And what about the border patrol, America's most important defense in this battle against such an invasion? While the President stood with border patrol agents down in the Yuma sector in Arizona, praising them for their hard work, saying how proud he was of them, the border patrol agents were painfully aware that two of their fellow officers languish in Federal prisons. They are being held in solitary confinement for doing their job, the job that the President claims he wants the border patrol agents to do.
It is the President's appointees who have perpetrated upon this border patrol the worst miscarriage of justice that I have ever witnessed. Ignoring pleas for mercy and pleas for justice, ignoring the clear misconduct of his protégé, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, the President has backed up his employees at the expense of border patrol agents, especially these two, Ramos and Compean.
The President has permitted his Justice Department to throw the book at these two border patrol agents for stopping a drug dealer, and perhaps, just perhaps, maybe there was some procedural errors that they were involved in. This administration turned what is, at worst, procedural violations, that they did not file the reports, even though there are questions as to whether their supervisors should have filed the reports or not; in fact, the rule states that the supervisors will file such reports, that this administration has turned that lack of proper paperwork into felonies that have put Ramos and Compean, two border patrol agents who have well-served our country, defended our families with their lives, they are now languishing in prison for 11 years of hard time.
President Bush backs up his appointees who either incompetently or maliciously chose to prosecute our law enforcement officers, while at the same time, I might add, chose to grant immunity to the drug smuggler who they stopped.
U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton claims that he had no choice in this matter, the biggest lie of all. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton had plenty of choices to make, and as a prosecutor, that is what prosecutors do. They make mistakes on who to prosecute. That is one of the fundamental decisions they have to make. He was faced with a decision, either prosecute the drug dealer who had $1 million worth of drugs that he was smuggling into our country, or prosecute the border patrol agents by turning their procedural mistakes into breaking the law, and thus, into felonies for supposedly covering up the breaking of the law.
Our U.S. Attorney chose to give immunity to the drug smuggler who was, of course, smuggling $1 million worth of drugs into our country, but not to give immunity to the border patrol agents for procedural missteps.
That was his decision. He decided, our U.S. Attorney decided to back the drug smuggler and destroy the Border Patrol agents, and he knew exactly how that decision would affect the lives of Ramos and Compean.
Agents Ramos and Compean should have been commended for their courageous service in stopping an illegal drug smuggler from bringing in over $1 million worth of drugs into our communities. If they had stopped a terrorist with a nuclear bomb, I am sure by now they would be national heroes. Instead, the President refuses to take a sober look at the facts of this case and issue pardons for these men, the pardons that justice demands and the American people are crying out for, and the Border Patrol, throughout this country, is looking at as a sign whether this President supports the job they are doing.
But, of course, they won't issue any pardon. Even to let these men out on bond pending their appeal would require an admission that some loyal Bush appointee was wrong.
Instead, the President continues to back his long-time buddy at the Justice Department, Johnny Sutton, even though the decision he made, instead of going after the drug dealer, to go after the Border Patrol agents and destroy their lives, was obviously a bad call.
The President has ignored the rotten smell that is coming from this case. He has ignored the fact that the Department of Homeland Security operatives went to Congress and intentionally lied to Members of Congress on investigative subcommittees, claiming that Ramos and Compean had joked about going out and shooting a Mexican the day they intercepted this drug dealer and the incident ensued.
Ramos and Compean are Mexican Americans. They are Americans of Mexican descent. Their wives are Americans of Mexican descent. Their children are Americans of Mexican descent. Yet we had members of the Department of Homeland Security from this administration lying to Congress saying these men wanted to go out and shoot Mexicans. They lied over and over again, and this administration has lied over and over again, dealing with the Ramos and Compean case.
What we have here is a situation where the supervisors who were on the scene within minutes of them stopping this drug dealer, and when he escaped over the border, those supervisors did not ask Ramos and Compean about the incident. Ramos and Compean didn't comment, because they knew that procedures were that they would have had to do 5 or 6 hours worth of more work, filling out more paperwork, bringing in the FBI.
Both the supervisors and Ramos and Compean knew that this would have just created a lot more work for them on their own time. They decided not to do it, because the guy had gotten away, so why report that shots were fired, and they didn't even think they had hit him.
Well, making it worse, of course, as we know, the supervisors, who were actually threatened by the U.S. attorneys, the prosecutors in this case, were threatened that if they did not testify against Ramos and Compean, and claimed that, in fact, there was an attempt to cover up this incident, rather than just being a case of where they were trying not to have to put themselves in a position where they were going to have to do all this more paperwork, they threatened the supervisors to put them in jail. Of course, the supervisors buckled. They didn't want their lives to be destroyed.
Well, let me put it this way. What we have got here, failure to report, to file a report, is a procedural violation. It is not a crime. This U.S. Attorney chose to go after the Border Patrol agents instead of the drug dealer. He chose to make a procedural violation into a crime, into a felony.
Again, threats were made against the supervisors, so what do you have there? A witness being threatened by the prosecution. We have seen this across our country. We know when prosecutors try to get somebody and squeeze them to say what's the truth or not the truth in order to protect themselves. They will stretch the truth.
So either they went along, the supervisors went along on the assault on Ramos or Compean, or they too would be prosecuted. Everybody hears this, gets the picture. The whole thing stinks. Ramos and Compean are taking a fall to demonstrate to all Border Patrol agents that if they use their guns to secure our borders, even from drug smugglers, they will be destroyed. They will be targeted and destroyed by this administration because that is this administration's policy.
Yes. Now, what does that policy mean? Where did that come from? If Border Patrol agents can't use their guns at the border, how can we control our borders?
Now, of course, the Border Patrol agents are afraid, and, rightfully so, to get out of their car if they see a potential drug dealer driving across. What a horrible message, what a horrible decision. Yet this President has to stick with his appointees.
Clearly, border security is not a priority for this administration. There may be well some other priority at work, some other agenda that we don't know about. Granting immunity to this drug smuggler, granting immunity to the people who smuggle drugs, human traffickers, which happened in another case, I might add, where another law enforcement officer ended up in jail, doing this, while granting immunity to the human traffickers and the drug smugglers, suggests the bizarre nature of this administration's border and immigration policy.
If anybody denies it or defies it who works for the Border Patrol or anyone else in the government, this administration, through Ramos and Compean, through his prosecutors, have made it clear that anyone who defies their policies will be vilified and destroyed. Note, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, Johnny Sutton, the U.S. Attorney labeled Ramos and Compean in the media as "corrupt". There are quotes around corrupt.
This is the U.S. Attorney himself, not the prosecutors who were filing or arguing the case. The U.S. Attorney labeled Ramos and Compean corrupt, a clear lie. Neither of these two agents have ever been accused of corruption.
Ramos, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, an officer in the Naval Reserve, had been nominated Border Patrol agent of the year. He was nominated for that award. To be considered for that award, just prior to this incident, this is a corrupt officer? Ramos and Compean are clean. They have never been accused of that. Yet the U.S. Attorney is on the radio calling them corrupt.
Something stinks about that situation, doesn't it. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton lied and claimed that Ramos and Compean were corrupt, and then he threw the book at them.
At the same time, he gave a professional drug smuggler a "get out of jail free" card and had his prosecutors lie to the jury telling them that the drug smuggler was a novice who was only trying to raise money to buy medicine for his sick mother. That's what the jury was told when the prosecutors at that time knew, they made that argument to the jury, that this was a novice at one time to raise money for a sick mother, they knew that drug smuggler had already been involved in a second drug smuggling incident that they knew of.
This is while he was under immunity for the load that he had been intercepted for bringing into the country by Ramos and Compean. By the way, it's not just Ramos and Compean, of course. We are talking about a border and immigration policy by this administration that is bizarre, that is incomprehensible, that is totally confused and leads to many, many questions. Why is, for example, why is this President, if, yes, Border Patrol and immigration control issues are important to him? Why is the President holding the security of our borders hostage to, basically, making sure that we can't proceed with defense and other border security measures unless we also pass a bill that includes the provision of legalizing the status of 15 to 20 million people who are already in this country illegally?
What do those two issues have to do with one another? If he believes in the security of the border, why is he demanding also that in order to secure the border we have to legalize the status of 15 to 20 million illegals, by the way, which will lead to a massive hoard of new illegals, of course, that no fence will stop. No one is being fooled by this call for a comprehensive reform.
It is a code word for amnesty, legalizing the status of those who are here illegally. The President has destroyed his own credibility by playing such word games as defining amnesty in a way such that nobody accepts the definition. It is a totally unacceptable and irrational definition of the word "amnesty."
Why the President has chosen over and over again to try to play that kind of word game, I don't know. The chaotic and confused picture of this comprehensive border policy, and the things that are going on in our border, suggests that there are other forces that are at play. What are those forces? There are certainly very powerful interest groups that play here in Washington, and there may well be a hidden agenda that is being foisted on the American people.
The President's own words suggest this. During the February 14, 2007, press conference, President Bush said the following, "I believe that in order to enforce the borders, we need a temporary worker program so that people don't try to sneak into the country to work, that they can come in an orderly fashion and take the pressure off the Border Patrol agents that we have got here so that the Border Patrol doesn't focus on workers that are doing their jobs that Americans won't do, but are focusing on terrorists and criminal elements, gun runners, et cetera, to keep the country, both of our countries, safe, Mexico and the United States, safe.''
Mr. Speaker, I am not really sure that it's the responsibility of the United States government, to have a high priority of keeping Mexico safe. Just what is being proposed, how will that affect Mexico at the expense of the American people?
Just whose interest is our government representing? During his Yuma speech, the President proclaimed the border "should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut down to criminals and drug dealers and terrorists and coyotes and smugglers and people who prey upon innocent life.''
How does that square with the President's U.S. Attorney and long-time friend and protege, Johnny Sutton, who he backs to the hilt, throwing the book at our Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officers over procedural errors, but at the same time letting drug smugglers go, letting people who are smuggling illegal immigrations into our country go?
Of course, that is not the only thing, Ramos and Compean and what's going on with our law enforcement. The policies themselves are incomprehensible.
According to a recent AP story, 98 percent of all illegal border crossers are not even prosecuted, 98 percent. Between October 1 of 2000 and September 30 of 2006, nearly 5.3 million illegals were simply escorted back across the Rio Grande and turned loose. Well, no wonder they don't give up, and they end up coming back a second or third or fourth time.
The Justice Department claims it has "higher priorities than going after ordinary illegal immigrants." They said they elected to pursue a more elective strategy going after drug smugglers and criminals. Really? Tell that to Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean, who are languishing right now, right now as we speak, in solitary confinement in Federal prisons, all because U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, close friend and protege of the President, decided to grant immunity to the drug smuggler in order to testify against the Border Patrol agents.
Not only did Sutton allow this criminal to get away with it once, as I stated, this very same drug smuggler was involved with a second shipment. He has probably been involved with many more shipments of drugs.
But, they knew that he was involved with a second shipment even before Ramos and Compean went to trial, and that information was kept from the jury. Let me repeat that, information that the very same drug smuggler that had been stopped by Ramos and Compean, that very same man who now Ramos and Compean are being tried for at that moment for violating procedures because he was just a novice, a man who had never done this before, this was his first attempt at drug smuggling. The fact that they knew of a second load that would have already happened by the time of the trial, that was kept from the jury.
The jury was presented by the prosecutor, a lie, that this man was obviously a novice, and had never been involved in drug smuggling before. The jury was told the drug smuggler was, as I say, first-time novice, to pay for his mother's medicine.
And the U.S. Attorney knew that he had already been involved in a second drug load, and that was kept from the jury. Something really stinks about this case. This is the same U.S. Attorney that has been claiming all along, along with the prosecutors, that the drug smuggler wasn't armed.
Now, we know that both of the Border Patrol agents suggest that as the drug smuggler is running away from them to get across the border, he turned in a way that appeared to be aiming something in their direction, and they didn't have much time to think about it and they fired their weapons. Now, whether or not he had a gun is impossible to prove. He got away. He went across the border. We have only the word of the drug smuggler that he was not armed. And, again, the drug smuggler is not only believed, but his story is backed up by the U.S. prosecutors over the word of two veteran law enforcement officers, one who served this country for 10 years in the Border Patrol, the other 5 years, both of them veterans of our military. And they believed the drug dealer, in order to destroy the Border Patrol agents. And then, again, we hear over and over again, and presented in trial, that the drug smuggler was unarmed. Yet it is only his word that suggests that. And I might add this; the drug smuggler's family has stated to journalists that this drug smuggler had always been armed when smuggling drugs, and he had been doing so since he was 14 years old.
Now, let's put that in perspective. Does anyone really believe that a drug smuggler in that area is going to be in possession of a $1 million asset, these drugs, and he won't have anything there to defend those assets on either side of the border? Our U.S. Attorney believes the drug smuggler when he says he is unarmed, and destroys the Border Patrol agents when they say they thought he was aiming something at them. To this day, the smuggler is free from prosecution. He has never been charged with a crime, and is awaiting a potential settlement in his $5 million lawsuit against the Border Patrol.
Now, let's recap. Two Border Patrol agents are languishing in solitary confinement in Federal prisons for 11 years, while the illegal drug smuggler whose van was abandoned contained $1 million worth of narcotics, he was granted immunity; he has been given free medical care, and provided an unconditional border crossing card, which was more than likely used when he smuggled a second stash of drugs into the United States before Ramos and Compean went to prison. And we are supposed to believe that this President wants to free up our Border Patrol agents from just normal duties so they can go after the real criminals?
By the way, at Ramos and Compean's trial the prosecutor belittled the Border Patrol agents for thinking that they should be out trying to stop drug smugglers. And that prosecutor, belittling them in front of the jury, said if they wanted to stop drug dealers, they should have joined the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency. This is our prosecutor that is supposed to be representing us belittling these two men for stopping a drug dealer with $1 million worth of drugs, saying that they should have gone and joined the DEA if they wanted to stop drug dealers. To suggest all of this represents a confused, chaotic, and contradictory border strategy and immigration policy is to put it mildly.
During the Ramos and Compean trial, the lead prosecutor bragged how section 1325 cases are not even prosecuted. What are 1325 cases? Improper entry by an alien. It states any alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or any other than as designated by Immigration officers shall be fined under title XVIII or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.
The law is clear, but the law is not being enforced. The law isn't being enforced. Our Border Patrol agents are under attack even if they stop drug dealers, much less other people. The other people who are just coming across, we are not enforcing that. Millions have been returned without having to pay any penalty at all. So why not come back a second and third time until they succeed?
And why isn't the law being enforced? And because the law hasn't been enforced, the situation at the border is out of control. Surprise, surprise. If you don't enforce the law at the border, it's out of control. Tens of millions of people are here who shouldn't be here.
Now, who is to blame? Yes, I think the top person in our government and all the people in our government who have been supporting these policies are to blame. Whether it is President Bush, President Clinton, or Members of leadership in Congress, the law hasn't been enforced, and it has been very clear that it has not been enforced. This has not been an accident that we have 15 million to 20 million illegals in our country creating horrible situations for driving down wages, destroying education, et cetera, et cetera. More and more people are coming across our borders without any type of consequence because it has been a policy not to enforce that law, the policy of this administration for the last 6 years. Of course, who did they prosecute but the Border Patrol agents if they didn't do their paperwork right.
Well, what is going, of course, we have more and more people crossing the border. Those who are here and get here illegally begin to realize that they are able to find work, and they are actually getting jobs that pay them more money than they would have in the countries from which they come, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, China, and elsewhere. So they realize they can get work here and get paid more. And they also realize that they are able to get free services from the Federal, State, and local government. The taxpayers of the United States are going to provide them services they could never get at home, health care, education, housing, et cetera. It is a bonanza for these people.
Now, they are not bad people. Let me state for the record and be very emphatic about this. A huge proportion, maybe 90 percent of all illegal immigrants coming to this country are likely to be wonderful human beings. If we were in their spot, we would be coming across the border, too. They are not at fault for wanting to come here, and they are not at fault for coming here to better the lives of their families, to better their own lives. That's not their fault. We don't dislike them for that at all. The people to blame here, the people to be upset with are the policymakers who permitted this massive flow of people into our country; because, even though these are good people coming in, they are having a horrible impact on our society. A horrible impact. And it is up to us to represent the interests of the people of the United States, even though these good people who would like to come here by the tens of millions all around the world are good people. And my heart goes out to them. But my job and our job should be to protect the interests of the people of the United States. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing selfish with that. There is nothing selfish with wanting to protect our children and make sure the health care and resources go to our children and our families.
But the word has gone out all over the world that they can get jobs, they can get benefits. And I will tell you this. If the word goes out that we are going to legalize and we end up legalizing the status of those who are here illegally, the flow of illegals that is now coming into our country will turn into a tidal wave. We have trouble controlling our borders now. If we legalize the status of 10 million to 15 million illegals in our country as what is being advocated in this supposed comprehensive immigration plan, it will make the situation so much worse, so much more out of control, it will be a catastrophe for this country. Ten years from now, we will have lost our country to tens of millions of new people who are consuming all of the resources we put aside for our elderly, for our young people, for our children, for our families.
Wake up, America. You are being betrayed. We are being told that our Border Patrol agents are going to secure our borders: Just pass the comprehensive bill, then we will secure the borders. Well, first of all, those are two unrelated issues. But then, on top of it, we know now that our government is prosecuting the Border Patrol agents or anyone else who gets in the way of the hordes of illegals that are now flooding into our country at this level. This is total insanity and is already doing, as I say, great harm to the people of our country. And no doubt, even though the President was there with our Border Patrol agents, our defenders in the Border Patrol and elsewhere are demoralized.
And it is not just Ramos and Compean why our defenders are demoralized. What about the case of Edwards County, Texas? Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez, another American of Mexican descent. He too was prosecuted and imprisoned under the direction of Johnny Sutton. Anybody catch a pattern here?
In this case, Deputy Hernandez tried to protect himself from a van full of illegals who tried to run him over after a routine traffic stop. He shot out the tires, and in the process, an illegal hiding behind the van's wheel well sustained a minor injury.
Once again, our government chose to ignore the immigration crime there of human trafficking. You had human trafficking laws that were being violated by those illegals who were driving that van and taking those people in. And our U.S. attorney chose to go after the deputy. Not only did the coyotes get away, the injured illegals have already been rewarded with $100,000 and green cards to match.
Deputy Hernandez now sits in prison. The illegals are now living in Austin, Texas, $100,000 richer. This is bizarre. This is twilight zone stuff.
These aren't idiots that have designed this policy. These are people who have the wrong goals in mind, who are not representing the interests of the people of the United States, and are certainly not appreciative of our defenders.
We're being told that the Justice Department's priority is to pursue criminals and human traffickers, yet we hear about that case that I just mentioned.
Our defenders are afraid to defend us. And they're not afraid to defend us. That's not just a policy that just happened. It's not just happening that they are afraid to defend us. This administration and the powers that be have set out to intimidate the Border Patrol and to make them fearful to enforce the law.
At the same time we are emboldening those who would break our laws. So it's been the policy, perhaps for a decade, perhaps more than a decade, but certainly during this entire administration, to intimidate those who are defending us at the border and embolden those who would cross the border illegally.
By the way, in both of the aforementioned cases, our Justice Department determined that the illegal aliens coming across this country, one, a drug smuggler, the others coyotes smuggling illegals across the country, that their civil rights were violated.
There's something wrong with this picture when our government is protecting the so-called civil rights of people who are smuggling drugs into our country and carrying loads of illegal immigrants into our country in violation of our law. Something is totally wrong with this picture.
If controlling the borders is a priority, why is this President, again, using border security as a wedge to achieve other goals? And his other goals, of course, amnesty to those who are here illegally and setting up a guest workers program.
Again, whose interest is our government representing?
Economist Robert Samuels pointed out some of the horrible impact of this policy that we have had that has brought so many illegals into our country. He claims that what we are doing, you know, some people say we are bringing in cheap labor, but he suggests we are importing poverty, and that that importation of poverty is having a dramatically negative impact on our country. If this country continues to allow uneducated, unskilled workers to come here illegally, it will bankrupt America, and we are in the process of bankrupting America.
According to a report released by the Heritage Foundation, 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants are high school dropouts. 4.6 million U.S. households are headed up by immigrant dropouts. The Pew Hispanic Institute Center estimates that 49 percent of high school dropouts are illegal immigrants.
The Heritage report estimates that the cost to the American taxpayer over the lifetime of a high school dropout is $1.1 million per dropout. Because of the government benefits they receive versus what they pay back into the system in taxes, the net cost, per year, for all of these illegal alien dropouts that are coming here, high school dropouts, these poverty-stricken people, the net cost to us per year is $397 billion, almost $400 billion a year.
Put that in perspective. Of all the things we try to finance in this Congress and can't find an extra $25 million for breast cancer research.
Put it into the context with the millions of illegals who are working here in the United States off the books, who do not pay their share of the taxes, but will still reap the benefits of government programs, from welfare to health care to Social Security to public schools and housing.
This is a catastrophe, a catastrophe not just in the making, but a catastrophe in reality that we are living right now. I see it happening in my own Southern California district every day.
And what are those consequences? Let's just note. In my area, the schools, the quality of education is going down. For the ordinary people who depend on public schools, their kids are getting shortchanged. The emergency rooms in hospitals are closing up and health care's going down.
Our criminal justice system is being inundated and, we have, I'm not sure the exact number. I think it's 50 percent of all the felons, it might be 75 percent of all the felons where there are warrants of felons that they are looking for are illegal immigrant felons.
It's breaking down our criminal justice system. If you get raped or murdered or run over by a drunk in California in my area, it's likely it's been done by someone who should never have been there legally in the first place.
Our government is betraying the interest of our people. It's not protecting our people. Yet, politically, our government is dominated by powerful forces who want these high levels of immigration, legal or illegal.
This has been no mistake. People didn't just close their eyes and say, oh my gosh; there's 15 to 20 million people here illegally. No, it has been a policy decision made by people that we will support, that they will support the policies that have created this monstrous threat.
It is not an accident. It is not something that just happened. The policy decisions were made by an elite, but the American people were kept in the dark about these decisions.
Now, who was it? Who's behind this flow into our country?
First of all, business wants cheap labor. When I say that, that doesn't mean that they just want cheap labor from people who are coming here illegally. That means they want the people who are coming here illegally to bid down the wages of our own people.
So not only are the illegals working for less money, but now the American working people have to take less money, because their job will be given to an illegal. So big business wants cheap labor. They want the illegals to depress wages. That is a very powerful force.
The liberal left coalition, which runs the Democratic party, wants more illegals as well. They want the political clout that a massive influx of low class and highly manipulated immigrants will provide their power structure. So you've got big business interests and business interests and the liberal left democratic establishment. Now, that is a one heck of a tough coalition. And it's about as tough as it gets.
And yes, the political and economic elites have benefited from this. Yeah. The democratic elites have got their political tools. And the businessmen have the people who cut their lawns, be nannies to their children, change the sheets in their hotels, do everything that they need to have done at a much lower wage, and give them the opportunity to give themselves huge pay raises. They give themselves levels of pay that CEOs never would have gotten years ago.
You know, CEOs used to get about 10 times as much as working people in their companies. Now they give themselves hundreds, if not thousands of times more than the people working in their company.
But of course the people in their company can't really push too hard because they can be replaced, many of them, by people from overseas. We can get H1B visas and flood the market with Pakistanis or Indians to do computer work. If our people won't accept 50 or $60,000 we can flood the market with H1B visas and we can make sure that the computer people from our country, you know, that they are going to have to accept lower wages, or we'll give it to the Pakistani or the Indian.
That is illegal. What about the legal people who come here who even work for less than that Pakistani or Indian who comes in with an H-B1 visa?
These elites who, as I say, live behind closed gates and don't have their kids in public schools, they are doing things that destroy the well-being of their fellow citizens.
We see cities that are not only turning a blind eye to illegals, but they are welcoming illegals into our country. Recently, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed to maintain San Francisco as a "sanctuary city" for illegals, and he will do everything he can to provide sanctuary for those illegals. He is discouraging Federal authorities from conducting any immigration raids. Well, in whose interest is this mayor watching out for and the others who talk about these sanctuary cities? There are hundreds of these sanctuary cities across our country. The employers know it. Rental companies know it. The illegals know it. The word is going out all over the world. There are sanctuary cities. If you can make it there, you have got it made. And there will be a treasure of benefits for you as well, and the local government is going to protect you. Well, by proclaiming their moral superiority in protecting illegals, what are they doing? They are in reality committing a monstrous crime not just against the American people but against all those people overseas, perhaps 100 million people now waiting in line overseas to come here legally. They are waiting in line to come here legally, but yet we have got the mayor of San Francisco who is siding with the guys who cut in line in front of those people who are waiting to respect our laws and to come here to be Americans in the legal way.
If the people who are here illegally have their status legalized and if we have people protecting those people who are here illegally, what does that tell the millions of people who are waiting overseas? It tells them they had better not wait. They are fools. This mayor of the city of San Francisco isn't protecting illegals. He is actually accosting, actually committing a crime against the people who are waiting in line overseas. He is favoring those people to break the law over those who stand in line and wait to obey the law. He is siding with the lawbreakers rather than siding with those immigrants from overseas who would like to come here and follow our laws. He is not just protecting the unfortunate people of the world. He is siding with that group of people over those unfortunate people who would obey our laws and come here.
The prosecution of Ramos and Compean has not gone unnoticed, as well as the sanctuary cities I am talking about, the actions of the mayor of San Francisco. Yes, couple that with the prosecution of Ramos and Compean, and what we have got is there are good people all over the world as well as some bad people, but good people even who are saying that they can come here now. Let's get to the United States because the United States doesn't have the will to stop us. These are good people, but they will consume our resources that we should have for our own people, and they will depress the wages of the American worker, and they will bring diseases right into our schools that we have a long time ago conquered. And the breakdown of our borders will have been lost not only just to the good people who will flood across and be out of control but to drug dealers who have noticed Ramos and Compean and the Border Patrol agents and also to terrorists. You can bet that the terrorists around the world have noticed the chaos on our southern border.
Mr. Speaker, in the coming weeks, Congress will begin debate on the Flake-Gutierrez bill. This flawed bill almost guarantees a legalization of the status from 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants already in the United States. The bill requires illegals to pay fines and sit through English classes in order to claim that it doesn't qualify as an amnesty. However, the 1986 Immigration Reform Act required the exact same thing: a waiting period, fines, mandatory English classes. And no one can deny that that was an amnesty bill.
The bottom line is the Flake-Gutierrez bill, if it passes, you can skip the line, skip it totally, all those people waiting in line overseas, and buy your citizenship for a whopping $2,500. Under this legislation right now, illegals who seek amnesty do not have to pay back taxes nor do they have to wait the current 10-year period before re-entry into this country after they have been caught here illegally. Flake-Gutierrez will permit the newly minted residents, legal residents now because they have now been made legal residents, to apply for billions of dollars in public assistance. The Heritage Foundation estimates the fiscal cost to the taxpayers of such an amnesty will be $30 billion a year. Newly legitimized residents, legalized residents, will also receive Social Security benefits based on their work while they have been here illegally. Since most illegal immigrants worked under fake Social Security numbers or stolen ones, it will create unknown costs to the Social Security Administration.
And, of course, President Bush has already made a secret agreement with Mexico that we had to dig out of the administration with Freedom of Information requests. That secret agreement was that any new legalization of status will include giving those illegal Mexicans who worked in the United States Social Security benefits for their time when they have worked in the United States, but that has been kept hush hush.
By the way, Social Security isn't just a retirement plan. It is also a survivors' benefit. And you can imagine how many morticians from around the world are going to be sending their letter into Social Security, saying somebody worked in your country illegally for this year. He died and please start sending your thousand dollar checks to his children at this address. This is a catastrophe not only in the making. This is a catastrophe that is already before us. This bill could pass and destroy our Social Security system.
Perhaps the worst element in this is that, contrary to claims otherwise, the bill does not send illegals back to the back of the line. Currently, there are over 3 million aliens who have already been approved for green cards but are still waiting overseas, waiting for sometimes up to 23 years, to come here legally. Under this bill millions of illegals who claim to have been here illegally since 2006 can keep working legally now in the U.S. and will be eligible for permanent residence. So they will be here legally, and then they can apply for permanent residence in 8 years. People who have played by the rules will still have to wait for their green cards oversees. So why should they wait in line at all?
As I say, this is going to give us tens of millions of new illegals pouring into our country, destroying our social infrastructure, our schools, our hospitals, our retirement systems. The last amnesty in 1986 resulted in 15 to 20 million new illegals pouring into our country. This amnesty will give us 50 million or more. The Heritage Foundation estimates that 100 million new people will be here after 10 years as a result of this immigration reform. Wake up, America. We are losing our country. We are being betrayed. Who is representing the interest of the American people?
The President has often mentioned the reason most illegals come here is to do work that most Americans won't do. However, Flake-Gutierrez specifically allows employers to lay off Americans and replace them with new foreign workers as long as those Americans were laid off 90 days before they decided to bring the new people in. Employers are also absolved of any form of civil or criminal liability related to the prior employment of illegals. And as long as the incentive to work and benefits exist, illegals will flood into our country.
I have been a consistent advocate for tough employer sanctions. Yet Flake-Gutierrez prohibits State and local governments from punishing employers who have hired illegal immigrants or from requiring them to use an employment verification system or from requiring that that system be used to verify the legal status of renters or public benefits applicants or people who are undergoing background checks.
It dramatically reduces the civil penalties for employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ illegals, or who fail to comply with the employment verification system already approved by the last Congress. As a matter of fact, section 301 of the bill, employers can avoid using the verification system altogether simply by saying they are hiring private contractors.
This legislation is tantamount to the surrender of America's ability to control our territory from any foreigner who wants to come here. It is an immigration catastrophe, a nightmare for America's most vulnerable, our vulnerable middle class, a nightmare. Frighteningly, President Bush is supportive, as are many corporate-minded Republicans, and almost every Democrat that I know, although there are a few, hopefully, coming over to our side who understand how this is hurting their constituents. As I say, a handful of Democrats have signed on to the bill to pardon Ramos and Compean.
But by and large, the Republican leadership, the President, the Democratic leadership, the Democratic Party and most Members of Congress are in favor of this type of ``comprehensive bill'' and have not been helpful in saving Ramos and Compean.
Who is watching out for the American people? Well, it is up to us, the United States. And what we can do is make sure that everyone talks to their representative and talks to their Senator, and does so aggressively, not in a low voice, but in an aggressive voice because you're protecting your families and your children and you're protecting your country in the future.
We are up against a powerful political coalition. They are using examples saying, oh, we need these illegal aliens to work; there are jobs Americans won't take. There are jobs that Americans won't take at the pay level that these big businessmen want to give them. And don't tell me that if we paid janitors more money, that we can't find people to be janitors. I was a janitor years ago. You go back, and janitors are making the same amount of money as I made when I was a janitor 40 years ago, yet the income of our country, the GNP, has quadrupled. They have been left out because a horde of illegals have come into this country and bid down their wages.
Now, why is it that people who are janitors or people who work with their hands, people who work in regular middle-class jobs shouldn't be able to enjoy the fruits of our country, that their wages should be depressed, they should be frozen out of having a better living for their family? Then they say, well, there are jobs they won't even do, like picking fruits and vegetables. We've got more people between the ages of 18 and 40, young, healthy men housed in prisons in the middle of our agricultural areas who could profit by working. They could earn enough money to pay for their own incarceration and pay for a little restitution. But those ideas are too creative. No, no, no. Instead, let's just bring the illegals across, that will keep everybody's wages down and we can control them and they will be off the chart.
Well, let me suggest this; we've been given a false dichotomy saying that we have to offer a legalization status, an amnesty, or we have to have massive deportations. It's either legalization or deportation. That is the most serious of all of the lies that are being told today about immigration because that is not true. We do have an alternative; there is an alternative to just deporting. We don't want to have sweeps of law enforcement through foreign neighborhoods, but we can just make sure that we have ID cards, we have Social Security cards, that we have ID cards that can't be tampered with so we can prove who we are dealing with. We can have a verification system so that employers will know who they're employing and we can hold those employers accountable. And we can also make sure that illegals who don't have the benefits cards, these identities that show they are eligible, cannot get the health care, the education, the housing, the Social Security and retirement benefits that are due to American citizens and people who are here legally.
If we do not give the jobs and the benefits to people who are here illegally, they will go home. Just as soon as you give it to them, they will come. If you don't give it to them and they find trouble earning a living, supporting their families, they will go home. It's called attrition. That is the decision we have to make. Creating a false dichotomy, saying it's either going to be legalization or deportation, that's the type of word game that is unfair in this debate. It's just like calling amnesty something that it isn't, saying that this is not an amnesty when it clearly is.
We must be able to say no to people who are using the scarce resources that are meant for our people. These resources belong to the American people, whether it is our education establishment, our health care, job training, housing, retirement benefits, these are things that belong to the American people. We must protect the interests of our people and say no to people who would consume those things that are meant for our own people.
This is not mean-spirited selfishness. And probably that is the greatest debate of all, because people are playing on it as if we're trying to push us into letting more and more illegals come in here and destroying our system, like just to say, if you try to stop it, you're being mean-spirited and nasty. Americans don't like that. Americans don't like it at all, of course they don't. We are as generous as any people in the world. But it is not selfish to take care of your own family. It is not selfish to take care of your own community. It is not selfish to take care of your own country before you expend the resources and take care of people elsewhere in the world. It is not selfish, it is being responsible.
And we, as representatives of the people of the United States, owe it to the people of the United States to be watching out for them, watching out for their interests. If we don't do it, no one is going to watch out for the interests of our people. I am afraid that tonight it's up to us, the people. Either we will speak out; we will rise with a righteous rage and oppose this immigration travesty that is about to be foisted upon us or we will suffer grave consequences. Within 10 years, our country will have been lost. Ten, 20, 30, 40, 100 million new people here, some of them terrorists, some of them criminals, most of them good people, but still, people who don't deserve to be consuming those resources that we have built and saved and created for our own people.
So with that, I close and ask the American people to wake up and pay attention.
Rise up Americans, we don't have to sit here and be taken advantage of!