigration law, lax 
immigration enforcement, in fact nonimmigration law enforcement. They 
resent it. And they have every right to resent it. And they are 
Hispanic Americans and they are black Americans and they are white 
Americans and they are brown Americans and pink and blue and every 
color Americans, but they are just as angry about this as anyone else; 
and they have every right to be angry about it.
  Another thing we will talk about this evening later on is the impact 
of massive immigration on low-wage, low-skilled workers, how many of 
them are negatively impacted by the flow of illegal aliens into this 
country. But we will save that for a later time this evening.
  Ruth Evelyn Cowan is a law-abiding citizen and a fourth-generation 
rancher who only wants to live on her own land, manage a business for 
the benefit of American consumers, and enjoy life with her husband in a 
safe community. She would like to be able to spend a weekend with her 
husband and not have to stand watch over the trails used by illegal 
trespassers. She would like to have the first activity of each new day 
not be the repair of broken or trampled fences and other damage caused 
by uninvited intruders.
  She would like to sleep through the night without someone calling on 
the phone to tell her to come and get her cattle off of the highway. 
She would like to be able to invite friends to her ranch without 
worrying about the piles of trash visible all across the rangeland. She 
would like to be able to ride her horse on her own land without a 
bodyguard. She would like to be able to host groups of students who 
want to learn about the ranching business without having to apologize 
for the dangers and the rash of diseases and crimes afflicting the 
region. In short, Ruth Evelyn Cowan wants to be able to live the kind 
of life that she would be able to live if we had a secure border and 
adequate enforcement of our immigration laws.
  I speak of Ruth Cowan's problems and fears not only out of sympathy 
for her and her family and not only as an example of what is happening 
to thousands of ranchers across the Southwest. I speak of these 
problems because they are problems that are growing all across our 
Nation and problems we cope with very inadequately and unsuccessfully 
with the impact of massive illegal immigration. If we do not address 
these issues now, these problems will continue to grow and multiply not 
only in the States on our southern border. The problems will multiply 
in Omaha; Portland; Fort Collins, Colorado; Chicago; and Spartanburg.

  I commend to you this life, this individual, Ruth Cowan and her 
family; and I suggest that we owe them a great deal. We owe them at 
least the protection that every citizen in this Nation has the right to 
expect from their government. The Constitution of this United States 
gives the Federal Government relatively few true responsibilities. We 
usurp many. We take many responsibilities here that have absolutely 
nothing to do with the Federal role in our constitutional government. 
We can have debates over whether or not we should have a U.S. 
Department of Education even though the word ``education'' does not 
even appear in the Constitution anywhere. We can argue about whether 
the role of the Department of Health and Human Services is relevant and 
important and a Federal issue.

[[Page H4870]]

  We can argue all of these things, and I think there is logic to the 
argument that we have usurped many of these responsibilities from the 
States. But one thing about which there is no argument is the fact that 
the Federal Government owes the people of this country the right to 
think, anyway, and believe that it will try its best to protect and 
defend their lives and their property. That is a Federal role. That is 
something the States cannot handle. They cannot raise armies and they 
cannot develop immigration policies. At least they should not. That is 
another issue again for perhaps a little bit later time.
  There are, of course, States and localities throughout the United 
States that are succumbing to the siren song being played to them by 
the Mexican consul in their area. The Mexican consul and consulates 
throughout the United States, all 47 of them, have been charged with 
the responsibility by the government of Mexico to go out and lobby 
State and local governments to get them to accept anyone who is here, 
to accept the matricula consular. This is a Mexican ID card given to 
Mexican nationals living in the United States and, of course, given to 
Mexican nationals living here illegally. In fact, the only purpose 
these cards serve is to provide some sort of identification to someone 
who is living here illegally or to a felon who is trying to change his 
  So for in the last several months, 1.5 million of these cards have 
been distributed in the United States and the Mexican consulates are 
handing them out every day. They send out vans, as a matter of fact, to 
pass out these cards. Then they go to the cities and States and get 
them to accept the cards that are given out to these illegal aliens. 
And many States, many localities are doing it. California is in the 
midst of a discussion in the State legislature that would actually have 
the State accept the matricula consular from illegal aliens for the 
provision of services.
  That is running a different immigration system. How many immigration 
systems are we supposed to have in the United States? The one the 
Federal Government runs and the one that the State of California or the 
city of Denver and the city of Tucson run along with the Mexican 
consul? These are all different immigration policies. But it is a 
uniquely Federal role. To a certain extent, the Federal Government has 
abdicated that role, so States and localities, in a way, they are 
saying, okay, if you don't want to handle it, I guess we will. But they 
are not protecting the Cowans. They are protecting illegal aliens. All 
these cities and States that are anticipating this acceptance of the 
matricula consular, this Mexican ID card and ID cards that are now 
being handed out by at least five other governments, foreign 
governments to their illegal nationals living in the United States, 
people who are doing that, these cities and States and police 
departments that are doing that are aiding and abetting criminal 
activity in the United States.
  Yes, I said aiding and abetting criminal activity. That is what even 
police departments are doing when they accept these cards. If a police 
officer is shown a card, a matricula consular, they should immediately 
arrest that individual, because that is prima facie evidence that that 
person is here illegally. Because you do not need the card if you are 
here legally. If you come into this country legally, you have something 
called a green card, or a visa, or a stamp on your passport, or 
something the United States Government has given you. You do not rely 
on another country's identification card, especially in a time like 
this, especially when we recognize that porous borders mean a danger to 
the actual existence of the United States. But here we are allowing 
cities to do this, allowing States to do this, and even having the 
Federal Government actually anticipate doing this, with the Department 
of Treasury issuing regulations not too long ago saying that banks 
could do this, could accept a card from people so they could open bank 
  I understand the motivation of the bank. I know what they are wanting 
to do this for. It is called money. It is called the dollar sign. It is 
called the bottom line, right? They are a business and you can excuse 
it, you can rationalize their behavior. They are simply being greedy 
and doing exactly what they should be doing, I guess, as greedy huge 
corporations trying to improve their bottom line. They see this group 
of what they call the unbanked, 13 million people living here illegally 
and not being able to get fees from them, that makes these bankers, the 
Wells Fargo board of directors salivate thinking, my goodness, think of 
all those people from whom we could collect fees and how we could get 
all that money they make, what little it is does not matter. Multiplied 
by 13 million, that could be a lot of money. The unbanked, that is what 
they call them.
  There is another word, it is illegal aliens; and you are aiding and 
abetting a criminal activity. It is against the law to aid and abet 
someone who is here illegally. That is against the law. It is against 
Federal law. Yet all of the things I am describing are things that 
government agencies are doing. That is how bizarre this whole 
immigration policy has become.

                              {time}  2215

  So the Cowans and others look to the Federal Government for help. 
They get none. They look to their State for help. They get none.
  Recently, because of the pressure that has been applied as a result 
of these weekly stories that we bring to the attention of the body, it 
is suggested that because of the pressure that has developed as a 
result of this noise that we are making about this, little things seem 
to be changing.
  I want to say how happy I am about the fact that some different 
people are in place in the Border Patrol in that area, in the 
administration of the Border Patrol. I understand that some new folks 
are on hand down there and may be looking at this whole issue 
differently and be willing perhaps to help the Cowans and all the other 
ranchers in Cochise County begin to control this problem. I hope that 
is true.
  I understand that the sheriff in Cochise County has become a little 
more amenable to the concerns of the people down there. I am very happy 
to hear that. I am encouraged by the fact that little things may be 
happening for the people in Cochise County because we have made a lot 
of noise about it.
  But it is not enough. It is not enough, because the plight of the 
people in Cochise County, Arizona, is the plight of literally millions 
of Americans, and will be the plight of the entire Nation if this 
phenomenon of massive immigration into the country, unchecked, 
unrecognized immigration, illegal immigration into this country, goes 
without our attention.
  During the break, during the last week when we were off, the Memorial 
Day break, I got a call from someone who was telling me about a 
situation that had occurred in a little town in Colorado, so I can 
bring this a lot closer to home. I am, of course, a Representative from 
the Sixth Congressional District of Colorado, which is the southern 
suburbs of Denver really.
  There is a town in northeastern Colorado called Yuma. I got a call 
from someone who was saying, Do you know what is happening in this 
little tiny town of Yuma, Colorado, a town I know well and have been 
through many times. They said in the last, really just year-and-a-half, 
2 years, the whole town is suffering through a really significant and 
traumatic time.
  They went on to explain that because of something that occurred, 
again, just not more than a couple or 2 or 3 years ago, when a couple 
of families of illegal immigrants moved into the area, moved into the 
town from a particular village in Chihuahua, Mexico, and found 
employment there. They then called their family and relatives in this 
small town where the unemployment rate was like 80 percent and said, 
Look, we found a job in Yuma, Colorado, and we can get you on here. 
There is a big dairy farm, there are several various cattle feeding 
operations there, several pig farms, and there was work. They could get 
paid under the table. Everybody was pretty accommodating. They could 
get paid. It was probably less than would be the going rate otherwise, 
but after all, they were here illegally, so they were willing to accept 
a lower wage and more difficult conditions.
  So, other people came from this village in Chihuahua, Mexico, to 
Yuma, Colorado. Over time, more came, 20, 30,

[[Page H4871]]

40, 50, 100, and now this group of illegal aliens makes up a 
significant chunk of the town. About one-third of the school district, 
the population of the school district, are children of illegal aliens 
living in Yuma, Colorado.
  Well, what does that mean? For them it may be a better life. It may 
be better than that small village in Chihuahua. Nobody can argue that. 
But what does it mean for the people in Yuma?
  Well, let us see. It means higher costs for infrastructure 
activities, highways and police activities and schools. There is a bond 
issue that is being considered for Yuma, Colorado, and they are 
concerned about whether this bond issue will pass, because they 
recognize that a lot of people in Yuma think that the reason why the 
bond issue is being put forward is because they are going to have to 
pay for the additional costs incurred by the school district because of 
all of these children of illegal aliens in the schools, over 280 
  I went up there. I drove up to Yuma to see this myself and to talk 
with the school superintendent, who agreed to meet with me, a very 
interesting and pleasant fellow who had been around the business for a 
long time. He was telling me, among other things, that the highest 
single budget item that they have is English as a second language now, 
$280,000, which is higher, he said, than what they spend for English 
language education, history, science, any other program in the school 
district. This is, again, this little tiny school district.
  He said, sure there are problems. You go into the cafeteria at any 
given time, you are going to see the Hispanic kids sitting over here 
and the Anglo kids sitting over here. Because of the language problems, 
he said, we have had a significant decline in our test scores. They 
have plummeted. Naturally, they are going to suffer in that way.
  The rest of the community and the town are calling up and saying, 
What is happening here? Our town, our kids and this school district 
have always done so well, our scores have been so good. How come our 
district is not doing as well anymore? And a lot of kids are moving to 
a little school district called Lone Star, Colorado.
  Fights, they are having all these problems in the school and having 
problems in the town. And yet, as I talked to him, I said, you know, 
does anybody not talk about this? Does anybody not bring this to light?
  He said, No one wants to talk about this problem. He said, Everyone 
in this town knows it is a problem, but nobody wants to talk about it. 
He said, You might go over to the coffee shop and sit down, and you can 
really get to know somebody, and they might begin to discuss it. But 
generally speaking, they do not want to talk about it. They are fearful 
of talking about it. But everybody knows it is happening, and it is a 
huge problem for this little tiny town.
  Now, here is the other part of the story. It is not unique. This 
situation in Yuma, Colorado, is not unique. In fact, Yuma is a 
microcosm of this phenomenon. It is happening in small towns all over 
the United States of America. But do you know what? Nobody wants to 
talk about it. You did not hear this.
  I have certainly not seen any reference to this in the local media. 
Our two major dailies did big stories, or one at least did a big series 
of stories supposedly about the problems of illegal immigration or 
immigration into Colorado. I do not remember any discussion of Yuma, 
Colorado, or the problems that exist in that small town, or any of the 
other small towns in Colorado where this is happening.
  The picture that is portrayed by most of the media of illegal 
immigration, certainly the media out here and the media in my area, 
that picture is one of this idealistic sort of situation where you have 
got a family come in, they are hard-working, the kids are in school, 
kids are going to school in the United States. They are saying what 
they want, they simply want to go to college for in-State tuition, and 
how bad we are, how selfish we are, that maybe a State does not want to 
provide subsidized education, the taxpayers of a State, higher 
education for people who are here illegally. How incredible. That is 
the portrait that is painted by the media of the typical family.

  Well, that is a true picture of many people who are here illegally, 
but it is not the only picture. And what about the lives that are 
affected negatively by that family? What about the costs to the 
society, financial, and in terms of tearing communities apart; what 
about those costs? When are they calculated? How are they calculated?
  I have seldom seen anybody want to publish a study. The many studies 
that have been done, Professor Huddle, there have been many, many 
studies that have been done that identify the negative aspects of 
massive immigration of low-skilled, low-wage people.
  A professor by the name of Virginia Abernathy comes to mind at 
Vanderbilt University. Her portrayal of this can be characterized in a 
way that is illustrative of the problem. She says massive immigration 
of low-skilled, low-wage people into the United States does create 
profits for some, it is true, profits for the employers of those 
people, but it creates costs for the many. It creates costs for 
schools, for highways, for housing, for social services and for health 
care; costs that are far higher than any of the tax revenues that are 
gleaned from the people who are working here.
  First of all, they are working for very low wages. Many of them are 
working, like many of the folks out in the Yuma area, they are working 
and being paid under the table, in cash, no taxes being collected. Even 
when taxes are collected, when illegal aliens obtain Social Security 
numbers, file income tax statements, because their wages are so low 
they usually are able to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  I will never forget, we came through one of these pick-up sites I was 
telling you about earlier in the desert in Arizona, and there on the 
ground there was a tax form. Among all this trash strewn all over the 
desert floor, there was a tax form, a claim for the Earned Income Tax 
Credit for a gentleman who had been in this area, dropped it or had 
thrown away this form, and claimed he had made about $8,000 or $9,000. 
He had paid, I think it was less than $100 in taxes, because he had 
several children, and claimed $3,700 in Earned Income Tax Credit.
  So even when people ``pay taxes,'' people who are here illegally, the 
fact is they can and do oftentimes get money back. In 1994, right 
before we passed the 1996 act, in 1994 a Democratic Treasury Secretary, 
Lloyd Bentsen, was talking about this, and he said he believed there 
were hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens taking advantage of the 
Earned Income Tax Credit.
  I do not know what the numbers are today, but I believe they are 
still very, very high. These are costs to our society.
  There is another cost that no one wants to talk about. It is the cost 
to other low-skilled, low-wage workers in the United States who are 
here legally, who are citizens of the country, or who are here as legal 
aliens, have legal alien status. Their wages are significantly 
depressed by the numbers of people coming in here, into the United 
States, and taking these other jobs, these low-skilled, low-wage jobs.
  To employers, this is great. There are employers at Tysons Food, some 
of the executives at Tysons Food, a huge corporation, of course, a huge 
food corporation in Arkansas, some of these guys may be going to jail 
soon. Charges have been brought against them by the Federal Government, 
RICO charges have been brought against them, because not only did they 
hire illegal aliens in their food factories, but they imported them. 
According to the charges that have been brought, they are actually 
helping the importation of people into the plant, importation of people 
to come in here illegally. Again, not just aiding and abetting, but in 
this case actually participating in the act of bringing in illegal 
immigrants into the United States.

                              {time}  2230

  So there are many people in this country who are harmed by the 
presence of so many illegal immigrants in this country. Their plight is 
hardly ever discussed by the media. We hardly ever see that. We would 
never have heard of Ms. Cowan had I not brought her to your attention 
  There are millions of people in this country who have been harmed 
because of our lax border policies. I am going to host, I and a number 
of other organizations will be hosting the week of September 11, that 
week we will be hosting

[[Page H4872]]

an event here in Washington. It is called the Day of Remembrance for 
Victims of Open Borders and Illegal Immigration.
  We are encouraging, Mr. Speaker, everyone who has had a problem, 
everyone who has been in fact victimized because of our open border 
policies and by illegal immigrants to come here and tell their story, 
identify themselves to their congressional representatives, to their 
House Members and to the Senate Members that represent their State.
  Tell them what has happened to them; tell them about their loved ones 
who have been killed, killed by people who came into this country 
illegally and were later able to escape back into Mexico and therefore, 
because they refuse to extradite people to the United States who may 
face the death penalty, they are still in Mexico living life down 
  There are literally thousands, actually hundreds of thousands of 
people who fall into this category. It is not just people who have been 
harmed physically or have had members of their family harmed 
physically, of which there are many; and we can go through some of them 
a little bit later. But it is also, you know, when one has been 
displaced, when one has been displaced by a foreign worker who comes 
into this country, takes the job that you had because someone is going 
to pay them a little less money for it, pay the illegal worker less 
money, and you are displaced. That is a distinct disadvantage at which 
you are placed. It is a harm to you and to your family that has been 
done because of our policies.
  There can be a legal process in which people can come into this 
country and work if we truly need workers. I hear this all the time, 
that the reason why we have people come into this country and do this 
work illegally is because there are all these jobs American workers 
will not do.
  If there are these jobs, and there may very well be, and there are 
certain industries where I recognize there is a need, then a legal 
process has to be developed in order to bring people in to get work and 
so that their rights can be protected, so they can be protected against 
the abuses of unscrupulous employers, so people coming in here do not 
have to sell their souls to the coyotes, do not have to be locked into 
the back of tractor-trailers.
  They can actually come into the United States in a legal process, but 
they must return home. That is a guest worker, a person who works here 
a while, returns to the country of origin, cannot bring family into 
this country, cannot establish residence, permanent residence, and 
cannot eventually become a citizen through that process, because that 
is called immigration; and that is over here.
  We still have the most liberal immigration policies in the world. If 
we cut it in half or if we cut it to one-third of what we are presently 
doing in immigration, legal immigration, we would still have the most 
liberal immigration policy of almost any country in the world.
  So they can come into this country one of two ways legally, if we 
have a guest worker program or through immigration; but they cannot be 
the same thing. People cannot come in here and expect to become a 
citizen through this guest worker program.
  Also, we cannot possibly have a guest worker program, which is being 
proposed by other Members of this body, we cannot have a guest worker 
program unless we have secure borders. Because no matter what we say or 
no matter how we define a guest worker, someone will choose not to come 
that way and come through the porous borders, so we have accomplished 
absolutely nothing. So the borders have to be secure before any guest 
worker program can be initiated, secure borders.
  Yes, we can have it. Yes, it can happen. It is the only way to have a 
guest worker program. We can have one if all of these jobs that, as I 
say, Americans will not take are really out there.
  That is the other thing, you have to prove that you have tried to 
give that job to an American citizen and that you cannot find anybody, 
and you cannot pay somebody less because they are coming in here 
through a guest worker program. So their rights can be protected and 
American citizens' rights can be protected, but only if the border is 
secure. That is the only way a program like that will work.
  When we suggest this to many of my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, who are 
in fact pushing these ideas, they do not want to talk about secure 
borders, or they want to use it as a platitude. They say, yes, we have 
it. We will increase the number of Border Patrol. Of course, that is 
not securing the border. We have to militarize the border on both the 
northern and southern borders, as my friend and colleague who has 
joined me here tonight has told this body on more than one occasion. We 
need to be able to use the military to augment the Border Patrol, the 
Customs Service, Forest Service personnel, until we can actually gain 
control of our own borders.
  For that discussion or whatever point he would like to make, I will 
yield to my friend, the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode), and ask 
him to join us and give us his comments.
  Mr. GOODE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Colorado 
(Mr. Tancredo) for his persistence on the illegal immigration issue. He 
has brought his message to this body and to outside this body. Without 
his leadership, I do not think as many in this country would be aware 
of the huge cost that illegal immigration places on the taxpayers of 
the United States.
  I have heard people in this body and in this Chamber and in the halls 
of the committee rooms talk about the deficit. Well, one way we can 
deal with the deficit is clamp down on illegal immigration. If we put a 
halt to that, there would be less hospital charges to Medicaid that our 
States and that the Federal Government would have to match; there would 
be fewer demands on our social service system; fewer demands on our 
food stamp system; fewer demands on an array of other services.

  Also, we would not have to deal with the situations that occurred a 
few weeks ago with the tragedy of 18 or 19 persons dying in an 
overheated, piled-up trailer. We could save money in this country and 
have less of a deficit if we could halt illegal immigration.
  But my reason for being here tonight, and I want to thank the 
gentleman from Colorado for yielding to me, I wanted to relate an 
example of how our policies with the United States Treasury Department, 
coupled with the views of the Mexican Government, cost us the United 
States taxpayers' funds.
  There was a gentleman from Mexico named Mr. Gamez. He came to my 
office four times trying to find out where the Mexican identification 
cards were for his sister, for his mother, and for his father. He had a 
green card and he was legally in the country, a very nice person.
  I had the opportunity to talk with him about why he so critically 
needed these Mexican identification cards right away. This was in 
April, at the time that taxes were due. He was filling out his income 
tax returns. He needed these cards so that he could send them to the 
United States Treasury in an application process for an individual 
taxpayer identification number. They have a little form you fill out, a 
blank for the type of identification. This says country/State of the 
issuing ID, the ID number, the expiration date.
  He wanted the Mexican ID cards to get him a U.S. taxpayer 
identification number. He lived in the United States; but his father 
lived in Mexico, his mother lived in Mexico, and his sister lived in 
  He said, I do not have any children, but I am helping my mother, I am 
helping my father, and I am helping my sister. He wanted to get the 
taxpayer, the U.S. taxpayer identification number using the Mexican ID 
number so he could claim them as dependents.
  I said, well the way I look at that is what you are doing, you are 
taking money out of the United States at the expense of the taxpayers, 
because I have heard a number of workers in my area complain that those 
with green cards have a much bigger check than those who are natives of 
the United States of America and have dependents that live in their 
homes, if they have them, and we can readily ascertain how many 
dependents they have.
  I noticed on the forms with the sister's name on it, with the 
mother's name on it, with the father's name on it, they were listed as 
a Rocky Mount, Virginia, address. I said, are they living here in Rocky 
Mount with you? Oh,

[[Page H4873]]

no, they are living in Mexico. But I can apply for these numbers and 
then I can count them as a dependent, and then there will not be any 
taxes withheld out of my check, and I will not have to pay any income 
  I said, How did you learn about all of this? He said, well, the 
Mexican officials were schooling me on it. He did not use the word 
``schooling.'' ``Schooling'' is a parochial term used in Franklin 
County. It is how one gets an education on how to get yourself more 
  That is what he was doing. He wanted to get those Mexican IDs to get 
his U.S. taxpayer identification number so he could put their names on 
his 1040 form and get back a refund. I do not know how much he was 
making, certainly it would depend on those factors, but he would be 
able to claim three additional dependents in addition to himself.
  He said the Mexican officials were helping him. They told him to come 
and see me. Maybe they just said that blanket, not me personally, but 
go see your Member of Congress if you need to get your ID cards. So he 
came to the office four times before I had the opportunity to 
personally meet with him.
  But I questioned whether this was valid under the United States Tax 
Code, so I had a meeting in my office with the persons from the IRS. As 
I understood what they said, what he was doing is valid under the U.S. 
Tax Code and valid under our IRS rules and regulations. This is an 
example of how our money is being shifted to another country. I really 
wonder whether we should be encouraging situations like this. I think 
  I have heard tonight before the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. 
Tancredo) and the other gentleman from Colorado had their chance to 
speak how bad the tax cut bill was that passed.
  I got to thinking, you know, what if there were not an adult sister, 
an adult mother, and an adult father, but it was three children. If the 
bill like the complaints were made had passed, even though this 
gentleman would have owed no U.S. income tax, did not owe any, did not 
pay any, we would be sending him a check in the mail if their position 
prevailed; a further drain on the United States Treasury, a further 
drain on the United States economy.
  I think we need to take a close look before we buy into this argument 
of let us make the child tax credit refundable, because George Bush and 
those of us who voted for the previous tax cuts did such a good job 
with the current child tax credit that many of those earning between 
$10,000 and $26,000 are not paying any Federal income taxes. They do 
not owe any; they do not pay any. Therefore, they do not get a check 
back. It is for those who have paid Federal income taxes. If someone is 
making $10,000 a year and paid some Federal income tax, they can get it 
back under the plan we passed.
  But I am just wondering how much schooling the Mexican officials are 
giving that talked with Mr. Gamez, and are going around the country 
educating, and I use that word in quotes, those with green cards to 
suck more money out of the United States.

                              {time}  2245

  I think we need to be wary of that. And that causes me much concern 
when the advocates say how the tax bill was not fair to those that are 
not getting a refund, which means a check in the mail. You did not pay 
any income tax, you did not owe any income tax, but we are going to 
send you a check anyway.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for allowing me to tell you about 
this specific situation in the town of Rocky Mount, Virginia.
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I very much appreciate the gentleman 
coming down and discussing that tonight.
  He brings up an interesting point that is the kind of activity that 
is going on throughout the country, some of it being sponsored by the 
Federal Government and other by Federal agencies in order to encourage 
people to come here illegally, in order to get benefits of every kind, 
variety and shape.
  In Colorado I just got a flier from an organization. It is actually a 
group of people that are sponsoring this group of organizations; and 
they have gone to a couple of counties in Colorado. One is Jefferson 
County, which I live in; one is Adams County just north of me. And the 
flier talks about this and they have the county treasurers to join them 
in this effort, and what is the effort? It says, building communities 
one taxpayer at a time. You think, what are they talking about here? 
And the big title of their conference that they are going to have on 
July 12 in Colorado is to teach people how to get taxpayer 
identification numbers.
  It says, who needs one of these? Anyone who cannot get a Social 
Security number needs a taxpayer identification number.
  Now, you have to ask yourself a question, How many people in this 
country have to have a taxpayer identification number as opposed to a 
Social Security number? Because when you call the IRS, they tell you it 
is one in the same. If you have a Social Security number, that is the 
same as your tax ID number. If you do not have a Social Security 
number, you fill out this form and you get one. Who would do that? 
People who are here legally like the gentleman referenced so he could 
pay his taxes. How about people who are here illegally? We do not know. 
We are not going to try to stop them.
  If somebody comes in and applies, they are going to get it. What do 
they need it for? What does somebody who is here illegally need a 
taxpayer identification number for? I will tell you one thing they need 
it for is that every time we start talking about amnesty for everybody 
who is living here legally, one of the things that comes up is someone 
is going to prove that they have been here and working for some time 
and they will turn to this taxpayer identification number so they can 
prove that and they get amnesty. It comes through this particular body.
  It is to do just exactly what the gentleman has suggested. It is to 
obtain benefits from the Federal Government in terms of tax credits for 
your children, tax exemptions, tax deductions and all of it, so if you 
are working here, even if you are working here illegally, people do get 
fake Social Security numbers, it happens, strange as that may seem, I 
know it is hard to believe, but it occurs. And this identity fraud is 
becoming even another huge problem. But here we are teaching people the 
classes, my friend from Virginia uses the word ``schooling'' for them, 
and that is exactly what they are doing. They advertise. This is not 
clandestine. It is not like, oh, my goodness, do not tell anybody. Come 
over here on the 12th of July; we will explain how to actually scam the 
  They make a big picture, a big brochure about it and send it out. 
They send it to the county treasurers. They say, look, this is one of 
things they said to the county treasurer, if we get all these people in 
to claim these deductions and claim these tax credits, do you know how 
much that means to come to the county? Dollars coming to the county, 
people who are living here illegally but they will be able to get these 
tax deductions for their kids so that means money to the county. That 
is how they get the county commissioner and county treasurer sucked 
into it. It is as if this money is coming from Venus. It is a scam.

  It is another example of the attempts that are so much a part of 
everything I see around here, and that is to eventually come to the 
position where there is absolutely nothing that distinguishes you as 
being here illegally from someone who is here legally. Everything that 
that person who is here legally can do, all of the benefits they can 
achieve as a result of citizenship in this country, legal status in 
this country, every single benefit would be accorded and afforded to 
you, someone who is here illegally. Therefore, the distinction is gone. 
And the whole concept of citizenship is gone.
  It is an attack on citizenship. It is an attack on the concept of 
citizenship. It is an attack on the sovereignty of the country. It will 
be the place where a lot of people reside. There are cities not too far 
from where we stand tonight that allow people to vote just based on 
their residence. All you have to do is bring in a copy of your utility 
bill. You can vote. They do not ask you whether or not you are here 
legally. They call themselves refugee cities. They are in Maryland. 
They are all over the place along the east coast here. The Mayor of 
this city, Washington, D.C., proposed that not too long ago to the city 
of Washington, I mean the District of Columbia, that it,

[[Page H4874]]

in fact, should allow people to vote simply because they are residents, 
nothing else. Residents of the country. Not citizens. The concept is 
under attack.
  Whether these cities and counties that are accepting the matricula 
understand this or not, I do not know. Whether all of these city 
officials and county officials who are aiding and abetting illegal 
immigrants in this country, aiding and abetting people in the violation 
of our laws, whether they recognize it, and people do not think it is 
more than a little transgression, that it is like jay walking, no, this 
has major implications. It is meaningful stuff. It is a transition our 
country is going through here that I do not know if everybody 
understands that we are simply moving and we are directly moving to a 
system that will not have, as I say, a way of distinguishing a citizen 
from a noncitizen. It is just a place where they are residents.
  Borders will be erased de facto. Borders will be erased. Maybe that 
is okay. Maybe that is exactly where everybody in this place wants us 
to go. I would like to put it to a vote. I would like to see somebody 
actually have to vote on whether or not we have to erase the borders 
because that is where we are heading. We are doing it a little bit at a 
time. It is the old frog in the hot water syndrome where the heat is 
turned up one notch at a time and you look back and say, what happened 
here? What happened?
  Is there a time when citizenship meant something? We are going to 
debate, and I think the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) is on the 
committee that is debating the bill to give citizenship status to the 
families of people who have fought in the service, were in the armed 
services for a year; and we will now give status to them if they were 
here legally. I think it is coming to the floor soon, tomorrow or the 
next day. And the bill is lengthy, about exactly what you have to do in 
order to get this thing called citizenship and what you have to go 
  We pretend like we prize it. If you get a dishonorable discharge, you 
cannot have it. We pretend like it is this wonderful thing. Well, it is 
a wonderful thing. I think it is a wonderful thing. I think citizenship 
in this country is a marvelous thing. But it is a strange phenomenon 
that on one hand here we are coming with a bill that pretends that 
citizenship is meaningful and that everything else we are doing here 
aids in the destruction of the concept of citizenship and the fact that 
the Federal Government, through its Department of the Treasury, 
promulgates regulations that allows banks to accept the foreign 
government ID card from a person who wants to open an account. This is 
an example.
  It is one step in this process and it is a pretty good step. 
Actually, it is not a little thing, the unbanked, the millions and 
millions of people who are here illegally, that the banks want to get a 
hold of their money. That is a big step in this direction that I am 
pointing to, a step to a place where there is no such thing as 
citizenship and whether or not we can have the debate whether or not 
someone is here legally or not, it does not matter if you are here 
legally or not.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Goode) for 
joining me this evening and for letting me bring this to the attention 
of the body.


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