Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, June 23, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the June 23, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the Broadcast: Immigration

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, Senate leaders introduced revised legislation on comprehensive immigration reform. I thank leaders from both parties for their bipartisan effort to fix our immigration system so it can meet the needs of our Nation in the 21st century.

LIBERTARIAN RESPONSE: Everyone who signed the U.S. Constitution would be appalled by the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" package being pushed by the President. It is a blueprint for a totalitarian police state. It is unChristian in its treatment of those who wish to flee corrupt governments and live in a land of "Liberty Under God."

More Detailed Response:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, Senate leaders introduced revised legislation on comprehensive immigration reform. I thank leaders from both parties for their bipartisan effort to fix our immigration system so it can meet the needs of our Nation in the 21st century. The President has used his Saturday morning address four times in the last seven weeks to push his immigration reform package.
As the Senate takes up this critical bill, I understand that many Americans have concerns about immigration reform -- especially about the federal government's ability to secure the border. So this bill puts the enforcement tools in place first. And it means
more Border Patrol agents,
more fencing,
more infrared cameras and other technologies at the border.
It also requires an employee-verification system based on government-issued, tamper-proof identification cards that will help employers ensure that the workers they hire are legal.
It is physically impossible to "secure" our borders without turning the United States into East Berlin. It is un-American to propose a new Berlin Wall around America. The President's concept of a "secure" border is a nightmare where every salesman who wants to sell his products in America, every tourist who wants to visit America, every student who wants to attend an American school, and every human being who wants to work in America, must be personally checked and have the individual permission of the federal government to cross the border. This one bill alone creates government intrusion more vast and oppressive than the entire British deployment of "red coats" in the American colonies. It completely negates the essential ideal of America as enshrined in the Statue of Liberty.

There are thousands of miles of borders between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada, and thousands of miles of coastline. What are the costs of "securing" these borders? How do these costs compare with the benefits? What kind of America will be created by an army of border patrol agents, fences, and Identification Papers required not just of immigrants, but of all Americans? Why should employers be required to act as border patrol agents in their businesses?

Only after these enforcement tools are in place will certain other parts of the bill go into effect. To make sure the government keeps its enforcement commitment, the bill includes $4.4 billion in immediate additional funding for these border security and worksite enforcement efforts. $4.4 billion is a lot of money that could be better spent by voluntary associations designed to assimilate immigrants.
"Immediate funding" means the total cost of the program on down the road will be vastly more expensive.
The bill also addresses other problems with immigration enforcement. Right now, our laws are ineffective and insufficient. For example, crossing the border illegally carries weak penalties. In addition, participation in illegal gangs is not enough to bar admission into our country. And when we cannot get other countries to accept the return of their citizens who are dangerous criminals, in most cases our government can only detain these aliens for six months before releasing them into society. Alexis de Tocqueville, when visiting the United States in the early 1800's felt that our laws regarding immigrants were ineffective and insufficient. He said armed forces would need to be created to counter the rising number of immigrants. History shows he was wrong. Schools and "the means of education" taught immigrants the values of "Liberty Under God" and "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God." America's Founding Fathers understood that Christian education, not armed forces, is what creates a peaceful and orderly society. The Bush Administration has ramped up federal control of education, diverting billions of dollars away from Christian education into atheistic education which virtually encourages immigrants to join "gangs."
This is unacceptable. The bill before the Senate addresses these problems. Under this bill, those caught crossing illegally will be permanently barred from returning to the United States on a work or tourist visa. Under this bill, anyone known to have taken part in illegal gang activity can be denied admission to our country. And under this bill, we will be able to detain aliens who are dangerous criminals until another country accepts their return. When millions of people are here "illegally," and are denied access to gainful employment, they become a subculture. The best economists -- those committed to the ideals of America's Founding Fathers -- have shown that if immigrants are allowed to come out of the shadows, obtain employment, and integrate with our culture, they provide massive benefits to our economy and culture.
These enforcement measures are a good start. Yet even with all these steps, we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border. Hundreds of thousands of people come here illegally because our current work visa program does not match the needs of a growing and dynamic economy. To discourage people from crossing our border illegally, this bill creates an orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country legally to work on a temporary basis. The quickest way to take "pressure" off the border is to return to the Constitution, which gives no authority to the federal government to obstruct free flow of people and goods across borders.

The Return to a Global Economy

With this program in place, employers will have a practical system to fill jobs Americans are not doing -- and foreign workers will have a legal way to apply for them. As a result, they won't have to try to sneak in. And that will leave border agents free to chase down drug dealers, human traffickers, and terrorists. If we want to allow employers to fill jobs at wage rates that benefit American consumers and immigrant workers, this program should not be passed and laws which hinder employment of immigrants should be abolished.
Once the border security and worksite enforcement benchmarks are met, the bill will resolve the status of 12 million people who are now in our country illegally. Under this bill, these workers will be given an opportunity to get right with the law. This is not amnesty. There will be penalties for those who come out of the shadows. If they pass a strict background check, pay a fine, hold a job, maintain a clean criminal record, and eventually learn English, they will qualify for and maintain a Z visa. If they want to get a green card, they have to do all these things -- plus pay an additional fine, go to the back of the line, and return to their country to apply from there. God has endowed both Americans and foreigners with "unalienable rights," according to the Declaration of Independence. These rights include the right to travel and the right to work, which does not mean the right to receive travel stipends from the government, or the right to have the government fire a competing worker so you can be hired. But the government is not allowed to erect barriers to travel and labor. Since such laws should never have existed, those who are accused of violating unconstitutional laws should be given immediate amnesty.
This bill provides an historic opportunity to uphold America's tradition of welcoming and assimilating immigrants and honoring our heritage as a Nation built on the rule of law. We have an obligation to solve problems that have been piling up for decades. The status quo is unacceptable. We must summon the political courage to move forward with a comprehensive reform bill. By acting now, we can ensure that our laws are respected, that the needs of our economy are met, and that our Nation treats newcomers with dignity and helps them assimilate. Bad laws should not be honored. Lots of bad laws do not constitute "the rule of law."
I urge members of both parties to support comprehensive immigration reform. By working together, we can pass this good bill -- and build an immigration system worthy of our great Nation. This "comprehensive immigration reform" bill moves us away from the ideals that made America great.
Thank you for listening.  

The Democrat Party Radio Address: Texas Representative Chet Edwards

  • Honoring Military Personnel with More Government Spending

A Libertarian Response to Democrats:

  • The heart-tugging stories of soldiers who are injured, miss the births of their children, and tragically leave widows, are the result of an unconstitutional "war on terror" in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. We should bring America's troops home immediately.
  • The Department of Veterans' Affairs is a branch of the Welfare State. We do not honor the troops by subjecting them to the dismal socialism of East Germany and the Soviet Union. Laissez-faire capitalism increases the standard of living for all, and voluntary associations more lovingly and efficiently meet the needs of those who are victims of bad government policies.

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall