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Public Statements

Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, they are proposing here to build an extensive triple-wall fence along the Mexican border, ostensibly building on the success of a very short section of fence, and they are also proposing that we should study building a fence along the entire 2,000-plus-mile Canadian border. They are not talking much about that.

Here is a picture of one of the world's existing fences that completely surrounds an area. It is in Melilla; and like Ceuta, which is attempting to keep Africans from getting into the Spanish parts of Morocco, they do not work.

The EU paid for these double fences. They use deadly force. They kill people there, and people still go over it, around it, and through it. It is 10 feet high with concertina wire on top. They will make it 20 feet high with concertina wire on top. It does not work.

When Hong Kong was walled off by the Communist Chinese, again, a fairly extensive piece of land, and they could use deadly force, businesses were set up on the Communist Chinese side of the border, the entrepreneurs there, to guarantee to get people through in less than a minute. And they did. And it did not work.

They say it is only $2.2 billion. We could do a lot more with $2.2 billion. We could do some interior enforcement to keep illegal people from working here. We could hire more Border Patrol agents. There are a lot of things we could do with $2.2 billion, but to build or extend this fence, yeah, it will make someone rich like Bechtel or Halliburton or whoever is going to build the fence, they will get a pile of money out of it; but it is not going to work. It does not work in Africa. It did not work in Communist China, again, where they are using deadly force. Are we going to use deadly force?

How about some enforcement on the Mexican side of the border? Well, they do not want to go there because they all voted for NAFTA. They do not want to say let us withdraw from NAFTA unless the Mexicans put enforcement on their side of the border. Right now people line up on the border at night and the Mexican police say, hi, how you doing? Okay. And then they run across.

How about a little bit of international cooperation? There are a lot of things we could do here, but the things we could do that are effective offend big business who are the patrons of the Republican Party. That is interior enforcement, employer enforcement. People do not come here to go on vacation. They come here to go to work. If they could not get work, they would not sneak across the border. If we force the Mexican Government to do something on their side by threatening to withdraw from NAFTA, which we can do with 6 months' notice, again, big business would not allow the Republicans to do that or George Bush certainly would not do it because he is for open borders. But they can pretend here they are doing something.

They are wasting $2.2 billion of taxpayer money to do something that has not worked anywhere else in the world even where they are willing to shoot the people that go through the fence, Communist China, Morocco. It is not going to work here either.

And what about Canada? Come on, guys, talk about the Canada part. Tell us about the 2,000-plus-mile fence along the Canadian border. That is going to be a real piece of work.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Hopefully, this will be a relatively noncontroversial amendment, unlike the preceding.

We are doing something nonsensical today. We have, post-9/11, required that manifests be submitted to the United States of America to our law enforcement intelligence authorities for incoming flights for all passengers on board. That is good. That was only voluntarily before 9/11.

Unfortunately, we do not require that this be done until the flight has left, and we have all seen that a number of times flights have been turned back. They have had to land in Canada or Maine. People have had to be off-loaded. It would be a lot more sensible to have a program where we could vet the manifest before the plane leaves.

So this amendment would set up a pilot program. The technology exists. It is being done in Australia and elsewhere very successfully, to have a pilot program so that we could show that this will work so that we can both make America more secure and facilitate international air travel.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, the chairman has spoken so eloquently that I don't think I can improve upon that.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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