THE BUSH-KENNEDY AMNESTY BILL -- (House of Representatives - June 19, 2007)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 18, 2007, the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, it was a great victory for the American people when the Bush-Kennedy amnesty bill was withdrawn from consideration in the Senate 2 weeks ago with such a stinging rebuke from the voters, because we understand that the voters had contacted their elected Representatives in such number that the bill was no longer tenable. After that rebuke from the voters, one would think that the White House and the congressional leadership would have listened to the American people and concentrated on securing our borders and moving forward with those activities to secure our country, and forget about legalizing the status of 15 to 20 million people who are in our country illegally. Well, how wrong we were. Like a bad horror movie, the monster you thought had been killed is somehow being brought back to life. It's rearing its ugly head again in the sequel. Well, here it is, Nightmare on North Capitol Street, part two, starring the Bush-Kennedy amnesty bill. This time we need to drive a stake into the heart of this monstrous threat to the American people.
And what threat am I talking about? It is about time that the Washington elite and the elite of America's business community understand what impact this massive flow of immigration into our society has had on the life of the American people.
What we face in California and now throughout the country is a disintegration of our education system. Our schools, for which our children are dependent on their education and the future of their lives, are being diminished in terms of their capability of educating our children because there is a massive influx of children into our school systems, children who should not even be in this country.
We have a health care system that is in crisis. Today, we see in California and we see in other States as well the closing of emergency rooms. So American citizens whose children are out on the highways, if there is an accident, may now not be able to go to emergency rooms to get treated, to have their lives saved, where only a few short years ago, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, there was an emergency room to service that.
Why are these emergency rooms closing? Why is the health care system in our country breaking down? This massive influx of immigrants, illegal immigrants, into our society. In fact, many people today are not able to pay for their health care insurance. And why is health care so high? One of the major reasons health care insurance is so high is when American citizens go to hospitals in order to be treated, their health care policy, which is massively expensive, also has to take care of those people who have no health care insurance, many of whom, a large number of whom are of course illegal immigrants.
And what about our criminal justice system? Our criminal justice system in California is breaking down. It's being crowded to the point where if someone does commit a misdemeanor or a crime, even a violent crime at times, they are let out on bond or sometimes they are let out on their own recognizance because there is no place to put them. These criminals, many of whom have come here illegally into our country, end up coming here because they know the punishment here is nothing as compared to the countries from which they are coming from.
Our criminal justice system is not protecting our citizens. If someone in your family is raped or murdered or robbed or run down by a drunk driver, well, now it is highly likely that, or I should say that the chances are very good that the person who is victimizing our family is here illegally and should never be in the country in the first place.
And what about the wages of ordinary Americans? Ordinary Americans now find that, yes, when they get out of school, they expect to get good jobs and good paying jobs. But, no. What we have is, with the massive influx of people into our country who will work far below the wages that Americans will work for, they have bid down the wages of our people. Now, that may not mean too much to the top 10 percent or the elite of the business community, but that means everything, everything, to ordinary Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. Our elite has not been hurt, our elite has not been victimized, but ordinary Americans find themselves not being able to get the paying jobs that will help them pay what is necessary to be in a middle-class existence in this country.
At the same time, unfortunately, we see an unfortunate trend among corporate executives, especially among the CEOs of companies, in paying themselves 10, 20, 30, even $100 million in compensation at the same time that the wage level of average Americans is under attack by a massive influx of illegals which is supported by the business elite.
Whose side is our government on? Is it on the side of the business elite that is willing to lay their own workers off, giving themselves huge salaries, and then bringing on illegals or sending their manufacturing to China so that slave labor can do the job and then giving themselves huge corporate salaries? Are we on the side of people who are coming here from other countries who, yes, they are benefited by coming here at the expense of ordinary Americans?
It is no mistake that this is happening. All of these dire consequences that are going on is not something that just happened. It was not something that was unavoidable. What is happening is a product of bad policy, policy that is not something that has been a mistake in policy, but an intentional policy that has been in place for 20 years.
We now have 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants in our country. And that is not just something that happened. It happened because it was planned by those people who are making the policy in the last 20 years, people who were paying attention to the corporate elite, who want to bid down wages, and also to the liberal left wing of the Democratic Party which controls the Democratic Party who think that with huge numbers of immigrants coming into our country, they can change America.
Neither one of those two groups of people who have such enormous influence in the Capitol of the United States are representing or watching out for the American people.
Well, what we have done is given rewards to those people who have come here illegally. And then we wonder why they come here. They say, ``Give it and they will come.'' Well, there is no doubt about it; we give a reward to people who live in poverty, abject poverty, in different countries. If we let them know they can have education benefits that should be going to Americans, but they now can get them for their children; if they know their children and their families will be given health care and health treatment with money that should be going to Americans; if they know that if they break the law that the penalties they face here are actually much lower than in the countries they are in; and if they know even if they are caught crossing our border and caught here illegally, they will not be punished, why wouldn't they come here?
This is not something that was unpredictable. We have 15 to 20 million people bidding down our wages, destroying our education system, destroying our health care system, making our streets and our communities not safe for our own families; and their presence here was not a mistake. It was planned out. Because people knew that if we give the benefits of jobs, good jobs, and the benefits that I just described that should be going to Americans, that people will come here from other countries.
No border protection will stop the massive flow of illegal immigrants into our country if we continue to give huge rewards, a treasure house of rewards, to those people who are coming here. Don't say that you want to strengthen the border because you really are serious about trying to stop illegal immigration if you are unwilling to cut off the benefits that are the lure, which are the magnet that bring people here.
Of course, there are those who claim that, who would like to say, well, yes, we really are concerned about this, and we're going to strengthen the Border Patrol. Let's just note that the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill that was in the Senate suggested that they were going to strengthen the Border Patrol enforcement and enforcement mechanisms. Yet, everything in that bill that dealt with enforcement; strengthening the Border Patrol, strengthening the fence, strengthening the ability of employers to be held accountable if they hire illegals; all of those things are already law but have not been enforced.
In fact, it is even worse that they haven't been enforced. This administration has actually undermined the effort to try to enforce the laws against illegal immigration, and they have done everything they can. While the bill suggests they want to strengthen them, and the President has had his picture taken many times on the border with Border Patrol agents saying how important they are, yet there has been no other administration that has so demoralized and attacks our Border Patrol agents in doing their duty.
By now, most Americans understand that there are two Border Patrol agents that are languishing in prison as I give this speech. But there are many such Border Patrol agents, there are many such law enforcement officers, who this administration has thrown the book at in order to send a message to those law enforcement officers and those Border Patrol agents who are there on the border trying to deflect this massive invasion from our southern border, and this administration has thrown the book at them if they make any mistake. A police officer who makes a mistake, a Border Patrol officer who makes a mistake, now understands that he or she will be prosecuted to the extent of the law, and the benefit of the doubt will be given to the illegal alien, even if the illegal alien is a criminal involved in such things as drug smuggling.
What of course is brought to mind is the case of Ramos and Compean. As I speak today, Ramos and Compean languish in Federal penitentiaries, where they have been held for 133 days in solitary confinement.
Mr. and Mrs. America, do you understand that the people who went out there to protect our families have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, while a drug dealer who they were trying to stop was given immunity in order to convict them of mistakes? And those mistakes were turned into what? Into felonies by this administration.
Johnny Sutton, who is the U.S. attorney, has a long-time relationship with our President. One might even call him a crony, or some might call him a member of the Bush family in that sense, that he has been with him for a long time. He is a protege of our President. This man determined that Ramos and Compean would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that the drug dealer that they stopped on the Mexican-American border would be granted immunity and that his word would be taken over the word of the Border Patrol agents.
What happened was that 2 years ago, these two Border Patrol agents who have unblemished records, these two Border Patrol agents who have 15 years of experience at the Border Patrol between them and a pristine on-the-job record, both of them U.S. military veterans, one of them a 10-year veteran of the Naval Reserves, these men were on the job and they saw a truck that had clearly come across the border. They tried to stop it. The man in the truck ran out. They intercepted him. A scuffle ensued. The man then, after being involved in a physical altercation with a police officer, began to run toward the border.
His version is they immediately shot him in the back. Of course, the U.S. attorney has repeated over and over again the lie that two U.S. Border Patrol agents shot a man in the back as he was running away. How many times have we heard Mr. Sutton say that? And then he also insinuated that the two Border Patrol agents are corrupt, using the word ``corrupt.''
This administration has backed up their prosecutor who used that rhetoric, who threw the book at the Border Patrol agents, even though the Border Patrol agents suggested there had been a physical altercation; that the man who was actually involved with them at that moment trying to smuggle $1 million worth of drugs into our country was turning, and the two Border Patrol agents suggested they thought they saw him turning with an object in his hand. The seconds were passing just like this. What do you think when you see someone who is trying to smuggle things across the border? You assume they are armed.
The Border Patrol agents, Ramos and Compean, shot at him, thinking that he was armed, and he got away. They didn't know if they had hit him or not. Well, the U.S. attorney took the word of the drug dealer that he didn't have a gun.
Now, first of all, how do we know that the drug dealer didn't have a gun? He had $1 million worth of drugs. Was he thus trying to smuggle all those very expensive drugs, was he trying to do this unarmed? Is that what the drug cartel does? No. If you have got a valuable shipment, generally the Border Patrol agents understand that people who are smuggling drugs are armed because they have something of great value. Their drugs were worth $1 million in this case. Should we assume that this man had a gun? I think that was a logical assumption.
What is more important is the only word that we have that he didn't have a gun was that the drug smuggler himself made that claim. Should we believe the drug smuggler over the two Border Patrol agents? That is what our prosecutor did.
That is the policy of this administration. This administration gave total immunity to the drug dealer and threw the book at the Border Patrol agents, who have risked their lives to protect our families. If they had been stopping a terrorist who had a truckload of nuclear material, a dirty bomb aimed at El Paso or some other city, these two Border Patrol agents would have been heralded as heroes. Instead, it was a Mexican, instead of an Arab terrorist, and the Mexican drug dealer was given immunity, and the Border Patrol agents are now languishing in prison, having been charged with attempted murder.
The jury in that trial, by the way, was lied to. They were told that the drug dealer had never done this before, even though newspaper accounts suggest that his family said he had been hauling drugs for a long time, since he was 14 years old, and that he indeed carried a gun many times when he was smuggling drugs.
This administration decided that they were going to prosecute not only the Border Patrol agents, but they were going to lie to the jury and portray the drug dealer as this is the only time he ever did it, and, guess what? He only did it because he needed to make money for his sick mother's medicine. That type of tripe was allowed to be told to the jury.
And let us note that three of the jurors after this was over broke down in tears when they were told that they could have actually voted not guilty, the foreman of their jury told them that if the majority voted guilty, they had to vote guilty.
Johnny Sutton, our U.S. Attorney, claims that he didn't have a choice. He did have a choice, and it reflects on this administration, and that choice was to prosecute our defenders and give the benefit of the doubt and immunity to a Mexican drug dealer. He had a choice of who to prosecute.
They also had a choice of whether they were going to tell the jury that this same drug dealer had been fingered for a second drug shipment, even after the Ramos-Compean incident, before they went to trial. But that was kept from the jury as well.
The U.S. attorney claims that Ramos and Compean were corrupt. Now he defends that saying, well, anybody who would shoot an unarmed man is corrupt. Well, let me tell you this, another bit of lawyer-like legalese that the American people can understand: The Border Patrol agents have no corruption in their background whatsoever. Yet the U.S. attorney is calling them corrupt.
Department of Homeland Security briefers who briefed Members of Congress on these two Border Patrol agents claimed they said ``we are going to go out today and shoot some Mexicans.'' And kept that up for months and then had to admit it was a total lie.
Something is dreadfully wrong here. What is dreadfully wrong is we have a President who is trying to send a message to the Border Patrol agents that they should not use their weapons or they are going to be prosecuted. Well, if you can't use your weapons on the border, how are we going to protect the border? No drug dealer or smuggler or terrorist is going to stop. If a Border Patrol agent says stop, but I can't use my weapon, you have lost control of the borders over a nonsensical policy and it has resulted in two of our heroes languishing in solitary confinement.
This administration is so mean-spirited and so nasty that when one of the Border Patrol agents was beaten up by a Mexican gang in prison, they refused to even consider asking the judge to let them out on appeal, which even common criminals are let out on appeal. No, they went into solitary confinement, quote, ``for their own protection.''
My staff visited Agent Ramos who has been in solitary confinement for 133 days. He has lost 25-35 pounds. They are not giving him proper medical care. This man, who was part of the Naval Reserve for 10 years, who risked his life for us, put his life on the border trying to stop drug dealers from bringing drugs into our communities, and this President refused to even consider asking the judge to let them out on bond until their appeal is heard.
Why is that? My guess is the President has made an agreement with the Mexican Government that there will be no use of weapons on our border, and this is part of a bigger picture, bigger understanding, bigger vision of our President, that we should have an open border with Mexico so we can have a country sort of like the border between Belgium and France in the future.
How do we know that the President has bigger visions that he doesn't let us know about? He made an agreement with the Mexican Government to provide Social Security benefits to illegals who have worked here if we indeed ever legalize the status of those people who are illegally working in our country. So yes, we are going to provide Social Security. That is part of the totalization agreement. And for 2 years we couldn't get that information about that secret understanding between our President and Mexico until Freedom of Information Act lawsuits forced them to disclose that.
What other agreements do we have? One must be that we are not going to use our weapons on the border unless our people are shot at first. What does that do to control of the border? That means we have lost total control. The Border Patrol agents understand this. They have never been more demoralized. And you tell me that we should believe that the President is serious about this issue and that Senator Kennedy and President Bush will indeed strengthen the Border Patrol when they have done everything in their power to demoralize the Border Patrol?
The bill that was being proposed in the Senate, that was withdrawn, had one purpose and one purpose only. It was not to strengthen enforcement or strengthen the Border Patrol or increase the number of beds for detention for illegal immigrants. All of those things were already done by law. And the bill that was being proposed actually decreased the amount of enforcement already mandated by law.
There was one purpose and that purpose was to legalize the status of 15-20 million people who are in our country illegally. The enhancement provisions of that bill were fraudulent because those provisions were already mandated by laws that have already passed and are not being enforced by this administration.
So the American people when they heard this and understood what was being presented to them, and we kept hearing we have to have a comprehensive bill. A ``comprehensive bill'' only means legalization. Enhancement is there to cover up the fact that legalization is what is going on.
The American people when they finally understood that, and thank God we have people on talk radio shows around this country who alerted the American people to the legislative threat that was coming down the pike, the American people rose up in a righteous rage and made sure that their Members of Congress and Members of the Senate were alerted to the fact they would not put up with this betrayal of their interests.
But the American people are up against an incredibly powerful adversary in Washington. It is an unholy alliance between business and the liberal left that controls the Democratic Party. The business community wants lower wages. The business community wants to bid down not only the wages of the illegal immigrants that are coming over, and not only will they pay fewer wages to them, but they actually can pay lower wages to the American people because having the presence of 20 million people here actually brings down the wage level that they have to pay to get the job done.
So you have the business community pushing for policies that will not inhibit the massive flow of immigrants into our society, and you have the liberal left who really believe that they want to change the fundamentals of America and that a massive flow of illegals into our country, or at least a presence of a large number of immigrants, is going to help them change America.
Well, the businessmen of course don't say that. That is not what officially is the reason. That is not officially how they can claim that they want to bring in people from other countries. They are claiming that they can't find Americans to do jobs. Before it was there are no Americans who will work at these jobs, and now they have changed the word that there aren't Americans who are working at these jobs.
Let me note that I believe the American people will work on any job as long as the pay is right. We have 60 million Americans of working age who are not working in this country. But we are being told by the business community we can't find anybody to do these jobs. The hotel industry, for example, tells us they can't find people to change the sheets and clean up the rooms at hotels. What we need to do is take a picture in our mind of these big hotels and how many people they employ and realize where these hotels are located. They are located mainly in urban areas. There are millions upon millions of American women, and also men, I might add, who would love to have a job that would permit them to drop their kids off at school at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning and come back at 3:00 in the afternoon and pick them up. That just happens to be the time when you need people to work in those hotels.
But you know what, those American people who would love to take care of their children and increase the take-home pay of their family, they are not going to work for a pittance. What happens with the illegals that come in, they work for a pittance. The hotels don't have to give them health insurance, and the American people are taxed or their health insurance has to pay for those illegals and they won't take the jobs because the jobs are paying so little.
Yes, I believe we have plenty of people to clean those hotel rooms. Let's pay them a decent wage. There is nothing wrong in believing that people who clean hotel rooms should have a middle-class income.
We are told that we can't find people to work on the farms. The farmers say there is not enough labor. There is a large number of people who labor on farms, but there is, yes, a component of people that we have brought in from other countries. We don't need to bring in these people from other countries. But every time I mention there is an alternative, people scream and yell. There is a big smoke screen that comes up because everybody refuses to look at an idea honestly. Instead, they want to negate the argument without actually confronting the idea because there are millions of young men in particular who are able to work on the farms; and millions, by the way, are in prison.
I look to see where the prisons are located in this country, and they are almost all in farm areas. Is there any reason in the world that we should just have prisoners beefing up at the gymnasium and watching TV, that we can't also have them earning money that otherwise would be going to foreigners, let them earn the money. Let them pay half of it to pay for their keep so it brings down the cost to the taxpayers, and let them walk out of prison 5 years later with half of the money that they have made being paid a market value for helping pick fruits and vegetables.
I have talked to prisoners and people who work in the prisons. They all love this idea, but every time you bring it up in the Congress, no, you don't hear a logical argument against it. You just hear no, no, no, we can't do that.
I'm sorry, just raising your voice and saying that can't be considered is not good enough. The American people understand that prisoners can work. And we don't have to bring in millions of people from overseas to take those jobs.
Also, we, of course, understand that it is not just low-level jobs with massive numbers of immigrants coming into our society. The business community also tells us these are the jobs people won't take, supposedly. We need to bring in hundreds of thousands of people with H-1B visas to run computer systems and to be technical people. What's the matter, Americans won't do those jobs?
I went to a function a few years ago and I will never forget it. A middle-aged person stopped me, and said, Congressman, I came here because I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to thank you because you were the only one who really stood up and argued against the H-1B visas which brought in hundreds of thousands of people from the Indian subcontinent to do these computer jobs. He said, you said it is going to bring down the wages of the American people, and I have the newspaper quote. And he said, you know what, I was a computer operator in Orange County earning $80,000 a year. They laid me off and a year later when they called me back to the company, they said they were going to pay me $50,000. He said, I had the same job and I was earning $80,000. And they said take the job because we can get an H-1B visa person from India to take this job for $40,000 if you won't take it for $50,000. He said, I took the job.
And he said, Do you know, Congressman, what the difference between earning $50,000 and $80,000 is? When you earn $50,000 a year in Orange County, you never dream of owning your own home.
Why are we betraying people like this? Why are we bringing in hundreds of thousands of people from overseas rather than have the industry pay more money? No, no, they are keeping the wages down, bringing in people who will work for a pittance while the CEOs of these companies are paying themselves tens of millions of dollars a year. There is nothing wrong with paying a CEO a good salary, but you are doing that by destroying the middle class of our country by taking it out of the mouths of working people, honest Americans who are willing to work, but now you want them to work as if they are peons and people of lower income are coming from all over the world?
Well, I was just confronted by this again in the health care industry. People want me to agree to bring in 100,000 Filipino nurses or 100,000 Indian or Pakistani nurses into our country. Nurses make $65,000-$70,000 a year. Our junior college system in California, you know, how many nurses are we graduating from there? No, in my own city we have a junior college that has 25,000 students and they graduate 185 people from their nursing program a year, and they think that is a great thing. What about those other thousands of kids? They are getting prepared to do what, sell clothes at Nordstrom's, so they can be an assistant manager at a 7-Eleven store and earn $35,000?
We need to remold our educational efforts to make sure that our kids are equipped to do these jobs, whether it is in computers or whether it is health care, rather than bringing in hundreds of thousands of people from overseas. It is our kids who should be getting the jobs for $65,000 a year when they start. But no, our system would prefer, because the people in our system are lazy. They don't want to go through the heartache of trying to reform the structure because a lot of college professors, by the way, who teach sociology in junior colleges, refuse to let the people who are teaching health care to our nurses to make more money than they make, and of course a nurse makes more money than a sociology professor, but they can't do it in our schools. So instead of reforming our education system so we can have more nursing people, rather than going overseas, instead we are just going to go overseas and bring hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and Pakistanis and Indians in.
This is horrible. H-1B visas are nothing more than an excuse by big business to keep wages down and give these opportunities to foreigners rather than our own American people.
Our American people, especially the young people, are being betrayed by this type of policy and this type of thinking.
There is a war that is being waged on the middle class in this country. It's a war that's being waged, yes, by people on the liberal left who have a radical agenda, never believed in the American way of life in the first place, and yes, in the business community that has no loyalty to their American workers whatsoever.
We see it in the China policy, where businesses will go overseas and basically participate in slave labor in order to make a 20 percent profit rather than a 5 or 6 percent profit here in the United States paying people decent wages.
We end up having a government policy that subsidizes these businessmen to go overseas, especially in China. There are loan guarantee programs for people who invest in manufacturing facilities in China. This is outrageous. We transfer our technology and our skills to the Chinese people when their government is a dictatorship that is opposed to everything we believe in and represses their own people, especially the religious people.
But yet, we let our American business community ship our jobs and our technology over there at what? The businessmen make a lot of money. The business elite make their money for a few years, and in the end, the American people suffer. Their high-paying manufacturing jobs are gone, again, subsidized by the American taxpayer.
We can see it in the China policy. We can see it in our immigration policy. There is a war being conducted on the American middle class. And what do we have here? Our people work hard, and they have fought the battles for freedom, and they have fought the battles to make sure that the businessmen in this country have a right to private property. Yet, those people who send the jobs to China are bringing illegal immigrants to bring down wages. They do not care about the American people.
It is our job, supposedly our job, to watch out for the American people. However, we have various powerful interests at play right here in the Congress that are stirring us away from watching out for their interests. As I've said, we've got our health care system and our education system and our legal system are all under attack. Our Social Security system is under attack, and we are called bigots and hate mongers because we want to watch out for the American people.
There was some suggestions by very high government officials and high political people here that those of us who were opposed to this comprehensive amnesty bill that, in some way, we're not for doing right for America or that our hearts are filled with hate. Well, let me note this. It is not selfish for the American people to demand that the resources that we have in our country be used for their benefit and the benefit of their families. That's not selfishness.
If being an American citizen means nothing, it means nothing, how can we ever expect the people to go and defend our country? How can we expect the American people to think that there's something special about being an American if we give every benefit that belongs to them to someone who's come here illegally?
And let us note this. We don't hate the people who come here illegally. In fact, we have to note, yes, there are criminals that come here illegally. There are drug dealers, but 90 percent of the people who come here are probably very wonderful people. We would come here, too, but it is the job of the United States Government not to help good people who need help and would come here from all over the world. Our job is to watch out for the interests of the American people, and if that doesn't mean anything, why should the American people be loyal to us if we're not being loyal to them?
We're not saying that illegals are bad people. We just know that if they drain the education system, the health care system, if they come in and they're poor, they're going to take $100,000 in their lifetime more out of Social Security than they put in. It's going to bankrupt Social Security. Is there anything wrong with saying that we're going to watch out for our people first, our people being the people who are citizens of the United States and people who have come here legally?
And again, let me note this. Not only do we not think poorly of illegals, because we have to protect ourselves against diseases that are coming in, criminals that are coming in, yes, but by and large, illegal immigrants are trying to come here to better their families, but they're doing it at the expense of the American people.
However, let us note that the people who are the worst hurt on this are the legal immigrants. I had a telephonic town hall meeting last night, and the number of the people who called in to complain about illegal immigration are the people who came here legally, who are in this country legally, most of whom have become citizens.
This flood of illegals into our society is the worst threat to people who have come here legally, and once we legalize the status of the 15 to 20 million who have come here illegally, it is an insult and a slap at the legal people, also the people who are waiting overseas by the tens of millions to come here legally.
Now, we are not being bigoted. We're not being selfish. We're watching out for the interests of the American people, and there's nothing wrong with that, and the legal immigrants who are here fully understand, and we are not in any way anti-legal immigrant.
Well, what's happening, of course, the Americans who are worst hit are at the bottom end of the scale. Those people who are struggling in the black community to get these jobs and would like good paying jobs are being edged out by illegals. American citizens who happen to be black should pay attention to how their elected officials are voting on this illegal immigration issue. There's nothing more damaging to the black community than illegal immigration that denies benefits and jobs to our own citizens.
Also, the Mexican American community, proud Americans who happen to be of Mexican descent, they are being hurt because they're being stigmatized by a massive influx of illegals into our country from Mexico. It is wrong and they know that. Americans of Mexican descent are proud and patriotic people. They have earned more medals in defending our country than any other ethnic group in the United States. They are being hard hit. These are the people who would be the hardest hit by the Bush-Kennedy so-called comprehensive immigration reform bill.
What it is, of course, again is an immigration bill that the enforcement part is just a facade and a fraud, but the real purpose is to immediately legalize the status of 15 to 20 million people who are in our country illegally.
Let's note, in that bill what was proposed, and we have no idea what they're going to bring back at us, a Z visa would have had to have been issued to any illegal immigrant who was applying to get this visa that would give them a temporary status, but the temporary status would be a legal status, and they could renew that visa as many times as they want. There's no limit on how long they could stay here on a ``temporary'' visa, but the legal status permitted them to get all these benefits that legal citizens would get except for voting.
And what would happen? The people of our government were going to give only 24 hours to give a person who had applied to give them Z visas. How many tens of thousands of criminals, of people who are ill with communicable diseases, of terrorists would have been allowed to come into our country on a temporary status but renewably forever, had that happened, thank God that bill was held back. But that bill will come back again and is coming back again unless we rise up again and make our voices heard, because they are trying to bring back the illegal immigration bill that would have given amnesty to those 15 to 20 million illegals.
Now, let me note that there has been a bill that has been submitted by LAMAR SMITH, BRIAN BILBRAY and others that is a bill here in the House that is an example of the type of immigration reform that is real reform, which is aimed at enforcement, which is aimed at trying to make sure that employers can verify whether or not someone who's applying for a job is an illegal immigrant or not, and strengthening the border patrol and the agents and building a fence. This is in LAMAR SMITH's bill. That is a real bill. That is a bill we need.
And I would hope that the American people say we don't need a comprehensive bill, we need an enforcement bill. As I say, unless the American people are paying attention, and becoming involved in the process, those powerful interest works that are at play here, working against their well-being, will carry the day. That bill will come back. Unless we express our anger and our outrage over this betrayal of the interests of average Americans, it will pass, just as it was on line to pass before. Yet another attempt to try to get a bill through without the American people understanding what is in that bill and how threatening it is.
There is, of course, a lot of examples where the interests of our people are not being watched here in this Congress, and there's no doubt that there are interests at work. Unless the American people pay attention, those special interests will succeed.
One of the powerful influences in Washington right now is based on the concept of globalism. That's why we're trying to build up the economy of China, because this strategy is that we're going to have a global system of government and of trade and of economics. And that global system is a dream that is a driving force behind many of the policies that are so detrimental to our American people. Because if you watch out for the globe, that means that you're going to be taking from the American people.
By definition, our people, being in the richest country of the world, are going to be the targets that are selected to try to extract benefits from them and the wealth from them in order to have a better globe, a better world. Well, I want there to be a better world, but I'm not going to do it by taking away from the rights and the well-being of the American people.
What we've got here in the immigration bill and our China policies is a fight between those with a globalist approach versus a patriotic approach. It's the patriots versus the globalists. Now, we care about the other people in the world. Because we want to protect the interests of the American people doesn't mean that we are nasty and that we hate people.
But the people of the United States of America have a very special role to play in this world. We're people who come here from every race and every religion, every part of the world, and we have come here. We are living together, trying to live together in peace and harmony, trying to say to the world, as our Founding Fathers meant us to say in the Declaration of Independence, that people have rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that we are here to show a better way.
If we diminish the well-being of the people of the United States of America, we take away from their opportunity in order to build up others. In order to build a vision of the globe, it will be a great disservice not only to the American people but to the people of the world.
It has been the American people that set the standard. It's been the American people who stepped out and defeated Japanese militarism and Nazism when it threatened the world. It's been the American people who have stepped out and defeated communism and deterred the communist expansion until that evil atheistic system had a chance to disintegrate. It is the American people now who bear the brunt of the war on radical Islam that would create Islamic dictatorships and treat women all over the world as cattle.
We are the ones who are protecting the world against these evils, and if the American people ever come to the point where they lose faith in our system because we have not been watching out for their interests, yes, it will be a horrible, a horrible outcome, not only for the people, not only for our country, but for the entire planet because the planet, the good and decent people of this planet, depend on us to show the way.
We cannot just forget that the Social Security benefits of our people will be damaged and be put in jeopardy if we allow poverty stricken people to flood into our country. We can't forget what it's going to do to the American people, what it will do to the United States. What is the United States? The United States is us, U.S.
In 1986, we, us, the United States, the people of the United States, were told that by granting amnesty to 3 million illegals, that would end the problem because there would be enforcement on employers and that would then stop this problem, and there was an irritation of having 3 million people here illegally.
Well, today, we are told there are 11 million. Most of us believe it is more like 15 to 20 million illegals who live among us. What that means is that if we end up now, giving them legal status, we will have 50 million to 60 million illegals here win 10 years. We will have lost our country. America will be lost to people who have come here illegally from other countries.
Wake up, America. We are losing our country, and it is not just a mistake. There have been policies that have encouraged this invasion.
Now, we are told that those who are opposing this invasion of illegals into this country have no alternative. Oh, you are saying, well, you were opposed to legalization status.
Well, what's your option? There is an option. The most dishonest argument that has been presented is that we have to either legalize the status with amnesty, or we have to have massive deportation. That was the most dishonest approach that I have heard, except for someone who is trying to claim that the word ``amnesty'' doesn't mean what amnesty means.
Well, there is an alternative to mass deportation or just giving amnesty or legalization. It's called attrition. It means that when people come here, we should not provide them free education, free health care, free services. If their child is born here, they shouldn't become a U.S. citizen automatically, because, by the way when they do, automatically they get housing subsidies and everything else based on the idea that they have got a U.S. citizen in their household.
No, if you deny them those things and you deny them jobs, first of all, people will hear that overseas and they will quit coming. Those who are already here illegally will find it hard to get by, and eventually, slowly but surely they will eventually go home. It's called attrition. There is nothing wrong with that approach. It is not massive deportation, it is not legalization. It is the one thing that will work. It is an alternative.
Those people who present the so-called comprehensive plan have only one thing in mind, legalizing the status of those who are already here illegally, and that will result in 50 to 100 million more illegals coming to work for our country. Thus, what is the alternative? The only alternative is to strengthen our border, yes, strengthen our border, strengthen our visa system.
Most people don't understand that 40 percent of all illegals don't come from our southern border, 40 percent of them are coming in with visa ands just overstaying their visa. Again it was a conscious decision not to reform our visa system so we would know if someone who had come in has left.
Our system, right now, we don't know if they have left and gone home or not. We could have reformed that. But, instead, we did not because it was policy to bring in these illegals. Those who are talking about comprehensive approach, they are the ones who back that policy.
Now, we have an alternative. The alternative, attrition, the alternative is making sure that we strengthen the border, but then we deny benefits and jobs to those who are here. We can do this. This is a job that is not beyond our ability in this Congress to do. We could certainly build a fence, and we can certainly have enforcement mechanisms done right away, which is what the bill LAMAR SMITH has recently placed in the hopper.
Now, Americans need to pay attention to what's going on. They need to know the arguments. They need to know people, the arguments that people are making, who are trying to fool them, and they need to speak up. There needs to be the same kind of outcry that we heard about a month ago, because that's when the powers that be were back down on the Senate side with that amnesty, with the Bush-Kennedy amnesty legalization bill.
It's time to step up. We cannot count on the government to protect our interest, the elected officials. We all have to participate.
This is the United States of America versus those people who do not have the interests of the American people at heart. It's time for the patriots to be heard. We will lose this fight unless the patriots are heard.
I would now like to thank the Chair for permitting me this time and would call on the American people to be active, be patriots, and I am proud to serve them here in the United States Congress.