Mr. Speaker, according to a memo that was just released from the U.S. Justice Department from 2005 and reported in the Houston Chronicle today, it reveals procedure and criteria for arresting, detaining, prosecuting and deporting illegals that come into the United States.
It is a very interesting memo. Apparently the Department of Justice did not want to make this memo public for some time. Now we understand why. According to this memo, Texas prosecutors along the Texas-Mexico border generally do not prosecute illegals until the sixth offense. In other words, they have to come over, get caught; come over, get caught; come over, get caught; come over, get caught; come over, get caught; come over, get caught, and the sixth time our Federal Government decides, okay, we get the message, we are going to prosecute you for your sixth illegal entry into the United States.
So we don't prosecute them the first time like most Americans would want. And, of course, the illegals on the other side of the border from whatever country they come from know this is our procedure.
According to this Department of Justice memo, it says because of a ``lack of resources and bed space to detain and prosecute every illegal entry violator,'' we are not able to prosecute them the first time.
Mr. Speaker, this ought not to be. This is bad American policy. According to the border agents who work on the Texas-Mexico border and throughout the South, they arrest 1 million illegals a year coming into the United States; and we are telling them you have to work six times harder because the first time just doesn't count.
According to T.J. Bonner, the head of the Border Patrol Association, he said: ``It's devastating on morale. Our agents are risking their lives out there, and then they're told, Sorry, that doesn't meet the criteria,'' and they must be released.
So what does this mean? This means that the Federal Government and the Justice Department and the Federal prosecutors along the Texas-Mexico border and the entire border with Mexico need to get their act together and prosecute people that illegally come into the United States.
They need to quit prosecuting the border protectors and spending all of the American money going down into Mexico and finding drug smugglers and giving them immunity for bringing drugs into the United States and prosecuting border agents like Ramos and Compean. They need to quit making deals with seven or eight illegals who came into Texas and were caught by Deputy Gilmer Hernandez, and then they were given a deal to stay in the country, given green cards, all to prosecute Deputy Hernandez because he fired his gun.
We need to find the resources to protect our border. Whatever it takes, we have to protect the border. It is the duty of our government to protect the sovereignty of this Nation.
Today this House just spent billions of dollars dumping money for spinach farmers and peanut farmers and for all kinds of little special pork projects in this country. Maybe that money would have been better spent to find more facilities to detain the illegals, to find more immigration judges to hear these cases, and to find more prosecutors who will do their job and prosecute the illegals in this country and deport them back where they came from no matter where they are.
Mr. Speaker, it is the first duty of government to protect its people, and that includes the people that live in the United States. Part of that protection is to keep us protecting from the unlawful invasion of foreigners who come to this country without permission. Whether they come here just for illegal reasons, criminal intent, whether they are human smugglers or d