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[Congressional Record: October 2, 2003 (House)]
[Page H9195-H9196]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McCotter). Under a previous order of the 
House, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) is recognized for 5 
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, there are several items that I 
would like to comment on and share with my colleagues.
  We had a very powerful day today. Hundreds of immigrants and 
immigrant supporters, friends of this Nation, parents and sisters and 
brothers and neighbors of some of the young men and women that are now 
on the frontlines of Operation Iraqi Freedom came to the Nation's 
Capitol to speak to the issues of civil rights and human dignity. They 
came in what we call the Immigration Freedom Ride. They leave tomorrow 
morning on to New Jersey and then to go to the seat of Ellis Island in 
New York to be able to restate to all Americans that we all came from 
somewhere, and that this Nation is bountiful because each of us were 
able to contribute our own culture and the respect for human dignity. 
They ask simple things, Mr. Speaker, and that is access to 
legalization, the ability to reunite their families, and civil rights 
and civil justice. They came in the spirit of the Freedom Riders of the 
1960's and the first ones in the 1940's. They came in a spirit of 
Martin Luther King and the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Lewis), our own 
colleague. They walked across the bridge in Selma, Alabama, the Edmond 
Pettus bridge. They realize that the two have now intertwined: their 
quest for civil justice and civil rights, as our quest, the Freedom 
Riders' in the 1960's quest for civil rights and civil justice. And 
they call upon America's goodness, just as we who are African 
Americans, maybe called colored, maybe called Negros in the early 
1960's pressed the case that we too were Americans.

[[Page H9196]]

  I believe it is time now for this Congress to put in place 
legislation that deals with earned access to legalization, to be able 
to say that if they have not committed a criminal act, that they are 
here working, they may be undocumented, they are paying their taxes, 
that they should have the access to being able to apply for 
citizenship. I believe we should pass 245(i) to reunite our families. 
And, yes, I believe that we should treat all people with human dignity.
  And so, Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind my colleagues that we are 
the people's House. We should open our doors to this voice and the 
voices that cannot be heard or the picture of the young lady that was 
shown to me who is suffering because she cannot access a kidney 
transplant, and she came here as a baby and is still here at 21 years 
old and dying with kidney failure. How unmerciful can we be? And I 
would ask that my colleagues consider a real immigration policy for 
this Nation that deals with the security of this Nation, the justice of 
this Nation.

[ ... ] 

[ End ]