Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Immigration

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. YOHO. I would like to thank the gentlelady from Minnesota, my home State, for allowing me to speak tonight on this very important topic.

This is a perfect example where Congress has failed to lead on immigration for the last 30 years, and it's unacceptable. It's not just an economic issue; it's also a national security issue when we have open borders like this. Somebody said, well, you just want to exclude everybody. No, I don't.

You know, if we look at our own homes, we lock the doors at night for a reason. The job of a mayor is to keep a city safe. The job of a Governor is to keep her State safe. The job of us in Congress is to legislate to keep our country safe.

What we have right now is a situation that the American people are fed up with. They're fed up with the fact that Congress is not leading on this. This is a moment in time where we do need to lead and set some policies out front that are not Democratic policies, they're not Republican policies; these policies need to be what's best for America. If our policies are best for America, everybody wins. If we cater to a certain group or this group or this industry or that industry, what we miss is the mark. And again, that mark is to protect what is sacred about America, and that is the opportunity that people flock to this country for. That opportunity, if we put the work behind it, we all know that becomes the American Dream. And that really is what's under attack here. So us, as legislators, we need to come out with a policy that's best for America.

I think if our Founding Fathers looked at where we are today, I think they would be outraged. Because, again, we have failed to act for the last 30 years. We have, you know, the estimate is--pick your number, 11, 12, 20, 30 million people here illegally. It's weakening our economy. It's also diluting that opportunity.

I think all of us here are in agreement that if we don't protect that opportunity, there will not be a place that is that beacon on top of the hill that other people aspire to come to. So I'm happy to be here as part of this discussion.

I think the worst thing that we can do is to pass a bill and that bill not be well thought out or not read. It would be like some of the bills in the past where I feel there was legislative malpractice when they passed bills and they said, we have to pass it to see what's in it, we have to pass it to see how it's going to work. We don't want to go there again. We want a bill that, when we pass it, our children and the children of the future can say, You know what? They did a great job. I'm glad they stood up and took their time to make a bill that was good for America and that protected that opportunity that we hold so dearly.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. YOHO. I appreciate the gentlelady from Minnesota yielding.

You were talking about the rule of law, and we heard about it over and over again and what the people back home think. I think the biggest thing is they're going to hold us accountable. They expect us to be accountable and they will hold us accountable, and the only way we can do that is by holding the President accountable. We must hold the President accountable and demand that he enforces the laws on the book, and if not, explain to us and to the American people why he chooses not to enforce the laws on the books. And if he is the chief executive officer of this country and he chooses not to do that, what would you do in business if you had the executive of your business not enforcing and running the company the way you are supposed to? I think we all know what would happen.

And I'd like to end with this. There were three Presidents in the 1900s that handled immigration differently. They did what was best for Americans. They sent people home--the Presidents did--because they were looking out for the American citizens. And I have to admire Presidents that would look out for the American citizens.

I always like to refer back to Theodore Roosevelt when he gave that speech at Ellis Island standing on the soapbox overlooking a crowd, realizing and acknowledging that we are a country with a lot of immigrants here. He said, We welcome all immigrants. After all, we are a country of immigrants. But what we expect you to do is this. There's room but for one flag. It's the American flag. You need to learn to honor and respect it. There's room but for one language. It's English. And you need to learn it. You need to assimilate and become Americans in our culture. We'll respect your cultures.

I agree with that, and I am so proud to have a President that would stand up and do what's best for this country. In the end, I think we need to make English the national language.en we pass it, our children and the children of the future can say, You know what? They did a great job. I'm glad they stood up and took their time to make a bill that was good for America and that protected that opportunity that we hold so dearly.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. YOHO. Yes, ma'am. I'm hearing the same thing: close the border, secure the border. Somebody said, well, what percent would you want it secured: 70, 80, 90 percent? I said, well, if you were in an airplane and they only had 90 percent of the fuel to get from point A to point B, would you get on the plane? We want 100 percent security. I mean, secure is secure.

You brought up the rule of law. I think this is really what we need to talk about because we are a country of laws and we are supposed to follow those laws. But when you think back what happened prior to the election with President Obama--as you said, he waived his pen--now, think about that. That's one man in a country of 330 million of us that chose to change our immigration laws and how we implement them and how we enforce them. One man in a country of 330 million without a debate, without a discussion, and without a vote. That's not acceptable.

The American people are telling us that. In my district they say secure the borders, no amnesty, absolutely not. And it goes back up. What are we doing? Are we trying to protect a certain group or a certain business or are we trying to protect America? Again, our job is to protect this country. It's a national security issue.

When I hear--like you brought up, Dr. Fleming--``comprehensive,'' when we hear that word ``comprehensive,'' I think we all kind of run and hide because it reminds us of comprehensive health care reform, comprehensive financial reform. I think when I talk to the people in our district, and you guys will probably mimic this, I don't have anybody against immigration; they want it done properly.

So I think what we need to talk about is responsible immigration reform, but that can't happen until we secure the borders and enforce the rules on the law.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. YOHO. I appreciate the gentlelady from Minnesota yielding.

You were talking about the rule of law, and we heard about it over and over again and what the people back home think. I think the biggest thing is they're going to hold us accountable. They expect us to be accountable and they will hold us accountable, and the only way we can do that is by holding the President accountable. We must hold the President accountable and demand that he enforces the laws on the book, and if not, explain to us and to the American people why he chooses not to enforce the laws on the books. And if he is the chief executive officer of this country and he chooses not to do that, what would you do in business if you had the executive of your business not enforcing and running the company the way you are supposed to? I think we all know what would happen.

And I'd like to end with this. There were three Presidents in the 1900s that handled immigration differently. They did what was best for Americans. They sent people home--the Presidents did--because they were looking out for the American citizens. And I have to admire Presidents that would look out for the American citizens.

I always like to refer back to Theodore Roosevelt when he gave that speech at Ellis Island standing on the soapbox overlooking a crowd, realizing and acknowledging that we are a country with a lot of immigrants here. He said, We welcome all immigrants. After all, we are a country of immigrants. But what we expect you to do is this. There's room but for one flag. It's the American flag. You need to learn to honor and respect it. There's room but for one language. It's English. And you need to learn it. You need to assimilate and become Americans in our culture. We'll respect your cultures.

I agree with that, and I am so proud to have a President that would stand up and do what's best for this country. In the end, I think we need to make English the national language.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top