Remarks on the Differences Between the House and Senate Border Security Bills
Mr. CARTER: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to address this House about an issue that, at least as I travel around my district, as I travel around my State, is one of the defining issues of our time, and that is the issue which we are hearing about every day: What are we going to do about the immigration policy and the immigration influx into this country?
I thought I would come down here today and see if we could not analyze this the way we sort of like to analyze evidence as we do in the courtroom. We need to take a look at what is the problem that brings us to this point that we have to address this thing, and I would propose first and foremost we need to look at the big problem and decide where is the crisis today as we stand here on this floor on July 12.
Where would the American public define the crisis to be as we deal with people who are coming into this country from other countries? And when I say other countries, I mean many, many other countries but predominantly I am addressing today the crossing of our southern border out of Mexico. Where are we concerned and why are we concerned?
Many people say, let us look at the big picture of this issue, which is that we have an estimate that is somewhere between 12 million and 15 million people that have come into this country since we granted amnesty back in 1986 or 1987 under the Reagan administration and opened the doors to the people who are here and gave them a fast track to American citizenship. We then said that we would go to the border and protect our borders and crack down on those people who would offer employment to folks who wanted to come in here illegally and we would prevent that. Mr. Speaker, the number, and whatever it may be but it is in the millions, clearly above 10 million and less than 20 million by most estimates, that are here in this country, as some like to say hiding in the shadows of our economy today, they are here. Now, why are they here?
Did we enforce the border? No. Did we crack down on employers that were employing these people? No. Did we do what we promised the American people we would do when we basically granted amnesty to 3 million people back in the 1980s? And that 3 million, by the way, grew in great proportion, because when those people received amnesty they were also able to bring in their families, their children and their wives and their extended families, until that number grew to substantially more than what was estimated.
We will not go into that today, but did we do our job? Did we, as Democrats for a long time and as Republicans for a long time, did we do our job? I submit to you that the evidence shows we did not. And because the great prize of being forgiven of your sins, if you will, was granted in the 1980s, millions more came.
So is that the crisis? Those people, are they the crisis that have people so concerned across the country today? It is of interest. People are somewhat concerned, but I would submit, Mr. Speaker, that is not the crisis that people are concerned about and that is on their minds when they sit down to breakfast in the morning or when they talk to their families at night or when they visit with their neighbors or when they go out in public. That is not the concern. The concern is that border and those people coming across.
Mr. Speaker, we hear from people in this country, and there is certainly a valid economic argument for it, that we need these folks to come in here and take the jobs that Americans don't want. And there is some validity to that argument. There is some validity to many of these diligent hardworking people who have come to this country to take really tough jobs out there, working in the heat in Texas in the summertime, which is, believe me, having done it, it is a hard job. No matter where you are, if you are out digging post holes, laying asphalt, or putting a roof on in Texas, you are earning your pay. It is hot, tiring, almost thankless work. So we say we need these folks to build those fences, put those roofs down, and lay that asphalt. We need them. We have to have them. And there are those who can present evidence to that effect and make an argument for it.
But is that the crisis that people are worried about in this country? Is that what people, your neighbors, are visiting with you about? Is that what you are talking about when you gather in your community: Oh, we have such a shortage of workers here. We have so many jobs that people are not doing. We are just really in such desperate need of help, it is a crisis in our country. Mr. Speaker, I would also submit that is not the crisis that the American people are concerned about.
So then let's examine this picture further. Let's say, well, the statistics seem to show us that pretty regularly 1,000 people cross the Mexican-U.S. border into the United States every single day. That probably on many days is a very conservative estimate, but the average that both the Border Patrol and those who are down there that are trying to determine what is happening, that is pretty much what everybody agrees to, that at least 1,000 people a day are crossing our border, at least 30,000 to 31,000 people a month are crossing this border, or 365,000 people a year are crossing the southern border of the United States into our country. And they are doing it, Mr. Speaker, no matter what you want to call it, they are doing it illegally.
The law says you can't do that, that it is against the law. You can call it whatever you want to call it, but it is breaking the laws of these United States, and these people are coming in at least in those numbers. And in addition to those people, or as a part of those people, who else is coming across our southern borders? Do we know?
Well, we know a little bit. We know that last year we caught 68,000 what we call OTMs. Those are people that are ``other than Mexicans.'' And that is a term that has been adopted to define people from any other country
but Mexico that have been caught and apprehended crossing our southern border. The Border Patrol and the immigration authorities have determined to call them OTMs, ``other than Mexicans.''
We have heard in testimony at hearings, just as recently as last week, that 30,000 Brazilians were shipped home a short time ago; that people from the Middle East, people from China, people from all over the Southern hemisphere have come into this country illegally crossing the Mexican border into the United States. Mr. Speaker, I would submit that that is the crisis.
Mr. Speaker, I would submit that when people discuss what they are very concerned about, what they think has the potential to change their lives, to threaten their lives, it is who is coming across our southern border in these huge volumes. That is what the American people see as a crisis.
Now, we are called upon, as we look at what is going on here in Congress, we are called upon to address these issues, and I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that what we are called upon to do is to address the crisis first. I have used this example before, but if a series of wreck victims is brought in from a car wreck out on the highway outside of Washington, DC, today, and brought into the emergency room of the hospital, and we have one man who has a broken arm and we have one man who is skinned up because he slid on the pavement and maybe he has a broken hand and maybe a sore back, and then we have one man who has arterial bleeding from the throat, where is the crisis? The man with the arterial bleeding from the throat is going to bleed out and die in seconds if the emergency room does not immediately go and stop the bleeding where it is occurring because it doesn't take long for the heart to pump the body dry out of a main artery. Of course, our well-trained medical professionals in this country would recognize to go to the crisis and meet the crisis where the bleeding is.
The bleeding, Mr. Speaker, is at the border. That is where the bleeding is.
We have to do what we have to do to address how to stop the bleeding on the issue of immigration.
Right now we have two bills that are about to be discussed in conference committee that supposedly the two Houses of Congress are looking at what is important to take care of so that we can start down the road of having a responsible immigration process.
I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that after three trips to the border in the last 9 months, I am absolutely convinced that not only is the need most important that we secure our borders, but what the American people want us to do is secure our sovereignty and our borders, both on the southern border and the northern border of these United States, but the bleeding right now and the numbers coming across are clearly in the south.
I think the bill which has passed the House of Representatives is a bill that deals with the issue that is in crisis in America today on the issue of immigration. And I am going to submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that if any of our Members, and many of them have, and so I want to praise them for doing so, but if any of them will travel to the border towns of Texas, and I would highly recommend a trip to Laredo, Texas, or El Paso, Texas, or Del Rio, Texas, or Brownsville, Texas, or McAllen, Texas, or any of the other border crossings, but this day I recommend Laredo, Texas, and if you are not frightened about what you learn from the Nuevo Laredo citizens and from the Border Patrol immigration and ICE as to what is going on in Laredo, Mexico today, then your wood is mighty wet because you just don't see it.
The fact is there is a drug war raging in Nuevo Laredo. That is a cartel war going on with people firing automatic weapons at both civilians and members of the police force and the army in Mexico right across the Texas border. Live fire is received across the Texas border constantly. Ask the Border Patrol, they will tell you about it. They know about it.
Congressman JOHN CULBERSON and I were there, with our colleague Mr. Cuellar, visiting on the southern border. JOHN was walking out on the bridge and his foot slipped on something on the international bridge, a bridge, by the way, that being a native Texan who spent at least 45 years of his life in the central Texas area, I have crossed as many times as there are Members of the House of Representatives I would certainly venture to say, because I have a great love for the country of Mexico.
I have visited Nuevo Laredo on numerous occasions. I have taken my wife Erica, my mother-in-law and father-in-law from the Netherlands, German visitors that have visited us from Germany, my wife's nieces and nephews from Germany, I have taken all these people across that border to have a good meal, to go shopping for souvenirs from Mexico, which are very, very cherished in Europe, and enjoyed a camaraderie with the Mexican people that was wonderful. It was a good place to take people to show them the fellowship between Texas and Mexico.
Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't recommend anybody crossing that international bridge today. Not one soul. Because what JOHN CULBERSON stepped on on that bridge was a spent round of a nine millimeter automatic weapon that had been fired at our Border Patrol. Not because they were shooting at them, just because they were shooting in that direction. It had pock marks, where we could see on the international bridge that it had ricocheted off and ended up on the ground, and Mr. Culberson stepped on it.
Mr. Culberson can show you that spent round, and I'm sure, Mr. Speaker, you have seen it.
We asked the Border Patrol, what's this?
Oh, that is a 9 millimeter. About 3 days ago they kind of sprayed the bridge a little bit. It happens a lot. We kind of just duck and then keep the traffic moving.
What kind of world are those people living in there? And then that night and every night before and every night thereafter, 1,000 breakers of the law cross that international line from San Diego to Brownsville and break the laws of the United States.
Mr. Speaker, as we analyze the evidence here, it is pretty clear. We have a crisis on our southern border. Now, how are we going to deal with that crisis? The House bill says, let's go and target sealing up our borders as best we can. Nobody in their right mind who has ever been to south Texas or west Texas and seen those miles and miles of Texas that we are all so proud of, they all know it is going to be a tough job to secure Texas borders alone.
And Arizona is just the same desert. It is the same wide-open country. And God bless Arizona and New Mexico and California, they don't have the ankle-deep Rio Grande to protect their borders. All they have is a barbed wire fence. So it is not an easy job for us to secure that border.
But, Mr. Speaker, we have the technology and the know how. We have the people who can do the job. If we provide the resources, we can make it much more secure and move towards making it secure so those law-breakers who want to enter our country find it very difficult to enter our country. They find themselves being detained, being deported.
Those people who come into this country from other countries find themselves not with a get-out-of-jail-free pass as they can wander among the populace of the United States as it used to be with our catch-and-release program, but under the House bill we would detain these people, these OTMs coming into this country. The Mexicans we would take back to Mexico and we would enforce the law.
The people say to me in my district, when we start talking about immigration, at least 20 percent of the questions I have in my town hall meetings are, What's wrong with enforcing the laws we already have? I can't say a word because I agree with them. I agreed with them when I sat on the bench as a district judge and we would call Immigration to ask them to come pick up people who were clearly illegally in this country and have reluctance to do so.
I saw it with a number of our people sitting in our jails in Williamson County, Texas, who were illegal aliens, taking up jail space that our taxpayers are spending good, hard-earned dollars for. I saw them at the emergency rooms in our little local hospitals and in our big metropolitan hospitals, overwhelming our medical system; and we could not get the response we needed.
We have neglected our job, and now the House is saying we are ready to get the job done and we are submitting the resources and the ideas and the manpower and the technology to the Border Patrol and those agencies, including our Texas sheriffs and other law enforcement people in Texas and Arizona and New Mexico and California, so we can start to meet the crisis at the border and stop the bleeding. That is what our House plan says.
And it says, this is a start. We will back this up with action. We will do the job and we will support the laws that exist, and we will make better laws on the books.
Now the Senate has another plan. The Senate sees all those things that I listed in our evidence that we were looking at as to what is the crisis in immigration. The Senate is sitting there saying, We have to address all of them. In fact, they seem to be more interested in those things that our evidence shows are not bleeding than they seem to be interested in where the bleeding is at the border.
Now, they have some things in what I would like to call the Reid-Kennedy bill, and I will explain that in a minute, but the bill that came out of the Senate. What they have done, they have some border enforcement provisions. I don't want to deny that. But they spend a lot of time trying to deal with what are we going to do with these people that are here, that are already here illegally, and what are we going to do about a work program.
So they come up with a convoluted plan that, I am going to title part of this plan as the ``illegal document industries job security plan,'' all right, because one of the things we know, and I know that the Speaker knows this from his past experience, and others know, that most of the people, in fact, all of the people who are illegal aliens working in the United States, our employers 90 percent of the time are making sure that they have some documentation to show at least on their books that that person is legally in the country. And they are taking this documentation and putting it into files.
But there is a real, solid industry along the borders of the United States producing false documents, false Social Security cards, false driver's licenses, false pay stubs, pretty much anything you want. It is interesting to note that part of that industry grew up and got its birth out of what, out of amnesty in the 1980s because it took some documentation to show that you had been in this country for awhile so we could give you that fast track to citizenship. So those people who came over last night were quickly out there looking for somebody to mass produce for them documents to show they have been here for a period of time.
Now the Senate gives us a plan that says if you have been here so many years, you have to do this. So many other years, you have to do this, but you are on track for citizenship; and if you have been here 10 years or whatever their number is, you are in line, but you are behind everybody else. But you are in line for citizenship. We are going to require proof that you have been here that period of time, and the illegal document printing presses are rolling today in anticipation of the Reid-Kennedy bill, and it is now approaching a several
million dollar industry.
These poor people who came here to work are paying sometimes a month's pay just to get a false Social Security card or get a false document showing that you have been here for a certain period of time to meet this deadline. Or here are 20 paychecks dating back 10 years so you get in that other good line so you can become an American citizen.
This provision of the Senate bill is a Federal Government boost to an illegal industry producing illegal documentation for the United States.
Mr. Speaker, why do we know that? Because we have experience to prove it. The few cases that have been prosecuted, we find all kinds of fraud and illegal documentation on Social Security cards.
Something that is interesting in my district, I have a lady who got a call from the IRS. I am going to say something on this. I am going to say the IRS seems to be doing at least some thinking outside of the box. The Social Security system, obviously everything must be computerized because there don't seem to be any human beings with common sense in the Social Security system. If you have a Social Security card, and I heard a number today of the billions of dollars of money that comes into Social Security, and everybody says it is all on ten Social Security cards and it is coming from 100 different sources on one Social Security card. They know it is there. They say, Hmmm, that's interesting.
But I have a lady in my district who gets a call from the IRS. They said we looked at your last tax return and we show three sources of unreported income for you that you did not declare on your tax return.
She said that is impossible because I am a stay-at-home mother and wife. My husband is the only source of income in our family.
The IRS said, No, ma'am, according to our records you have three jobs in Arkansas working in chicken processing plants in three different cities. You would think that the man would realize just by his very statement that didn't make any sense.
She said, How can I work in three different cities in three different processing plants every day? How would that work?
He said, Yes, I guess that is right. Maybe we better take a look at this. It looks like somebody is using your Social Security number.
They tracked down that Social Security number. A little stink was raised to try to get it done. Guess what. Not only did these three people have that Social Security number, but, lo and behold, they had gotten a valid copy of a Texas birth certificate to go along with it because as it turns out, all it takes to get your birth certificate is a Social Security number.
So these people have been running up her income and reporting it on that Social Security number by the employers, and they thought they were going to hold her responsible for that income.
Mr. Speaker, that kind of false documentation is all over America today. So the Senate in that one section is creating, I would argue, another illegal industry in this country.
Mr. Speaker, I have a background, and many of you in the House know, and I know you know this, Mr. Speaker, I spent 20 years as a judge on the bench in what I would argue, and you won't get much argument back in Texas, in the toughest county in the State on criminals. I spent 20 years putting people in prison for illegal behavior.
We have prosecutors who do their jobs. We have law enforcement officers who do their jobs, and we have judges and juries who tell people: You do crime, and you do time in Williamson County, Texas. This is the world I grew up in, and it is the world I believe in, and it is the reason that today and for the last 10 to 12 years at least that I know of, the lowest crime rate in the State of Texas was in Williamson County, Texas. It is because criminals knew if you want to go into the criminal business, find some other county because in Williamson County, the cost of doing business is high. And I am proud to say my colleagues that were on the bench with me are maintaining that kind of standard in Texas today.
But why do we do that? Because we want the citizens of our county and I want the citizens of my entire district to feel like they live and raise their children and go to work in a safe community, a community that respects the rule of law and does not tolerate unlawful behavior.
And yet we have created an immigration system that for the vast, vast majority of people coming into this country, they are coming in illegally.
There are good, hardworking, honest people who are doing it right to come into the United States. We are that beacon of freedom, liberty and opportunity. We are the same beacon we have always been. But the difference is, these people wait in line.
If you are from the Philippines, they tell me you wait 16 years to come into the United States. It took my district director 18 months to bring his wife and two children. His wife was educated at the University of Texas in El Paso. To bring them in from Canada, he did it legally, and it took 18 months; the woman never even had a parking ticket.
So there are honest, hardworking people that are doing it the right way, and those are the immigrants that we reference when we say: We are a nation of immigrants. That is right, we are a nation of immigrants that came here legally and came here to be Americans and to be part of America and to contribute to America and to learn to be part of our society. They didn't come in to live in the shadows of our Nation. That's the kind of immigrants we need to encourage. But our system now is so overwhelming that it is 50-to-1 illegal-to-legal people coming into this country today.
Some of the other interesting things that the bill will do, the amnesty part of the bill that the Senate has passed, as a result of the amnesty provisions they have created, over 60 million new immigrants will be allowed in this country over the next 20 years. Do we need 60 million new people? I don't know, but it is an overwhelming number.
Mexico, under the Senate bill, would have to be consulted before we built any barriers on our borders, protecting our sovereignty. We have to call up the President of Mexico and say, Excuse me, we are thinking about building a fence.
We are thinking about building a wall. We are thinking about building barriers where you can't drive your vehicles loaded with dope across our border. Would that be okay? Oh, it's not? Sorry. We will call you later. What kind of thinking is that, Mr. Speaker?
And then, you know, whether you believe the rhetoric that went on in the Social Security system argument that took place in this House a year ago or not, all logical thinking people will tell you our Social Security system has got some real problems meeting its obligations. Once the baby boomers are in the system it is going to be a problem. But the Senate doesn't see a problem because they are wanting to guarantee Social Security benefits would be provided to illegal immigrants. For the time they were in this country illegally we are going to give them Social
Security benefits in this country. I hope the teachers back in Texas who don't get their Social Security benefits, and should, are hearing this message, that the Reid-Kennedy bill thinks they should have Social Security benefits, but unfortunately, Texas teachers don't get it.
Also, I happen to have been blessed with four beautiful children and I am real proud of them. But when you get ready to send them to college you have got to be proud of them because they cost a lot of money, okay? And my wife and I can testify that sending four kids to college is one of the great experiences of life. Of course it is not going to be too bad an experience for illegal immigrants because rather than being out-of-state tuition payers like anybody from any other State or country that would come into this country, oh, no, the bill will guarantee them in-state tuition. And believe me, in Texas the difference between in-state and out of state, as you well know, Mr. Speaker, is a substantial plus for these illegal immigrants, these people who broke the law. Some of them crossed that border, Mr. Speaker, 10 or 15 times before they dodged that Border Patrol.
You know, you meet with those Border Patrolmen out there in the bushes and you talk to those guys and when you get them to kind of open up with you, they say, you know, kind of one of the frustrating things is some of these guys I know them by their first name. I catch these guys every other day until they finally slip past me. I know who their kids are just about, I have visited with them so much. But they ultimately get by and they ultimately get in, and then we don't find them.
And I am just touching on a few points. So we are also going to create a worker program under the Senate bill to bring people in here. So let's see, we are going to deal with, somehow deal with the citizenship aspect of 12 to 15 million people who are already here.
Then we are going to have a program that is going to bring in, I don't know the number, 250, 300,000 a year under a work program.
Let me tell you something, Mr. Speaker, and I know you have experienced this in your part of the country too and your part of the State. People who are waiting to do this thing legally, waiting to get their background checks, waiting to do the right thing, you know, to have sponsors that will vouch for them so they won't be a burden on our welfare system, this is what people who come in here legally do. They have to have a background check. The FBI checks them to make sure they are not terrorists, make sure they are the kind of people we want here. Someone has to stand up for them and say when they come here I will make sure they are not a burden on our society; I will guarantee that they will have a place to be and a job and these type of things. That is how it works legally. Of course these illegal people, none of that is done.
So as we are going to process these people, at a minimum, and I would argue much more, but at a minimum, we put 15 million people into the system, all of whom are going to need background checks. If not, then how do we know that the one we don't give a background check to is not a terrorist? Because we know for a fact, we have caught people coming across our border from Iraq, from Iran, from Afghanistan, from Pakistan, and from areas that have harbored terrorists all over the Middle East have crossed our southern border. We know that because we have caught them, and we have actually caught some that are on the terrorist lists.
Now, does that mean we are just going to, for this 15 million that are already here because they have been here for at least a couple of days, up to maybe 10 or 15 years, how do we know what their background is if we don't do a background check?
So we are going to dump that 15 million people into the system. Then each year, in addition to that, we are going to dump 350,000 guest workers into a system, into a system, Mr. Speaker, my office that works in my part of the State of Texas in San Antonio, into a system where right now people who are trying to get clearances on their visas or trying to get clearances to become citizens of the United States. The San Antonio office is working on the years 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, with just the normal legal immigration issues that are in the system now.
How are those folks going to deal with that 10 million or 150 million people that we are going to have to do all that processing on that we are going to all of a sudden anoint with some kind of route to citizenship? How are those people going to do in San Antonio, Texas with that 350,000 people that cross the border and have to have those things?
Mr. Speaker, I would submit that the evidence of what has happened in the United States since amnesty, back in the 1980s, the evidence is overwhelming that when the system becomes overwhelmed by its burden, the system breaks down to where the system doesn't work. And I find nobody even thinking out just that little simple part of this as to how in the world are you going to be able to make this thing work without overwhelming people that are in the immigration and naturalization business? How are you going to do it?
I would submit, Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what is going to happen to those folks if the Senate bill passes. I want to tell you, I keep calling this the Reid-Kennedy bill and it has a different title. But I think that is an appropriate title because this is actually a bill that was pushed through the Senate by the Democrats.
And let me tell you just a couple of examples. Among the many Democrat amendments to the bill that was submitted when they started out with the Senate immigration legislation, our friend Mr. Kennedy offered one that would allow illegal immigrants who have worked less than 40 days to be eligible for green cards. The amendment was adopted with the support of 42 Democrats. 41 Republicans opposed it.
The Senate legislation included a provision to award Social Security benefits, which I have already talked about, to illegal immigrants. The Republicans offered an amendment to strip this provision from the bill. Mr. Kennedy led the fight, the Democrats cast their vote, and now, under their bill, we are giving Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.
An amendment sponsored by Senators HARRY REID and TED KENNEDY rejected English as our national language and supplanted a Republican amendment that would have required those seeking citizenship to learn English. And guess what? That is the law. You are supposed to.
You know, when my wife became an American citizen, and that is something I ought to tell everybody and all
of the Members of the House ought to know this, and I think many of them do. I certainly am not anti-immigrant. I am married to one, and she gave me four beautiful children, and she is a great American and proud to be a naturalized American citizen of the United States. But she had to demonstrate a proficiency in English to become an American citizen, as did those soldiers that I was at a ceremony where we swore them in who have served their country and earned the right to American citizenship less than a month ago when I was with a bunch of soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas who became American citizens because of their service in our United States Army. They have proficiency in English. And yet, the Democrats in the Senate don't think you need proficiency in English.
This issue, this is one I want to talk about just a little bit. This creates a lot of turmoil. Proficiency in English, English as the language.
Now, folks, if you don't know English is the national language of the United States, you are brain dead, and that is all I can say. Anybody speaking any other language than English in here today, when you respond to me, Mr. Speaker, I expect you will respond in English, and my colleagues over on this side of the aisle will respond in English, although many of them are probably multi-lingual, and some over here are, but English is the language our society functions in, and it has functioned in since we created this country.
This issue was debated by the Continental Congress. This issue was voted on by the Continental Congress, and at least the stories I have heard told is that what happened was German lost by like two votes or we would all be speaking German today. The whole face of the world might have changed. But we didn't. We selected English as the national language.
Now, are there people in this country that want to create a whole society of second class citizens who don't speak our language, so they will always be kept down on that lower rung of a society, an English speaking society?
I would submit that is a question that ought to be asked because I don't want any of our colleagues in this country, any American citizen to be a second class citizen.
We heard a very impassioned speech about the Voting Rights Act today, and I highly respect that. And let me say, I don't want anybody of any color, any background, any language, to be a second class citizen. And in order to be a first class citizen in this country you have got to be able to function in the economy and the world we live in, and that function is in English.
So you are not discriminating against people. You are giving them a lift up by saying, we need you to know how to function in an English speaking society.
But not the Senate. They don't think that is a good idea. And our Democratic colleagues in the Senate made sure that the provision that we recognize America as an English speaking land was not in there. The majority of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the Reid-Kennedy immigration bill. The majority of Republicans in the Senate voted against the Reid-Kennedy bill. So that is why I am calling it the Reid-Kennedy bill, because this is the Democrats' version of the solution for what we need to do in America today on immigration.
Now, I have talked probably way longer than I should, but I am now very happy to be joined by one of my colleagues who wanted to also be heard on this issue today, so I am going to yield to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ginny Brown-Waite), a very distinguished Congresswoman from that fine State, and I am proud to say a member of my class in this Congress, as much time as she wishes to consume.
Mr. CARTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Florida for joining me here and giving a very good presentation of what a Representative of another State besides Texas feels about this, one that is not on the border, but sees the crisis on the southern border of the United States. And, again, I thank the gentlewoman for joining me.
It is my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that my time is about to run out. I want to tell you that one of the things we all in the House should be proud of, and we over on this side of the aisle, the word I am hearing is we are going to stand fast and we are not going to reward unlawful and illegal behavior by giving a free ride to anybody. We are going to say we will enforce our border, and then we will take a hard, studied, intelligent look at what we need to do to deal with the rest of these, part of the big picture, but not crisis issues that are addressing our country today.
And we have got great thoughts and great ideas, biometric identification on your Social Security. Many, many great ideas, all of which we should take our time, do it right, because with all I have talked about, about enforcement of the law, which is my background, I still remember we are talking about human beings. And if we do not plan right, with compassion, do it to where it makes sense, then a couple of questions come to mind. If our bureaucrats get overwhelmed, what happens to the people that are here? They are going to be overwhelmed too. And what are they going to do? Stay in the shadows.
I hear so many people using the rhetoric, ``You can't deport them all.'' I have not heard anybody in this House talk about deporting them all. But if they do not get in the program because it is so overwhelming and it is not well planned and they stay in the shadows, then what do we do with them? Nobody has even talked about it. They assume everybody is just going to just step up and say, It works like a clock, no problem, we will all be processed in 30 to 60 days, hallelujah, praise God, we are Americans.
Mr. Speaker, it has not been thought out. The plan submitted to us, the Reid-Kennedy bill, it does not have any of these hard questions thought out. And it will bring worse chaos to a chaotic system that has laws in place we could enforce today.
I hope that our friends across the country will contact our friends in the Senate and say, please, let us think this national issue out long and hard and right, always promising we are going to resolve it. I am not saying run from it, but let us go where the bleeding is.
Go to the border. Stop the bleeding. Enforce the House bill, border security first. And with that, Mr. Speaker, we will be walking down the road to making a better life for all those who wish for liberty, freedom, and economic security of the greatest Nation on Earth.
I thank the Speaker for giving me the time to address this House tonight.