Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

Mr. Speaker, for the last few weeks I have been discussing the ongoing problem of illegal immigration into the United States; and have mentioned numerous ills of this lack of a policy and how it affects the United States and citizens here; how we are expending exorbitant amounts of money to fund the actions of illegals, and Americans pay for it.

Besides the cost of illegal immigration, the effect of our homeland security is detrimental to the safety of our country, and we need to have a plan and a plan that makes sense, has common sense, and that works.

Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Culberson) as much time as he wishes to consume on this issue of immigration and one of the novel ideas he has come up with to help solve this problem.

Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman. I am proud to have the gentleman with me as coauthor of legislation we have filed with 44 other Members of the House to use the mechanisms the Founding Fathers left us in the Constitution to help defend this country against the threat of terrorists who the FBI Director has confirmed in sworn testimony that suspected terrorists and individuals from countries with known al Qaeda connections are entering the United States illegally, using false Hispanic identities, a subject the gentleman is talking about here today, to make sure we accurately identify people entering the U.S.

Federal law enforcement authorities have now confirmed what we have known, and that is these individuals are trying to sneak into the U.S., crossing our southern border, hiding among the tremendous wave of illegal immigration entering this country, and the Federal Government simply does not have the manpower or resources to protect our international borders.

In a very real sense, 9/11 deputized every American, but not every American can serve in our Armed Forces or join the FBI or the CIA and fight on the front in the war on terror. So the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) and I, and 45 other Members of Congress, have filed legislation invoking congressional power under the Constitution to authorize all eligible American citizens who have no criminal record, no history of mental illness to serve in a genuine militia force for the sole purpose of protecting our borders.

The Border Protection Corps would serve truly as a neighborhood watch border patrol. These individuals who would serve under the direct control of our State Governors in those border States along the border would be trained, equipped, and serve under the direction of the Governor in cooperation with local and State law enforcement authorities.

Mr. Speaker, I want to stress this. These individuals would indeed be trained, be lawful militia forces as the Constitution envisioned under the control of the Governor, working in cooperation with the Governor, State law enforcement, and the border patrol simply to protect our border and to prevent individuals from entering the United States illegally and to, when necessary, take those individuals into custody.

State and local authorities would then be eligible for Federal funding. A Governor that invokes this authority, taking command of these lawful militia forces, the Border Protection Corps, would have access to this Federal money, Homeland Security money, which would then flow to that State. There is $6.8 billion in unspent homeland security money that has been there for over 2 years, unspent for local responders. There is no more important local response, or first response, than protecting our borders.

So with this legislation that we have coauthored, if a Governor calls up, takes command of these forces, again, trains them, puts them under the control of local law enforcement, working with the border patrol, that $6.8 billion is then eligible to flow to pay for the cost of equipping, training, deploying these forces as well as building temporary ho