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Public Statements

Motion to Instruct Conferees on S. 2845, National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES ON S. 2845, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE REFORM ACT OF 2004 -- (House of Representatives - October 08, 2004)

(BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT)

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our chairman for the excellent work he has done this session as we have looked at immigration issues and have worked hard to be certain that we address the things that are of great concern to the American people and to our constituents.

And it is of concern that we have this motion to instruct to strip apart H.R. 10. And, of course, our opponents of H.R. 10 and our colleagues across the aisle are using impassioned talk to generate emotion on this issue, but what we have contained in H.R. 10 and in the provisions that they are wanting to lift out of that bill, wanting to move away, are just good, solid, common-sense legislation.

I disagree with my colleague across the aisle. He was talking about law enforcement officials and asking if they had lost their minds. I do not think they have. The ones in my district definitely have not.

They are very concerned about this, and I have been working with them since my days in the Tennessee Senate, working to address the driver's license issue and how that affects the American people. And they would choose to remove that from H.R. 10, and it is important.

We have got to be certain, as we look at our Nation's security, that we take very careful steps not to reward individuals who are going to choose to break the law to get here. We have to have great respect for the rule of law and be certain that we continue to have policies that require and reward those that respect the law.

Section 3052 that they are wanting to pull out does address the driver's license situation, having legal documents for driver's licenses. It is not a mandate. It does not set up a national database, and this section has been worked on very carefully. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Tom Davis) out of the Committee on Government Reform, and the gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller), who was secretary of state, have worked diligently on this issue to be certain that we know that the people who are getting a driver's license, a valid government I.D., are here in this country lawfully, that they have an official passport to be here lawfully. And it gives guidance to our States so that States can continue to have reciprocity for the use of those driver's licenses.

The provisions that are contained in 3052 are good, solid, common-sense provisions. It is something that our States, every single State in this great Nation, will know that they can depend on, that other citizens will know that they can depend on, that the individuals that work the TSA, that are looking at driver's licenses, that are allowing people to get on planes, they will know that this is a valid document and that the person who holds that document in their hand is who they say they are and that they are here and having presence in this country legally.

I would encourage my colleagues to oppose the motion to instruct. I would encourage my colleagues to support H.R. 10, the provisions that have been worked on, the provisions we have worked on with our State legislators so that we help them, help them to have the assurance that the documentation that is before them is real, it is valid; and so that the immigrant community knows that we are honoring those that choose to obey our laws, to work hard and to come here seeking hope, opportunity, and freedom.

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