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Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, we have before us a 1,000-page bill that is extremely difficult to read and to understand. We are being asked to vote on it, and Majority Leader Reid indicated that he wants a list of amendments, and presumably no more would be agreed to, and he is going to pick and choose which ones he would approve by the end of this week. I believe that is very premature. I do not believe that is the way we should be proceeding. We have to have the time to sufficiently analyze all the complexities that are here.
I have to say to my gang members who produced this bill, this tome, that you spent months working on it with special interest groups and lawyers and the Obama administration's staff, and you produced a bill, and now we have to rush it through the Senate, and I don't think that is the right thing to do.
Let me read from one of the sections in the bill. And I hope my colleagues know that if they begin to read the bill, they will know how hard it is. This is not an easy bill to read. You have to study it, and you have to have lawyers reading it, and you have to find out what the exceptions are and what the limitations are and what the additions are. The lawyers who wrote it know. The Gang of 8 doesn't know, I assure you. They don't know all the details that are in this legislation. It is not possible for them to do so. The people who are writing it--the special interest groups, union groups, business groups, ag business groups, meat packers group, LaRaza, immigration lawyers association--all of them were working on it. They know what the impacts are.
But how about this section right here from the guest worker section. This is subparagraph (B), Numerical Limitation. This apparently has to do with the number of people who would be admitted: Subject to subparagraph (D), the number of registered positions that may be approved by the Secretary for a year after the fourth year referred to in paragraph (1)(A)(iv) shall be the equal of--get this--subparagraph (i), the number of such registered positions available under this paragraph for the proceeding year, and, subparagraph (ii), the product of subparagraph (I), the number of such registered positions available under this paragraph for the preceding year, multiplied by subparagraph (II), the index for the current year calculated under subparagraph (C).
Do you think that is easy to understand? But it has meaning, and what it basically means is that this bill is going to allow more workers to come into this country than we have ever allowed before at a time when unemployment is extraordinarily high, our ability to reduce unemployment is down, wages are down, and our workers are falling below the inflation rate in their wages for years.
How about the second paragraph? Now, I am just reading this. So we are going to rush this through? Really?
Subparagraph (C), Index: The index calculated under this subparagraph for a current year equals the sum of subparagraph (i), one-fifth of a fraction, subparagraph (I), the numerator of which is the number of registered positions that registered employers apply to have approved under subsection (e)(1) for the preceding year minus the number of registered positions approved under subsection (e) for the preceding year and, subparagraph (II), the denominator of which is the number of registered positions approved under subsection (e) for the preceding year.
I am sure we all got that. I am sure we know exactly what that means.
And it goes on: Subparagraph (iii), three-tenths of a fraction, subparagraph (I), the numerator of which is the number of unemployed U.S. workers for the preceding year minus the number of unemployed U.S. workers for the current year and, subparagraph (II), the denominator of which is the number of unemployed U.S. workers for the preceding year.
And then it goes on: Subparagraph (iv), three-tenths of a fraction.
It goes on.
Somebody knows what that means because you had special interests in charge of writing this big monstrosity. They were there. They wanted their deal.
I would say to my colleagues and to those in the Gang of 8--and I know they want to do the right thing and have worked hard, but they got off on the wrong track.
The papers reported for weeks: Well, the unions are here and the chamber of commerce is here and the ag workers and ag industry people are here, and they want more workers for this, and this one is demanding more workers for that. And our Senators are over here somehow letting them all hammer it out, and that is how this writing comes up. It came from them. The Senators didn't write this.
They knew exactly what they were doing. They were putting in numbers to get certain workers that businesses wanted so they can have more employees and they can keep wages down. That is what the scheme was--more workers, less competition for labor, loose labor market, fewer pay raises, less overtime, fewer benefits because the employer has options.
Remember, these are guest workers. These are not people on a citizenship path. They are not here to form corporations and hire millions of people and cure cancer. These are workers who come in and work for existing corporations. I would emphasize that some thought needs to be given to that. We haven't talked about that yet. We are going to talk about it.
This large of an increase in immigration into our country has real impact, and a lot of the numbers and a lot of the data that is out there has not been challenged, and the data indicates that we are already at a point where the flow of immigrant labor into America is depressing wages, and it is a big factor in the cause of workers' wages today being 8 percent, in real terms, below what they were in 1999. Wages haven't been going up. Democrats used to talk about it. They used to hammer President Bush on it all the time. Now that Barack Obama has been in office for 5 years, you don't hear them talking about it anymore. Well, Senator Sanders talked about it on the floor last week. I give him credit for that. Of course, he is an Independent. But I haven't heard my Democratic colleagues continue to repeat the fact that steadily we are seeing a decline in wage rates in America, making it harder for middle-class Americans to get by--and what about even finding a job?
So it is not a small matter. We are going to have to talk about this. We don't need to rush this through. It seems quite clear--crystal clear--to me that the Gang of 8 never discussed this. They certainly didn't call Professor Borjas at Harvard. Dr. Borjas is the leading expert on immigration and labor and the impact of it in America. He has written books on it. I believe his study says that a 40-percent fall in wages for American citizens is attributable to the current flow of immigrant labor into America. It pulls down wages. It is free market. If you bring more cotton into America, the price of cotton falls. If you bring in more labor, the price of labor falls. That is the way the market forces work.
He said this is a factor right now. But we need to understand that if 15 million people are legalized virtually immediately and the guest worker program appears to double the number of people who will come in and the immigrant flow, permanent immigrant flow of people who want to become citizens will increase 50 percent, then we will have one of the largest increases in flow of labor to America we have ever seen, and we cannot get jobs with decent pay for American workers right now.
That is real out there. People are worried about their families. They are worried about their children's ability to get a job. They are worried about their grandchildren's ability to get a job. They are about to graduate from high school. They don't have a college degree. Maybe they don't plan to go to college. They are willing to work. Jobs are not that plentiful. Did you see the article, in Philadelphia, I believe it was, that they said they had job openings to try to help people who have had a criminal conviction in their background. They expected 1,000 people and 3,000 showed up. They had to cancel it and reset the whole deal because they interviewed people who said you cannot find a job in Philadelphia.
In New York, one of the boroughs of New York, there was a very interesting article just 2 weeks ago about job openings for elevator mechanics. People waited 5 days--they took tents out--to stay in line to try to get those jobs. The number of people waiting in line was 20 times the number of jobs that were out there or more. So we are going to reward people who entered the country illegally? We have to understand in this bill right here, if the bill is passed, the people who have come here--many are in the shadows and that is correct and that is a sad thing and it is a difficult thing--but those individuals also will be able to go apply for the elevator mechanic job. They will also be able to compete for employment in Philadelphia, where right now they might not be so able to contribute. It raises real questions.
I wish to mention this. This is from this Saturday from the Washington Post. You heard that there are good job numbers, right? The job numbers were not so great it appears to me: 175,000 jobs were created last month, according to the Washington Post, based on new government data that was released Friday. The Labor Department said unemployment went up from 7.5 to 7.6, so the unemployment rate went up, even though the number of jobs was 175,000 created. What I wish to point out is this fact that is in the report:
The bulk of the gains in May were in the service industry, which added 57,000 jobs. Still, about half of those were temporary positions--
Those were temporary, not real jobs. I continue--
suggesting that businesses remained uncertain of consumer demand.
Missing from the picture were production jobs in industries such as construction and manufacturing.
Those were not the kind of jobs being created.
Meanwhile, manufacturing shed 8,000 workers.
American manufacturers reduced employment last month and those are the better jobs with the retirement pay and with health benefits that come with a good manufacturing company. We are creating more and more competition for lower wage jobs. The article goes on to say this in addition:
Some economists have raised concerns about the types of jobs being created. Sectors such as retail, restaurants, bars have been adding plenty of jobs, but those positions tend to pay low wages. Friday's report showed workers' average hourly earnings rose only a penny in May, to $23.89. For the entire year, wages have risen 2 percent.
Again, that is below the inflation rate. Again, we continue to have this situation in which wages trail inflation, which means the average American is having a hard time getting by and many of these jobs are part-time, not permanent. They are the kind of jobs a lot of people would look to advance from, whether working in a restaurant or something such as that. They will be looking to move forward. The kind of manufacturing jobs we would like to see more of are not there.
I mentioned the work visas in this process. Despite a huge increase in the numbers of those who are going to be legalized and put on a path to permanent residence and citizenship, we have a large number of people in this total number. For example, under the bill, it is widely conceded that we would legalize 11 million people. They would be put on a path to legal permanent residence and into citizenship, 11 million, all of whom entered the country illegally and are here in violation of the law.
What is not mentioned is that there is another 4.5 million who are in--they call it a backlogged status. They are basically chain migration members, family members who want to come, but under our current law we have a cap, a limit on how many family members are allowed to enter each year. As a result, the backlog, they call it, has moved up to 4.5 million. So now we have people say this. They have been saying we should not give the 11 million here illegally advantage over people waiting in line. That was a problem for the Gang of 8. I can see them sitting around, dealing with that. How can we give somebody here, waiting in line patiently and lawfully, status behind that of someone who has been here working in the country with false documents, illegally? That wouldn't be right.
How did they solve that? As Washington does, they legalize them too. You say 4.5 million are waiting? They just let them come in too. We will be initially processing 15 million people. Then what about the annual future flow? Now it is the most generous flow in the world. We admit a little over 1 million people a year under our legal flow into the country. What about that? In light of all this accelerated admissions and legal status, should we reduce the number of people who are coming here each year lawfully now for a while? Oh, no, that is increased--50 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times. It could be more. I will accept that number. So instead of 1 million a year, that is 1.5 million. Over 10 years, that is 15 million. That results in 30 million people in 10 years being given lawful permanent status in America.
Already that is 10 percent of the entire population of America, and overwhelmingly this group is low skilled. Over half of the people here illegally do not have a high school diploma from their own home country and they are not able to take the better jobs. They will be competing for the lower wage jobs in America. If they are legalized, legal immigrants who entered the country a few years ago, they are going to find--maybe they were legalized in 1986, maybe they have come legally since, but that immigrant population is going to find their wages pulled down by this large amount of flow of labor into the country. I do not think there is any doubt about that. We will go more into detail about that as we go forward, but we are talking about 30 million being given legal status on a path to permanent legal residence and citizenship over the next 10 years.
They will be given that status. We have not discussed that.
I asked Senator Schumer at the committee twice: How many will be admitted under your bill? He refused to answer. I am not sure they know because these numbers are not all the numbers. There is an additional group of people who will come under the chain migration theory, the family-based connection and other special provisions in here that have no caps, no limits on how many would come. He refused to answer. The sponsors who are producing legislation for us today will not say how many people they expect to enter into our country if their bill passes. Why not? You don't know or you will not say? Either one is an indictment of this monstrosity and that is why it cannot pass.
Even Senator Rubio is now saying he can't vote for the bill unless it is improved. He was in the Gang of 8. This is legislation that is flawed legislation, fatally flawed, and it should not become law--it just should not. They said a lot of good things about what they expect the bill to do. If it did those things, we would be more interested in it. We would have a framework for a bill that could actually do some good. I would say that for sure.
As we go forward, we need to ascertain with absolute clarity what the best economic data shows about how many people this country can absorb in a reasonable way and be able to provide a decent place for them to work without pulling down the wages of an already-stressed American workforce. We need to talk about that. So far as I can tell, that was never discussed in the groups. What was discussed pretty much in the groups, it seemed to me, was businesses demanding more workers, La Raza demanding more people and basically open borders and they were the ones writing the legislation, in large part. There were some union objections to some of this. It needs to be listened to.
Republicans say that is a union objection. If they make a good objection, so be it. I think they made some points but went along with this in a way that is not effective.
We have to talk about the economic impact of it and we will. We need to ascertain the second aspect: The 30 million people I just mentioned, those 30 million are people who come permanently. They are on a path never to return to their country. They have a legal status that allows them to get legal permanent residence and then get citizenship.
Normally, as I say, we do 1 million a year, which would be 10 million over 10 years. This will increase it to 15 million over 10 years, and that does not count the 11 million, plus the 4.5 million who will be given legal status. It is pretty clear to me it is indisputable that we will have 30 million people put on the path to citizenship in the United States of America, and I ask my colleague, if they have a different number, they should share it with us. Maybe in these bills, subparagraphs, numerators and denominators and fractions and all, they have a different number. I would like to hear it. We think we figured it out. The Los Angeles Times agrees. The only analysis I have seen agrees with it, as best we can do in the time since the bill was introduced.
Then we have the worker programs. That is what I was reading about earlier. Let me mention those programs. These are programs that have generally been referred to as the guest worker programs. We believe, and I think data shows, that the bill doubles the number of guest workers who would be allowed into the country. Every year we bring in a certain number of people. Some work in agriculture, some work in landscaping, some work in others things. In a time of high unemployment, with Americans doing landscaping, Americans are working in meatpacking plants and doing farm work. But temporary, seasonal jobs are often hard to fill and guest workers can do that. I am not opposed to a guest worker program. But at this point in history, should it be double the number on top of the 30 million I just mentioned?
This is an annual flow on top of that.
For example, it adds four times more guest workers than the 2007 bill that the American people and Congress rejected. There are four times the number of guest workers in that bill at a time when 20 million more Americans are on food stamps than in 2007. Teenage unemployment is 54 percent higher and median household income is 8 percent lower than in 2007?
Are we so desperate now we have to bring in twice as many guest workers? Where are they going to find work? Are we going to disappoint them? What if they cannot find work? Will they be able to say: Well, I will work for minimum wage?
What happens to the young American who is 20 and would like to do some work? Perhaps he has a child and is trying to learn a skill and get started as a carpenter, bricklayer, or equipment operator. Will that make his ability to find a job harder?
What if a young guy had a drug offense? I used to be a Federal prosecutor. Just because somebody was arrested and prosecuted for drugs, we don't want to make it so they can never get work again. Who is going to take care of them?
We know this: We know if people don't have a job, the government has transfer payments, such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing allowances, and other benefits. So now does the taxpayer have to pay for even more people who are subsidized by the government because they honestly cannot find a job?
My colleagues need to focus on this, and there has been almost no serious discussion about it other than what we hear from certain squeaky wheels and special interests.
How many of our colleagues know the difference between the H-1B visa, the H-1B-B1 visa, the H-2A visa, the H-2B visa, and the H-4 visa? How many will come in under each one of them? What standards will they use? Do we actually have to make sure we have advertised and offered the job to an American first before using this visa?
Those are just the H visas. What about the W-1 visa, the W-2 visa, and the W-3 visa? There is also the E-3 visa, the E-4 visa, and the E-5 visa. Let's not forget the X visa and the Y visa. It goes on and on. That is how we have a doubling of the number of people coming in under the guest worker program.
Our sponsors have spent 4 months bringing this up. Clearly, they should have spent much more time because the bill is fatally flawed. The only thing that clearly works in the bill--the only thing that is guaranteed to work--is the amnesty. Once this bill has passed, it is guaranteed that people who are here illegally will be given legal status. They will then be placed on a path to legal permanent residence and then citizenship. That is what is guaranteed. All we have, as in 1986, is a promise that we will have enforcement in the future.
A lot of us have been around here for several years, and we know that is not going to work. This promise is just that, a promise. We don't have the backing to make it sure. Senator Cornyn has an idea that he thinks will strengthen that, and I know it will strengthen it.
Well, I appreciate the opportunity to share these thoughts. Senator Cruz is now in the Judiciary Committee dealing with some other important issues of which I am glad that able lawyer is there. He will be speaking about this later.
Mr. President, how much time remains on this side?
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Mr. SESSIONS. Senator Cornyn indicated that the bill fails with regard to enforcement and enforcement at the border. I could not agree more. In 2007, Senator Cornyn spent a lot of time working on this bill. He proposed an amendment then that would have improved the border enforcement, and he is an expert at that. He is a Senator from Texas. He has wrestled with this over the years, and we should absolutely listen to him.
We also know this: The people who are out there enforcing the law every day are telling us the system is not working. They tell us changes and improvements need to be effected, and they are concerned this bill doesn't do it.
On June 10, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina issued a press release stating that more than 75 North Carolina sheriffs warned Congress that the Senate immigration bill would endanger public safety.
Well, that is a pretty serious matter. They say this:
In a short time, over seventy-five Sheriffs from across North Carolina, serving counties both big and small across this great state, have signed the attached letter opposing the current Senate immigration plan.
Our first responsibility and highest duty as Sheriffs is to provide for the safety of the citizens residing in the communities we serve. Unfortunately, this flawed bill which was produced by the ``Gang of Eight'' puts the public safety of citizens across the U.S. at risk and hampers the ability of law enforcement officers to do their job.
They go on to say:
This Senate Bill should be opposed by lawmakers and instead, Congress should work with law enforcement on reforms that we already have, and were willing to propose, that will enhance public safety.
Kenneth Palinkas, American Federation of Government Employees Union president and affiliated with the AFL-CIO, wrote this letter:
There has been much public concern over the fact that the legalization occurs prior to any border enforcement. Indeed, from what I understand, every amendment offered in committee which made legalization contingent on first achieving border security was defeated. History tells us that future promises will not be kept and that our border agents will be left high and dry by the executive branch as they have so many times before, regardless of who writes the plan.
This is the head of a Federal employees union who represents law enforcement officers--I think the biggest one. He goes on to say:
But even if you completely rewrote your proposals to resolve the many border security concerns and changed the ordering to delay legalization, the legislation would still fail and would still endanger the public because of the fatally flawed interior enforcement components.
He goes on to say:
If passed, S. 744 would lead to the rubber stamping of millions of applications for both amnesty and future admissions.
He goes on to say:
Why should the Senate pass a bill that makes it even more difficult for the USCIS officers--
They are the citizenship and immigration officers--
to identify, remove, and keep out public safety threats.
Maybe those people are criminals in their own countries. What does a person do if they are about to go to jail in another country in the world? Well, if they can flee the country and get to the United States, that is not a bad thing. Over the last decade, we are seeing more criminals who are a part of the mix of the very fine and decent people who come to the country because they are perhaps, in effect, fleeing prosecution in their own country.
What about the ICE officers, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council? They wrote a letter with Pennsylvania and North Carolina sheriffs, as well as sheriffs nationwide, on May 29, and they say this:
Congress can and must take decisive steps to limit the discretion of political appointees and empower ICE and CBP to perform their respective missions and enforce laws enacted by Congress.
This is a bold statement. These people work for the President of the United States--or at least as part of the administration. Two years ago ICE officers voted no confidence in their supervisor, John Morton, because they said he spends more time dealing with pro-amnesty groups and directing them not to enforce the law than doing his duty. They have actually sued Secretary Napolitano and Mr. Morton for blocking them from executing plain congressional mandates. They believe they have no other obligation than to enforce this. They have to do it, but they have been told not to do it.
Rather than limiting the power of those political appointees within the DHS, S. 744 provides them with nearly unlimited discretion, which will serve only to further cripple the law enforcement missions of these agencies.
I have talked to these officers. They asked to be a participant with the Gang of 8 in writing this legislation, and they were refused. They asked repeatedly. They warned that this was not going to work. They never wanted to hear from the people who enforced the law every day. They wanted to hear from the amnesty crowd, and that is who they met with. They wanted to hear from the big business guys who want more cheap labor, and that is who wrote the bill. They didn't listen to the people who deal with this and put their lives on the line.
This letter continues:
While business groups, activists, and other special interests were closely involved in drafting S. 744, law enforcement personnel were excluded from those meetings. Immigration officers, state, and local law enforcement working directly with the nation's broken immigration system were prohibited from providing input. As a result, the legislation before us may have many satisfactory components for powerful lobbying groups and other special interests, but on the subjects of public safety, border security, and interior enforcement, this legislation fails. It is a dramatic step in the wrong direction.
That is a pretty resounding condemnation, and I think that is fundamentally correct because I met with them. I asked that group of people to meet with them, and they would not do it.
Participants on the recent calls that discussed this bill and how to promote it include the heads at Goldman Sachs, the Business Roundtable, Evercore, Silver Lake, Centerbridge Partners, the U.S. Chamber of Congress, as well as the head of Washington trade groups representing banking industries, such as, the Financial Services Roundtable. They all had input into it and were involved. I guess they made contributions to it.
On June 10, Thomas Hodgson, sheriff of Bristol County--from Massachusetts--said:
I have grave concerns about illegal criminals being eligible for citizenship and gang members being permitted to qualify for RPI status, registered provision immigrant, legal status once they renounce their affiliation. Most troubling, however, is the fact that we do not have adequate systems in place such as biometrics to verify identification for people entering or leaving the United States. Announcing that biometrics will be available at our 30 busiest airports serves only to limit illegal entry at those locations, diverting illegal entry to those locations without the superior technology.
The sheriff said:
I ask you to make it known to your senators and representative that they vote no on passage of S. 744 until a comprehensive security plan is in place.
Peter Nunez, former U.S. attorney in San Diego, a great U.S. attorney whom I had the honor to serve with, said this:
But of greatest concern is the so-called ``trigger'' that we are told will delay the path to citizenship until the border is secure.
That is what they are saying. We have this thing in place, and until we guarantee the border is secure, the legalization doesn't happen. We have demonstrated already that is absolutely ineffective.
Mr. Nunez goes on to say:
This is an illusion meant to fool the public into believing that amnesty will only take place after the border is secure. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because on Day One, every one of the 11 million illegal aliens will be eligible for a temporary document allowing them to stay and work in the U.S., their two most important goals.
He was a U.S. attorney on the California border and he worked with these issues and understands them. He had the responsibility of prosecuting cases by the thousands--probably hundreds of thousands, frankly. Former U.S. Attorney Nunez is a very wise and experienced person.
Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Florence, AZ, Sheriff Babeu said to secure the border first or we will repeat history. Quote:
Pinal County Sheriff Babeu has announced his opposition to the proposed immigration reform offered by the so-called ``Gang of Eight.'' Officially titled the ``Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.''
Sheriff Babeu said:
We must secure the border first, prior to any discussion of green cards and a path to citizenship offered to nearly 20 million illegals and their families. This plan gives everything to President Obama up front, while border security is promised once again on the back end. We are about to repeat history, when in 1986 President Reagan gave amnesty to 2 million illegals. Now, the stakes are far higher, yet it seems we haven't learned our lesson. The failure to secure the border after the Reagan amnesty got us to where we are today with 11 million to 20 million illegals in our Country. ..... this plan will repeat history.
I think he is exactly right about that.
Chris Crane, the head of the ICE union, is outspoken about this. He has testified before the House. He has had press conferences here in which I participated with him. He has warned this will make America less secure, not more secure. He warns it makes the ability of the ICE agents to enforce the law, already handicapped, even more problematic. He says the bill gives to the Secretary essentially more discretion to violate the law than the Secretary has today. In fact, the orders and directives and policies they are giving to the ICE officers about how to do their job are currently in direct violation of the law. This bill ratifies that by explicitly giving statutory authority to the Secretary to make all kinds of waivers for other matters. That is not the way to give confidence to America.
Mr. President, I don't know what our time is. I see no one else on the floor. I don't want to take anybody else's time, but if I yielded the floor, I guess their time would run against them anyway.
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Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Chair.
Our law enforcement officers are frustrated. We have three major law enforcement groups, including Border Patrol, which was given considerable funding after the failure of the 2006 and 2007 comprehensive immigration bill, and they have enhanced their efforts as a result of that, but we still are not where we need to be at the border. Indeed, since the announcement of this possible amnesty, illegal entries have increased significantly on our borders. The number of people arrested is considerably higher this year than last year, and 55,000 of the 90,000 people--90,000 who have been arrested this year since January--were not from Mexico; this was primarily on the Mexican border--but from other countries. Some of the countries have a history of terrorism. Senator Cornyn has talked about that previously. We have a surge of it happening, and they are concerned about it, about protecting their officers.
Customs and the citizenship and immigration officers are the people who will process the amnesty claims and the requests to be treated as lawful residents that will occur after this bill passes. They are the people who deal with those who make application to come to the United States, and they are the people who process the pathway to citizenship for everybody. They have explicitly voted in opposition to this legislation. They say it does not work. I just read a quote from the head of their union. The ICE officers who deal with all of the interior enforcement--they apprehend people who have been convicted of crimes and are in State and local jails who are noncitizens or who are illegally here and they are supposed to deport them--have been consistently out front pointing out how they have been restricted in their ability to do their job, and that if this bill passes and the vast majority of those here illegally are legalized, they are not in the future going to be placed in a position where they can do their job. They are not going to be placed in a position where they can effectively manage the interior enforcement in America. They say the bill will make us less secure, not more secure. How wrong a direction could that be?
So those are the things we have to get a grip on here. That is why the legislation cannot become law, and I don't think--it won't become law as it is written today. That is the truth. One way or the other, it will not become law, because it is fatally flawed.
I thank the Chair for the opportunity to share these remarks as we begin the discussion on one of the great issues of our time: immigration. It has to be done right. The American people are rightly, as are these law officers, concerned that we are about to do another 1986, that we are going to give immediate lawful status to millions of people who came here illegally on the promise we will enforce the law in the future. But when we read the bill we can see that won't happen, and we will be sending another message worldwide that the United States is such that if one can get into our country illegally and hold on for long enough, that person too will be a beneficiary of the third major amnesty that occurs.
So that is where we are.
I thank the Chair and yield the floor, and I note the absence of a quorum.
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