DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - June 18, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 675 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the bill, H.R. 4567.
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Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, I am not going to take 5 minutes and I trust my colleagues are not going to either, but I do want to express my support for this amendment. It is a very important issue, a principle upon which I could not agree more with the author of the amendment because the functions that are going to be contracted out, if this amendment does not pass, are in fact inherently governmental.
We are talking about approximately 1,400 professionals, experienced people, who have to apply judgment. They need to determine whether law enforcement agencies need to be notified, they need to determine who should come into this country, who should be deported, who should be arrested. This is not something you want to contract out to private firms who may be very well intentioned, but the fact is that ultimately it is a profit incentive that motivates them to compete for this contract.
These are governmental jobs that need to continue to be governmental. If this goes through, it is like contracting out income tax collection. I cannot imagine many more jobs that could be more important that could not be more inherently governmental than this. If this amendment does not pass, it jeopardizes the safety and security of the American people; and certainly it is a slap in the face of the extraordinarily good, professional work that is done by the vast, vast majority of people working for the Customs and Immigration Services.
Please support the Roybal-Allard amendment, and let us do the right thing by a government that we have every reason to be proud of.