Skip to comments.Tom Tancredo expounds on Effects of Illegal Laborers. (A Must Save)
Posted on 06/11/2003 11:06:10 AM PDT by holyscroller
But there is something else, Mr. Speaker, that could be done and that no one, not our side, not their side, no one wants to talk about, and that is the number of jobs that would be created if we enforced our immigration laws. That is all. Just that. Not even impose new immigration laws or try to deal with the fact that we have got crossing our borders every day literally thousands and thousands of people coming, low-skilled people who are seeking jobs in America and getting them by employers who are using these folks and, in fact, abusing them in many ways.
But if we just enforced the laws on the books, and surprising as it may be, it is against the law to hire someone who is here illegally.
Now, who does not know somebody who may be or probably is hiring somebody or is in fact working for somebody in violation of that law. We all do. We all have anecdotal references we make to instances where somebody may be here working and they may be here illegally. We all know that.
Now the first thing we usually hear when we raise the question is the question of real-world impact on American jobs and employment, and that these millions of illegal immigrants take only the jobs that Americans do not want to do. That is a mantra. We have to have people here from all over the world taking jobs because in fact there are a few jobs that Americans will not do, and we need all these folks to do the hard stuff.
I am sure Members have heard that refrain many, many times. If it were true, the other problems brought about by illegal immigration would still remain, but we would not be worried about the loss of jobs or an adverse impact on wage rates. But is it true that illegal immigrants are taking jobs that no one else would take, no American citizen? I believe that the weight of the evidence is that it is not true. I believe there is ample evidence to the contrary. I believe there is ample evidence that illegal immigrants are increasingly taking jobs that American citizens would do willingly if wage rates for these jobs were not artificially suppressed by the ready supply of cheap labor from so-called undocumented aliens.
Mr. Speaker, about 6 months ago now, there was an article in the Denver paper, the Rocky Mountain News, and it was interesting because it was a news article rather than a want ad; but it was a news article about a want ad and the article was about an ad that had been placed in the paper by a restaurant in Denver, a restaurant I have visited many times and know well, it is called Luna Restaurant. It is in an area where I grew up in north Denver. The article was interesting because it said Luna Restaurant puts an ad in the paper for a $3-an-hour waiter. We all know that waiters and waitresses make less than minimum wage because tips
are included. So this position was for a $3-an-hour waiter. The article was in the paper because it was a news story. And what was the news story? The news story was the day that the article appeared there were 600 applicants for the job.
Mr. Speaker, maybe some of those people, maybe a majority of those people were here illegally and were willing to do jobs that no one else was willing to do, but I do not believe that all 600 applicants were illegal immigrants. I believe a lot of them were American citizens looking for a job.
It is undoubtedly and undeniably true that illegal aliens will work for lower wage rates than legal immigrants or American citizens. They do so because the wage is higher than they would earn back in Mexico, Guatemala, or other poorer nations. We all understand this, and most Americans sympathize with their plight. We can admire people willing to travel thousands of miles and evade the U.S. Border Patrol to get to Chicago or Philadelphia or Seattle in order to better their lives economically. There is nothing wrong with that goal in and of itself, and we can respect it because it is the goal that was in front of all of our grandparents or great grandparents or however long ago our family heritage established roots here in the United States.
But there are several things wrong with the consequences of that behavior; and they need to be discussed even though it is not popular to do so, even though people get very antsy when you bring this up. They sort of go, oh, gosh, he is going to start talking about immigration again. I do not like dealing with that because people might think I am a racist or a xenophobe, so let us not talk about. Well, it needs to be talked about.
First of all, one of the consequences of the behavior is that people are entering our country illegally, and the habit of breaking one law for economic benefit often creates a disregard for law and a willingness to violate other laws for personal benefit. And the more we choose to ignore it, the more we pretend that it is a law that we can wink at, a law that, gee, I know it is a law, but, and I have heard that 100 times. If it is a law, but, if it is a law that does not have importance, if it is a law that is not meaningful, then I urge this body to do what it should do.
Mr. Speaker, if there are laws in the books in America that are no longer valid and meaningful, repeal them. I urge this body to actually address this issue head on and bring a bill forward in this body that says we will repeal all laws regarding immigration. We will essentially erase our borders. We will eliminate the Border Patrol, close the stations, the ports of entry because after all, we cannot control it. And if people want to come to the United States, for the most benign or most wonderful reasons, the reasons that we can all applaud, let them come. Why should we call someone here illegal? Why should we draw any sort of conclusions about someone who came into this country without our permission? Let us just let them all come from wherever they want to come and as many as wish to come.
Now, I want that debated in this House. I want Members to vote yea or nay to this concept. If you vote ``yea,'' you are for erasing the borders. You can make that case to your constituents. Try and make that case. Some of us will be able to do so. Some of us will not be at all excited about that possibility and will vote ``no.'' I will not vote for such a bill, of course. I am a ``no'' vote because I do not believe it is good for America. I will tell Members I am a ``no'' vote on the issue of eliminating borders. I believe it goes to the very basic, to the heart of what we call our country, to the heart of national sovereignty. I will make the case as strongly as I can against any sort of bill that would in fact invalidate the borders. But that is exactly what we are doing, Mr. Speaker, every single day.
That is the problem. It is happening, our opponents, the people who want the elimination of borders, know they can accomplish their goal by pretending that they support national sovereignty and national security. They can stand up and suggest that all day long. They do not want to vote on this idea of whether or not we should erase our borders because in their heart of hearts many people want to, and many times they want to for political reasons. They know that people coming into this country as immigrants tend to vote for one party over the other. They tend to vote for the Democrats. The other side of the aisle knows that.
Again, this is not brain surgery we are dealing with here. It is politics 101. How do they gain supporters, especially when their side is losing? Where do they look? If the majority of Americans are now turning to the Republican Party or becoming more conservative and expressing that, where do the Democrats look for people who will support their efforts? Where do they look for people who support their efforts, for greater welfare and expanded government? They go to the immigrant class coming into the United States.
So it is not unusual, it is not illogical, it is not crazy for us to deal with it in that way, for political parties to look at it that way. So our friends on the other side of the aisle see massive immigration and say, I do not care whether they are coming here legally or not. They eventually become my voters, so I am for it. So I am going to on the one side of my mouth I am going to suggest that we need national security, everybody should come in legally, wink, wink. On the other side I am going to say we need your help, we need your labor, and vote for me when you get here, whether you do so legally or not.
On our side of the aisle, on the Republican side of the aisle, we have many Members who look at this whole thing and say there is an awful lot of cheap labor that is coming into this country, and that is good for business. That keeps wage rates low, prices low, and what is good for business, as Calvin Coolidge said, is good for America.
Mr. Speaker, in this case it is not good for America. I would challenge my opponents on the other side of the aisle and I would challenge my opponents on this side of the aisle that massive immigration today both legally and illegally is not good for America.
Now, as I mentioned, the first consequence of ignoring the fact that people come in illegally and break our laws is that is the wrong way to start off your citizenship in the United States. Of course it is not citizenship, your residency in the United States.
The second consequence of this law-breaking behavior, the consequence of entering our country illegally, is that they also enter our labor market illegally. It is this consequence that I wish to talk about this evening.
I want to ask you to consider, Mr. Speaker, some aspects of this underground labor market that is not getting much attention or discussion in the press and not much attention by this body or policymakers in general. In the first place, with the possible exception of a few agricultural jobs, it is simply not true that Americans will not do certain jobs because of their low status or because they involve hard labor. We have done these jobs throughout our history and well into the second half of the 20th century. Mechanization of agriculture over the past 100 years has led to a diminishing need for farm labor and our food is the least expensive in the world because of this. This trend was well established long before agricultural interests started relying on migrant labor and becoming more and more dependent on illegal migrant labor. Fewer and fewer Americans were needed to harvest our crops and there was an adequate supply of indigenous labor in the vast majority of cases. Harvesting peaches and tomatoes and strawberries is indeed very hard work. Mechanization has taken over in many crops but there is still a need for some amount of seasonal physical labor in some sectors of agriculture. Does this require 8 or 10 or 13 million illegal immigrants? I do not think so.
There is another aspect of this that is very important to understand, Mr. Speaker, and, that is, when we allow massive immigration of low- skilled, low-wage workers, we have a tendency, therefore, to screw around with the market in a way. What we do is actually delay the implementation of the use of technology to accomplish certain goals. Specifically I remember when we used to have a bracero program in the United States. That was a program that allowed migrant workers, mostly from Mexico, to come in and do
agricultural labor. And they had to return to Mexico and they could not bring families. When that program was ended, there was an outcry from the tomato growers in the United States. There was a massive sort of rush to legislative remedies. They wanted us to do something because they kept saying, it is impossible for us to actually do our job. We cannot possibly grow tomatoes, we cannot harvest tomatoes, without the help of this kind of labor. So we ended up in a situation where we went ahead and eliminated this bracero program. And what happened? Did tomato growers go out of business as they said they would? No. They were forced to actually invest in technology, to invest in different kinds of technology and actually develop some sort of mechanized approach to doing the labor that had been done heretofore by individuals. So today tomato growers in the United States are far more productive than they ever were before when they relied solely on individuals picking tomatoes. Now they can do it with machines, now they can do it more cost effectively, and they are more productive in the process.
So when we import massive numbers of illegal workers into this country, or even legal workers who are low-skilled, low-wage workers, we need to actually again get involved and kind of skew the marketplace. We mess up the process that should lead to a development of greater use of technology and productivity. To the extent that American workers cannot be found for some seasonal agricultural jobs, that need can be met by a new guest worker program. I intend to introduce legislation to accomplish that goal very soon. A well- designed and properly managed guest worker program would allow migrant workers to come into this country legally, work as long as they are needed in jobs that are certified as requiring foreign nationals and then return to their homes. That is the important part we ought to remember about guest worker. Guest worker is a program that allows people to come into the country for a period of time, do a specific job, and return to their country of origin. That is a guest worker program. On the other side, you can have people come into the country and begin the process of becoming a citizen of the United States; that is called immigration. Two different things.
We are right now by far the most liberal Nation on the planet in terms of who we let come into the country legally, 1 million, 1.5 million every year. We are also, of course, the most liberal Nation in the world in terms of who we let come into the country illegally, 1 million, 1.5 million people every year, that we turn a blind eye to. We do so for the reasons I mentioned earlier, political advantage for the Democrats, a business interest for the Republicans. And so we ignore the law.
Once again I go back and say to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, if you want to accomplish your goals and let people into the country at their desire, not in any way, shape, or form connected to our needs in this country, if you want to do that to the Democratic Party, fine. To Republicans, if you want to just have a massive influx of low-skilled, low-wage workers in order to reduce the cost of labor, fine, let us tell America that is where we stand. Let us have a bill that actually eliminates the borders, allows people to come at their desire, not in response to our need. Let us do that. Let us let Americans know how you feel about this. Unfortunately, I do not think we are going to get that bill in this session or the next session, because I have never seen it introduced by anybody on either side of the aisle.
And so when the other side of the aisle, the Democrats, talk about job creation and the need to protect workers in America, I find it always fascinating that they never ever want to talk about the thing that would protect American workers to a very large extent, and that is to actually control our own borders and to allow people into this country based upon our needs and to determine what those are. If they are, in fact, needs that can only be filled by low-skilled, low-wage workers, fine. If that is it, fine. If in reality, quote, no American wants to do these jobs, then, yeah, they are open to anybody who wants to come in and work hard and accomplish their life's goals.
What about the jobs in other areas, the so-called low-status jobs that now employ illegal aliens? What about restaurants and car washes and leaf blowers and gardeners and carpet installers and hotel and motel housekeeping staff? These are a few of the typical jobs we are told that cannot be filled except by illegal aliens who will work for less money than legal workers or citizens. But should we stop and think about the statement they will work for less money, because that is really what we should add to the first part of the statement. There are jobs Americans will not do, at least for the money someone is willing to pay them to do it. It is true, but it is half a truth and hides a deeper reality. The illegal aliens will indeed work for less money because they can, because they come from a culture where $6 an hour is more than a living wage, and that family members often pool their incomes and share living quarters. This is to their credit. I do not mean to demean their efforts. They are doing exactly what my grandparents did and our great grandparents or however long ago our individual families ended up in this country. Most of them came for the same reason. I do not for a moment mean to demean that particular goal. But it is only half the story and the half that everyone sees and understands. The other half is that American workers used to do these jobs before the supply of cheap foreign labor drove down wage rates relative to the rest of the economy. In other words, the conventional wisdom has the story exactly backwards. We do not have 8 to 13 million illegal aliens in this country because we need them to fill jobs. We have 8 to 13 million illegal aliens in this country because there is a ready supply of cheap labor to keep wage rates low. We have that ready supply of cheap labor because we have an open border policy.
Once again, maybe you can make this case, Mr. Speaker. Maybe it is something that all Americans will agree with. Maybe our friends on the other side of the aisle and my colleagues on this side will in their heart of hearts say, yes, it is true that we have to keep people in very low-wage situations because it is good for the economy. I just want them to make that case to their constituents, that is all. That is all that I ask. I want them to tell the people who are struggling in those low-wage jobs that they are there and they are going to be there for a long time, and there is no real opportunity for advancement because open borders will keep wage rates low and, therefore, the economy moving.
Do we need an open borders policy? Not to help our economy, which would adjust and prosper without the supply of cheap labor, just as I mentioned earlier in what I described about what happened in the tomato growing industry. It is interesting how business does adjust and how the economy does in fact relate to these things called labor shortages. We would adjust and we would prosper without the supply of cheap labor. But because it benefits Mexico and maintains good relations with the Mexican Government and because it benefits the cheap labor advocates in the Congress of the United States and the political advantage that our friends in the Democratic Party get because of massive immigration, we will continue the program. If these workers were not available, if we did not maintain an open border policy, our economy would adjust and we would continue to be the most prosperous Nation in the world. The few companies that must have such low-wage workers in order to compete in the marketplace will move their plants to the source of the labor. But our history teaches that most employers will not do this. Denied a source of below-market cheap labor, employers will generally not move their operations. Instead, they do one of two things. They will either mechanize their operations, as agriculture has in fact done steadily over the past 150 years, or they will raise their wages to attract American workers or legal workers.
Actually there is another part to this. We will increase productivity. That is what we have done. Because in reality, no matter how much we talk about the need for open borders, it is very difficult to compete in a world in which, today especially, you can move work to worker anyplace in the world. So how does American labor compete? It is not, frankly, with just the importation of cheap labor; it is with the development and the continual increase
of productivity by the American worker. When this is done across the entire industry, it does not disadvantage any one employer because all employers are in the same boat. Costs to the consumer will rise as the cost of labor rises, but the product will be produced and will be available on the market. To cite one of the most obvious examples, if restaurants in New York City and San Francisco and Dallas could not employ these illegal immigrants as their dishwashers and busboys and valet parking attendants, they would be forced to pay slightly higher wages to legal workers. Would they all go out of business? No, they would not. I respectfully submit that it would not be a calamity for our economy to have to pay a price for a prime rib dinner that would move from like $16 to $16.50, and the price of delivery of pizza to go up 50 percent, if the car wash goes up from $12 to $13, if the price of a Motel 6 room increases from $34.95 in Lubbock to $36.95.
I recognize that this might be a difficult adjustment for some people, but we have been through hardships that we endured and we can endure this one. To offset these temporary adjustments in our life- style, there would be many favorable things that would happen in our economy if the supply of cheap labor and illegal labor was cut off. The first thing we would notice is that our college students could in fact find summer jobs and part-time jobs year around. Some of the 8 million unemployed Americans would find jobs in the service industries at a higher wage than is now offered. As the job magnet disappears, the flow of illegal aliens across our borders, now estimated at 1.5 million a year, would stop. This would have some very positive effects on our economy. Hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and public schools all across the border States and in many of our bigger cities would notice a diminished burden on their budgets. As a result, State and local governments all across the West and South would discover they have revenues available that had previously been devoted to the needs of a growing immigrant community.
Legal immigrants seeking jobs would not be competing with people willing to work for below-market wages. The U.S. Border Patrol and the Customs Service could concentrate all of their energies on stopping the flow of illegal drugs into our Nation instead of worrying about the flow of illegal people; people like several members of my own community in Denver, Colorado; people in my own neighborhood. One gentleman in particular comes to mind. He is employed in the high-tech industry, and we will talk about that in a few minutes, about exactly what is happening there because we have spent most of the time talking about low-skilled, low-wage workers, but there is just as big a problem, if not more so, in the area of white collar workers, high-skilled workers in the United States and the various programs that we operate to bring people into this country to displace American workers in this area. My friend is one of those.
He is an individual that has been out of work for a year or year and a half in the high-tech industry. He now works a little bit for us, and at nighttime drives a limousine to keep a roof over his head and food on the table. If you ask him, you know, when you were a high-tech worker and in this very high position in this industry that you were involved in, would you believe that you would be driving a limousine at night picking people up and taking them to the airport, he would said no; but it does not matter, because that is what I need to do. That is what I have to do today.
That is the case for millions of Americans. They are looking for ways to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table. They will take jobs. They will take jobs, if available.
As I said, Mr. Speaker, the 600 people that applied for that $3-an- hour job at the Luna Restaurant as a waiter were not all illegal immigrants. I do not know how many, but I would guess 50 percent were people who have lived here all their lives. They were American citizens, and they were looking for a job; and their chances of getting it were diminished by the fact that so many people are here and working here and living here illegally.
I want to reiterate, it is not a slam against those people. They are doing what they need to do, what they want to do, what they have to do to try to improve theirs lives. I totally understand and relate to that. I empathize with them in every single way. I know what my grandparents went through, and I hear this a thousand times, that we are a Nation of immigrants and everybody came here and worked hard.
Mr. Speaker, this is a time when in America we have to determine what our needs are, what our needs are, and to what extent we want to disenfranchise and do things that do not benefit the American citizens of this country, so as to improve the lot of those people who are not citizens. How much of what we have in America do we wish to diminish? How much has to sink in order to allow this other part to rise? This is something we have to think about. It is harsh. I know that to many people, they feel that to be something that they would just as soon not think about, not deal with; but it is important for us to understand and deal with.
Is it right? Is it okay? If it is, if you believe so, if you come down on the side that says that we need to in fact allow for markets to work and simply have as many people who want a job in the United States to come across the border and get it, if that is true, if that is what we want, then eliminate the border. Erase the border. Forget about a border. Allow people to come to this country at their whim, at their desire. Allow them to come from every country in the world.
Now, what would happen, I ask? Would all of our lives be benefited? Would everybody in the United States be better off, the people living here, would they be better off as a result? Would the quality of our life go up, or would it be diminished? If it would increase, let us do it. Let us pass the bill. Let us put it on the floor; let us debate it. To the extent you can make the case to the American public that the United States should be open to every single person in every single country who wants to come here, then let us do it.
The thing I just hate, the thing that I rail against, is the idea that we are going to actually accomplish that goal, but we are going to sneak it through. We are not going to tell Americans that is what we want, that is the goal we are trying to accomplish, to reduce everyone's standard of living in order to accomplish this sort of idealistic libertarian goal of having markets actually determine all aspects of our society. Let us just say it. That is what I want from this Congress. That is what I expect from my colleagues and the President of the United States. I expect him to tell the truth about where we are going, about what they want to accomplish, because it is one or the other. We cannot have it both ways. Either you have unlimited massive immigration into the country, the elimination of the borders, or you do not.
There is another very important dimension to this whole debate over illegal workers, and it is a good news story when you really look into it and understand it. I am thinking of the role that millions of American workers play in our Social Security trust fund and the actuaries for payout to tomorrow's retirees.
One of the arguments frequently heard in this Capitol is that the Nation benefits from all these illegal workers because many of them do in fact pay into the Social Security system, but they never gain any of the benefits. The argument runs that if they are a net-plus for the system, they will help fund the future payouts for retirees.
A recent research report by economist John Attarian called ``Immigration: Wrong Answer For Social Security'' examines the numbers and the projects and comes to a different conclusion entirely.
Dr. Attarian's analysis of all the most pertinent research by many organizations and many pro-immigration advocates shows that in order to make any significant dent in the long-term deficit projected for the Social Security system, we would have to quadruple the number of high- wage immigrants in the technology field, not the low-wage workers who come from across our borders illegally. Moreover, the actual fiscal effects of massive illegal immigration are probably negative,
because the low-wage workers contribute less in Social Security payroll taxes than the workers they displace.
If you depress the wage rates paid to workers in order to hire illegal aliens instead of higher-wage citizens, you decrease the net income of the Social Security trust fund. You do not increase it.
Yet there is another aspect of this labor market that needs greater attention and some serious scrutiny. We have talked only about the myth of low-wage jobs that supposedly no one wants to do. There is a growing problem with higher-level jobs that are now being taken by illegal aliens and that no one wants to talk about.
This is a strange thing, this public silence about the loss of jobs in the construction industry, jobs that pay $12, $14 and $15 an hour, that are being filled by illegal workers.
Please, someone explain to me how it is that contractors cannot find legal workers to do these jobs? Do you really believe, does anyone in this body, anyone even in Washington, where the air here is so rarified that it has sometimes affected all of our thinking and we have a hard time relating to the people we represent, the working Americans, does it really occur to anyone that there are in fact many Americans who will not take $12 to $14 or $15 hour jobs in the construction industry, and therefore they go begging and we have to import illegal aliens?
The explanation, however, is simple. The jobs that a contractor is willing to pay an illegal worker $14 an hour to do, he would have to pay $16 to $18 to carpenters, union workers, brick masons and union workers. More importantly, when hiring the illegal worker instead of the American worker, the employer does not have to pay withholding tax or workman's comp or health benefits. Thus, he reduces his labor costs by as much as 50 percent by breaking the law.
You may be surprised to learn that this practice is very widespread in our Nation, especially in the West and Midwest. The Denver Post recently ran a front page investigative report on this phenomenon. The investigative reporter revealed that there is a large underground network of labor brokers who specialize in providing illegal workers for the construction industry. They provide buses and transport illegal workers from one site to another when a project is completed. There are thousands of workers involved in this scheme all across the West and Midwest.
Two very interesting questions arise when looking at this matter. The first one is obvious: Why does the U.S. Labor Department let employers get away with this violation of our labor laws? Why are arrests and prosecutions so rare?
The second question is not so obvious, but it is equally curious: Why are the labor unions not objecting to this loss of jobs to their members? Thousands of jobs, and probably tens of thousands on a national scale, are going to illegal workers who are not union members.
Where is the voice? Where is the process of the AFL-CIO when union workers lose their jobs and are displaced by illegal aliens? Where is the protest from our deficit hawks when the IRS loses millions of dollars in withholding because these illegal workers are paid off the books or as independent contractors who do not have to pay withholding?
Where is the protest by the proponents of workers' safety rules and standards when it is revealed that hundreds of thousands of workers are not being covered by workman's comp laws because employers are skirting the law in wholesale fashion, and neither the U.S. Labor Department nor State authorities are willing to do anything about it? I will soon introduce a new guest worker program that will offer a real and equitable solution to the so-called labor shortage. We will authorize unlimited guest workers into this country to fill legitimate jobs that cannot ``be filled by citizens and legal residents.'' If the employer can demonstrate a real need, if he can offer a job to a foreign national, then that worker can enter the job market and work at it for up to 2 years. There will be penalties for fraud, and a part of the worker's wages will be withheld until he or she returns to the home country.
This is another issue. We will see other Members introduce legislation for guest worker programs; and for the most part, they will be disguised as a guest worker program with the purpose of creating amnesty for people who are here illegally. This cannot be. This is absolutely inappropriate. We should never, ever, ever reward people for breaking the law, whether it is the employer who benefits or the illegal alien. We should not do that as a Congress; we should not do that as a Nation.
So if you need to come into this country and if we need the labor, we should have a legal process for that to occur, a process that guarantees the rights of the people coming into the country so they are not abused by the people who are hired by them to sneak them into the country, the coyotes, the people that packed them into the back of semis, like in Texas, where they died, 19 of them just recently, or where they bring them into the country or bring them near the border and the women are raped and the men in the family are robbed and they are shoved into the border.
We have testimony from people who have ranches near the southern border, and at nighttime they can hear the screams of women being raped by the coyotes who have taken them to this point where the promised land is just on the other side, but at that point they take advantage of them in every single way imaginable and shove them into the desert and they die there by the hundreds.
We can protect them. We can stop them from doing that. We can stop the coyotes from doing this. We can protect workers coming into the United States and make sure they are paid at least the minimum wage. We can be sure they are in fact given the kind of protection that American workers deserve, that all workers deserve.
On the other hand, we can protect our own interests in this country and protect the interests of Americans who need jobs. If there are truly ``jobs that Americans will not do,'' fine, let somebody prove that; and when they prove it, let them import labor for that purpose. It is okay with me. But I will assure you that if that test were really that difficult, if we truly put it out there in that way, prove that no American wants this job for what you are willing to pay, for what the going rate is, by the way, not just what you are willing to pay, what the going rate for this job is, okay, you can bring in a guest worker. But I guarantee, Mr. Speaker, that most of these jobs that we are being told would only be taken by people we have to bring in here illegally would in fact be taken by American citizens. To the extent that is not true, fine, import workers. Bring them in legally so that they are protected in their rights and so that our rights are also protected.
There would be penalties for fraud, and part of the workers wage would be withheld, as I say. The penalties for fraud are important, because we have to stop the demand side of this equation just as much as the supply side. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of American corporations that are taking advantage of our laws, that are importing workers, that are actually involved in the process, not just of hiring illegal aliens, but bringing them into the country.
Tysons Foods, Tysons Foods in Arkansas is being prosecuted by the U.S. Government, and it is a showcase. I really and truly applaud the Immigration and Naturalization Service for bringing this case, because I hope people in Tysons Foods, if they are found guilty, actually go to jail for what they have done, because they are part of, according to the government's case anyway, Tysons Foods and the executives at Tysons Foods were actually involved in the importation of illegal workers.
Well, that even goes one step beyond just hiring someone who is here illegally, and the people who did that should go to jail. American corporations who knowingly hire people who are here illegally should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and we should not wink at it and we should not just pretend that it is the problem of the illegal worker coming into this
country. He is coming or she is coming for a job. That job is being offered by an American corporation or an American company or just an American citizen, and we have to stop that. Each are culpable.
When those people died in Victorville, California, the people who are responsible for their death, beyond those individuals who put themselves in harm's way, who decided to actually take the risk of coming into this country illegally, beyond those people, there is still more culpability. Part of it goes to those American employers who enticed these people into the United States. Part of it goes to our own government and every Member of this Congress who refuses to deal with the issue of illegal immigration. Yes, it is our responsibility. Yes, their blood is on our hands.
Mr. Speaker, I state that categorically, that we have, over the course of the last couple of decades, made it enticing for them to come to the country illegally; made it illegal to do so, of course, to come without our permission; but, on the other hand said well, if you can do it, if you can make it, we will look the other way. So, of course, millions do, and some of them get caught in this trap, and some of them die. It is our fault. We share the blame. So does the Mexican Government for encouraging this flow, for doing everything possible to move unemployed young Mexican workers into the United States to reduce their own problems in Mexico and to increase remittances from people who come to the United States and send money back to Mexico, which becomes a significant part of their own GDP.
They also encourage the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States from Mexico in order to have them, as I was told by Juan Hernandez, who was at that time the head of the ministry in Mexico called the Ministry for Mexicans Living in the United States. He said that it helps them influence our government's policy, the massive number of Mexican nationals living in the United States helps them, he said, influence our government's policy vis-a-vis Mexico. So Mexico has a role to play and is equally culpable for the deaths of the people that have come across this border and found themselves in horrible circumstances and died as a result or were harmed in the process.
Mr. Speaker, all of these people have some role to play and some degree of culpability, and I say to every single one of them, I challenge you to actually deal with this forthrightly. Stand up in front of the American public and state unequivocally that what you want is, in fact, a Nation where there are no barriers to immigration, where people can come at their will. Say that. It may win. It may win a majority of the votes in the Congress of the United States and the President may sign that kind of a bill. I, as I say, am a ``no'' vote, but it may happen. I just want the debate. I want it to happen in this body. I want it to be done in a de jure fashion, not in a de facto way.
I know that what we are doing in America today is in fact moving in exactly that direction. We are eliminating our borders, but we are not doing it through a legal process; we are doing it in a de facto way, by looking the other way. And there are many, many bad things that happen as a result of that desire on our part to look the other way.
Well, I want to force this Congress, I want to force this Nation, I want to force the President of the United States to look at this straight in the eye, and say we are going to deal with it one way or the other. Open our borders or secure them. Those are the only two options open to us as a Nation. Take your pick. Vote on one side or the other. Let us get this job done. Let us tell the people where we really stand. Let us get this problem solved one way or the other.
All the border controls in the world won't solve the problem until illegals know they're not going to be allowed to stay. Since Congress refuses to do that, Tancredo is making a valid point.
OK. There's an audio file of Tancredo's June 9 Special Order speech here, too. At least there was yesterday.
With new policies and reorganization, to whom should a citizen now report illegals? And follow-up that something is done?
The Greensburg police called the wrong agency. They should have called The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement"
This is a quote from another thread, awhile ago, that I kept in my clipboard. It was written, I believe, by Marine Inspector.
Rats don't like flashlights. ...nor do RINOS.