Mr. Speaker, Congress came back this week from celebrating our Nation's Independence Day. This is a special time to reflect on America's difficult history and the true essence of what she stands for. Since the beginning, America has thrived on the contributions of its immigrant labor force. Sadly today, the positive contributions of the immigrant labor force to our society are too often unnoticed.
Hardworking families contribute daily and pay their share into the American system. Hardworking mothers sometimes work three jobs, give up their weekends, and take overtime and night shifts to feed and clothe their children. Hardworking fathers wake up at 4 a.m. to go to work, earn below minimum wages, and manage to provide for their families.
Immigrants contribute in taxes from their paychecks just like the next person through shopping at a variety of stores, restaurants, and gas stations. In fact, the IRS reported that between 1996 to 2003, immigrants contributed $50 billion in Federal taxes.
We cannot afford to ignore the figures, and more importantly, we cannot afford to ignore the positive contributions of immigrants in America. We need comprehensive immigration for the security of our Nation.