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Illegal Immigration and Border Security

Location: Washington, DC

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND BORDER SECURITY -- (House of Representatives - March 29, 2006)

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to claim the time of the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. Moran).

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Tennessee?

There was no objection.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Tennessee (Mrs. Blackburn) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, you know, as we have heard on this floor tonight, Americans are paying attention to the illegal immigration issue and all of us here have received call after call after call from our constituents. And, you know, they are not asking much. They simply want us to enforce our border security. And, Mr. Speaker, I agree with this. This is not some earth-shattering policy change, it is a matter of enforcing the laws that are on our books.

Republicans passed legislation to strengthen the border late last year, and we did it with very little Democratic support. That has to change. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe the lawlessness and the disregard for our laws inherent in illegal immigration is damaging to our society and a serious, serious risk to our national security.

We have watched some try to equate legal immigration and legal immigrants with those whose first act, their very first act coming into this country is breaking a law.

It is breaking our law by running across the border. That is an insult to every individual who complied with our policies and followed the appropriate process to get here. For too long we have overlooked or even rewarded those who broke the law, and it is time for that to stop. It has to stop.

I want to share with you something one of my constituents asked me in a meeting while we were on our break. He said ``Marsha, I hear that some of the people in Washington want to provide amnesty to those who are breaking our immigration laws, to those who are illegally entering our country.'' He said, if you are going to let people pick and choose and decide which laws they want to have amnesty from, then I want amnesty from the IRS. And he said that I have a friend who runs a small manufacturing plant, he wants to have amnesty from OSHA.

You know, you cannot disagree with comments like that.

Mr. Speaker, this debate is that simple. We are either going to be a nation of laws or we are not. Border security is a necessity. The Republican Party is the party pushing to strengthen those borders. Americans need to let those opposed to our efforts hear their voices. And I thank all of my constituents who are speaking out loud and clear on this issue.

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