Immigrationby Representative Sean P. Duffy
Posted on 2013-07-16
DUFFY. Mr. Speaker, I think it's important for all of us to stand
strong, stand tall and lead, listen, communicate on this very important
issue. And I know that's what we want to do here tonight is throw out
ideas, but also prepare ourselves to listen to what our constituents
want, what America wants and what's right for the country.
I hear some folks on my side of the aisle talk about if you pass a border security bill, you're going to go to conference with the Senate and you're going to adopt the Senate bill. We don't go to conference unless we agree to it. That's not going to happen. Let me be very clear. We're going to do a step-by-step approach and get a solution to immigration and then we'll talk about going to conference, if that's the pathway forward. But it's not one phase of the bill, then to Congress.
I've got others that say just enforce the current laws, and to those I would ask: How is that working for us? It's not working. We have to engage in this conversation and do what's right.
I've got one more story for you. There's a family that came from Mexico over to Arizona, and they had an opportunity to work in the mines in Superior, Arizona, hard work, tough work. They were Catholic. They raised a lot of kids on not a lot of money. But one of their kids, as he grew up, he learned how to make pinatas and sell those pinatas. He learned how to get fruit of the desert, chop it up, slice it, dice it, and sell it as a delicacy within his community, a little entrepreneur.
When he got older he had a shot to go work in the mines like his brothers, but instead he said, You know what? I want to serve my country. And he went into the military. He had a chance to serve under Ronald Reagan.
And he came from a party that's not mine, but he had a chance to serve under Ronald Reagan, and he had to see what a party of opportunity had to offer him and his community and his family. He changed his vote. He said, This is who's looking out for me. This is who's looking out for my opportunity, and this is who's going to look out for my children and my grandchildren.
He went on, got married to a woman in Spain who immigrated here legally, and they had four kids. And I was honored enough to meet their daughter and marry her and move her to northern Wisconsin from warm Arizona, where we now have six children together.
That's my wife's immigrant story, whose father came here as a first- generation American, who worked his heart out and has his shot at the American Dream. After the military, he became a schoolteacher, and now he works for a university. He's living the dream. His daughter is living the dream. All of us have those stories. My parents, my great- grandparents came from Ireland. We all have the story of an immigrant.
I'm here to say, let's open our hearts. Let's open our minds. Let's have a real discussion that works. But let's also first say secure the border so we don't deal with this again, and then do what's right by way of folks who have come here and want their shot at the American Dream.