Paycheck Fairness Act—Motion to Proceedby Senator Ted Cruz
Posted on 2014-09-10
CRUZ. Mr. President, Americans across the country have been
riveted by the crisis occurring on our southern border.
President Obama is correct with one regard: What we are seeing is a humanitarian crisis. But it is a crisis, sadly, of the President's own creation, and it is the direct consequence of President Obama's laws. To understand why, one merely has to look at the numbers.
Three years ago, in 2011, there were roughly 6,000 unaccompanied children entering the country illegally. Then in June of 2012, just before the election, the President unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people here illegally who entered as children.
As a direct foreseeable consequence of that--the predicted consequence of that is: If you grant amnesty to people who enter as children, you create an enormous incentive for more and more children to enter the country illegally. That is exactly what we have seen happening.
As a result of the President's amnesty, we have seen the numbers go from 6,000 kids 3 years ago to this year, it is expected, when there will be 90,000 unaccompanied children entering the country illegally, and next year the Department of Homeland Security predicts it will be 145,000.
I have traveled down to the border of Texas many times. As recently as the last couple of months I have been down to McAllen. I visited with the Border Patrol chief in McAllen. I visited with the Border Patrol agents and line agents down there. I have been to Lackland Air Force Base where there are roughly 1200 children being housed. I am sorry to say that President Obama, when he visited Texas, had time to do neither. He had time to go to Democratic Party fundraisers, to pal around with the fat cats in the Democratic Party and to raise money but no time to travel to the border and see the human suffering his failed immigration policies have produced.
It is worth underscoring, these are little boys and little girls who are not being brought into this country by well-meaning social workers with beards and Birkenstocks trying to help the kids. They are being brought in by hardened, drug-tough coyotes, cartels. And these little boys and little girls are being physically victimized, physically abused, sexually abused.
When I was at Lackland Air Force Base, a senior official there described to me how the cartels, when they have control of these kids and are smuggling them illegally into this country, sometimes will hold the kids hostage and try to extract more money from the families. In order to do so, horrifyingly, they will sever body parts from these kids. This senior official at Lackland described to me how these coyotes will put a gun to the back of the head of the little boy or little girl and order that child to cut off the fingers or ears of another little boy or little girl, and if they don't do it they will shoot that child and move on to the next one. They describe how on this end we are getting, No. 1, some children who have been horribly maimed by these vicious coyotes and, No. 2, we are getting children who have enormous psychological trauma from being forced to participate in such horrors.
The crisis at the border cannot be solved without ending the promise of amnesty. The data demonstrates that, compellingly, it was when the President granted amnesty that the numbers spiked, but more recent data demonstrates that as well. A few months ago the Border Patrol conducted a survey of over 200 people who entered illegally, many of them children, and asked the obvious question: Why are you coming? What has changed? Just 3 years ago it was only 6,000 kids and now it is 90,000. What has changed? Ninety-five percent of them told the Border Patrol they were coming because they believe they will get amnesty. They believed they will get a permiso, a slip of paper that lets them stay once they get there.
When I was in McAllen, I took the time not just to meet with the chief but to meet with a number of Border Patrol agents who spend every day out on the river, up in the air, on horseback, working to secure the borders. I asked the line agents the obvious question: Why are they coming? What has changed? What has caused this humanitarian crisis? Every single Border Patrol agent gave me the exact same answer: They said they are coming because they believe they will get amnesty.
In fact, they explained to me, they said: Right now the Border Patrol is not apprehending these kids. When they cross the river, they often have nothing, sometimes just rags on their back after a long, arduous journey where they have been subjected to horrible physical and sexual abuse, but the one thing they almost inevitably have is their documents. And these children immediately look for the first person in uniform they can find. The Border Patrol isn't apprehending them; they [[Page S5489]] are looking for the Border Patrol, because they come to the Border Patrol and hand them their documents because they believe they will get amnesty; they will get a permiso; they will be allowed to stay.
If we want to solve this crisis, if we want to stop these children from coming and from being abused, the only way to do so is to end the promise of amnesty.
Before the August recess, I introduced legislation in this body to do exactly that. It was very simple legislation. It was directed to the source of the problem. It provided in black-and-white law that the President of the United States prospectively has no authority to grant amnesty to anyone. The legislation doesn't address the 800,000 who were the subject of the 2012 order. It simply says going forward the President cannot grant amnesty to anyone else, and the reason for that is the cause of this crisis is these children coming believing they will get amnesty.
The White House, in their talking points, routinely said that children coming today are not eligible for amnesty.
I see my colleague from Illinois nodding in agreement with that statement. If that is the case, then my colleague from Illinois should join me in sponsoring this measure because the legislation I have introduced would simply put into law what the White House talking point is, which is that---- Mr. DURBIN. Will the Senator yield for a question? Mr. CRUZ. I will be happy to yield to the Senator for a question.