BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)
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Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, it used to be said that we are all either Republicans or we are all Democrats, but I wonder what is happening to this country as I look at this bill. But today that principle is long gone, replaced by partisan efforts to satisfy extremist groups. The Democratic members of the committee of Homeland Security, including myself, Ms. SANCHEZ, Ms. Lofgren, worked tirelessly with my counterpart, Chairman KING, to create a good border security bill that had many, many good provisions; but after that bill left our committee, it fell into partisan hands to satisfy the extremist anti-immigrant groups.
Instead of giving the American people a Christmas present of a bipartisan bill that would secure our borders in a real and fair way, we are giving them a bill that looks more like a gift from an extremist Grinch who stole Christmas and trampled our Constitution on the way. The Judiciary Committee has loaded up our bill with controversial immigration proposals that are now opposed by nearly every reasonable business, immigration, and human rights group in America. I hope my chairman from New York recognizes this.
I know it is difficult, but if you look at the groups that have opposed this piece of legislation, you can understand why it is a bad bill. The Chamber of Commerce opposes this bill. The American Bar Association opposes this bill. The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform opposes this bill. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops oppose this bill. What reasonable organization is left to support it?
Mr. Chairman, this bill is so ridiculous that, according to the Republican version, Santa Claus himself would be a criminal for trekking from the North Pole to deliver holiday gifts without a visa. This bill is not a step in the right direction. It is time that we pass a real border security bill that is fair and effective, not a partisan bill that does not solve our problem.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
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