A picture of Representative Michael C. Burgess
Michael B.
Republican TX 26

About Rep. Michael
  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 37, Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act

    by Representative Michael C. Burgess

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    BURGESS. I thank the chairman for yielding.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to encourage people on both sides of the dais, both sides of the aisle, to support the rule and the underlying appropriations bill with its attached amendments.

    I do tire of hearing people talk about our broken immigration system. Mr. Speaker, last year, in the United States of America, 1.1 million people came into this country, raised their right hand, took the oath of citizenship, and came in legally. And it has been that way every year that I have been in Congress since 2003. So, by my arithmetic, that is well over 12 million people that have become naturalized United States citizens in the last 10 or 12 years.

    Does that sound like a system that is broken? For comparison, let's look at other countries. The fact of the matter is, when you combine every other country on the face of the Earth, they don't match half of the number of people that are allowed to come into the United States and take the oath of citizenship.

    But I will tell you what is broken. What is broken is the enforcement of our immigration laws, and we have seen that demonstrated time and again.

    The President made some unilateral decisions in June of 2012, and we in Texas, particularly in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, understand very much what happens when someone makes adjustments without going through the rule of law. As a consequence, in late 2013, and then throughout the spring and summer of last year, we saw unprecedented amounts of unaccompanied minors simply coming across the border and turning themselves in to Customs and Border Patrol.

    Now, why did they do that? Did someone just suddenly wake up one day in Honduras or Guatemala and say: I'm going to make that dangerous trek across the Mexican desert? No, it is because child traffickers, coyotes, saw what the President did, and said: Here's a business plan. Let's go to these families, charge them thousands of dollars, with the admonition that if you don't do it now, this door is going to close. But right now the President has got the door open for you to come up and get your amnesty. Step up and get it while you can.

    So what did the President do in November? He doubled down on that. The message to the child traffickers around the world is: Y'all come. Y'all come and it will be all right.

    But the fact of the matter is it is not all right. In fact, our homeland security is threatened.

    This is an important bill. Judge Carter has done enormous work to bring this bill to the floor. For that, I thank him. The bill is important, along with the amendments. I urge adoption of the rule, and I urge adoption of the underlying bill with its accompanying amendments.

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