Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

BORDER WARS

Jan 23 2008

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Madam Speaker, I come to you today to discuss what is going on internationally with our country. You know, this country is at war in Iraq. We have been for a number of years. This country is at war in Afghanistan, and we have been for a number of years.

While the news from the front is encouraging, both of those wars are not over with yet. And it is interesting to me that even though we are sending our troops, our young men and women, the finest America has to offer, halfway around the globe to protect the dignity of other countries, it concerns me that we fail to protect the security of our own Nation on the southern border of the United States.

Because, Madam Speaker, there is a border war going on in the United States on our southern border. Unfortunately, too many people, especially here in Washington, DC are blissfully ignorant of what is taking place on the southern border. You see we have two international borders. We have one with Mexico and we have one with Canada. The number one duty of government is to protect the people, to protect America from all incursions, all invasions.

So we send our troops halfway around the world to protect the interest of the United States in Iraq, protect the interest of the United States in Afghanistan, and I agree with what we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. But we also need to be concerned about what is taking place closer to our homeland, and that is the border wars that are taking place.

Why I say that is I have been down, while I have been in Congress these 3 1/2 years, I have been down to the Texas-Mexico border now 13 times. I have also been to the border between California and Mexico.

Madam Speaker, each time I go to the border I see more evidence that we are not winning the border war, that it is more difficult, it is harder on our troops down there, the sheriffs, the border agents. It is harder on the people who live on the border between the United States and Mexico. Many ranchers and people who live along the Rio Grande River on the American side have bars on their windows because they are afraid of people who come across from the southern part of the United States committing crimes.

Madam Speaker, I want to make it clear I am not talking about everyone that comes to the United States is here to commit a crime. I am not saying that. I am saying when we fail to enforce the rule of law, that being you don't come to America without permission, that we get everybody. We get the good, we get the bad, and we get the ugly. Right now, Madam Speaker, we are getting a lot of bad and we are getting a lot of ugly.

Let me give one example of those people who come in and flaunt the law of the United States that you don't come here without permission. I have here a night shot taken, and I am not sure that it can be seen, but I will hold it up anyway. This top photograph is a night scene of the bottom photograph. This is a photograph on the bottom of the Rio Grande River near Laredo, Texas. Across the river is Mexico. This is the nighttime version of that.

What we see here is a raft with several individuals coming to America without permission. They are all dressed in black uniforms. You notice the guy in the front has