Madam Speaker, a nation that cannot defend its borders against an illegal invasion is a nation without national sovereignty.

Madam Speaker, rhetoric rules the day when it comes to immigration. A lot of people with self-promoting agendas do a lot of talking. They have hidden motives that range from political to monetary to cultural. However, the only motive for immigration should be what is best for America, not what is best for cheap labor, not what is best for Third World countries, not what is best for obtaining more votes for the left, not what is best for any specific race, creed, or religion, but what is best for America. That should be our immigration policy.

Madam Speaker, people who enter the United States must serve a purpose for the greater good of this Nation. A little history is due. Over 100 years ago, this Nation welcomed immigrants through Ellis Island in New York, where people would come from all over the world into New York Harbor. They would be seen at Ellis Island. These individuals would be examined, they would be questioned, and if this person saw, after the immigrant was examined to be healthy and ready to work in America, they were allowed to come in. That process did not take a great amount of time.

Now, today, if people want to come to the United States legally, there is so much bureaucratic nonsense that it takes a long time for people who wish to become citizens or people who wish to work here or go to school here if they do it the right way, the legal way. We have all heard of the excuses and the so-called explanations for why it takes so long to allow people to come to the United States the legal way. Madam Speaker, they are just excuses; they are not reasons.

I am an advocate of immigration, legal immigration. I am proud of the fact that my ancestors came from Scotland, and the hard-headed ones came from Germany. But, you know, Madam Speaker, we discriminate in this country against people who want to come here the legal way, the right way, those who want to do something for America and not to America, to the benefit of the lawless illegals who disrespect our rules, the rule of law and our Nation.

Madam Speaker, the battle for the border is upon us. And I am not talking about Iraq. I am not talking about Afghanistan. I am talking about the American border. We have an invasion going on in this country. We have a colonization of our Nation by other nations, and we watch it and do very little. You know, this lawlessness on our borders breeds more lawlessness, and it is only getting worse.

Last week I was on this House floor, and I invited some colleagues, especially those down the hallway, to go with me to the south Texas border. I guess they could not go because they were on their yachts sipping wine off Cape Cod and found other things that they could do better.

But I spent the last weekend down on the south Texas border at a place called Laredo, Texas. And on this map here, we have portions of Texas, Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and Laredo, Texas, is in this dark blue. That is Webb County, Texas. South of it is Zapata County, Texas.

Webb County, just to give you some information, is bigger than the State of Delaware, and I spent the weekend there with the sheriff of Webb County, Sheriff Flores, and also the sheriff of Zapata County, Sheriff Gonzalez, Ziggy Gonzalez. And we found what occurs there on a daily basis is something that all Americans should be aware of.

Sheriff Rick Flores, sheriff of Webb County, Texas, a place bigger than the State of Delaware, has 13 deputies patrolling the whole State, and when we went down to the border, he made sure that before we went to certain portions of the Texas-Mexico border, that we were armed with M-16 rifles, that we went with his small SWAT team that had body armor and helmets, because he said there are places on the Texas border with Mexico you do not get close to the river without body armor.

Now, Madam Speaker, we are talking about the United States, being inside the United States. We are not talking about being in some foreign country. But yet our sheriffs are concerned about their safety and the safety of people who are near our southern border because of what is going on on the other side of the border.

Madam Speaker, I spent some time years ago at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. You remember, that is the place where the American sector was separated from the Soviet sector. That Soviet sector looked into the grayness, the darkness, the bleakness of communism in eastern Europe. And how we had to patrol that border for America's safety. And when I was on the Texas border in Laredo, Texas, it reminded me of Checkpoint Charlie because of the violence that is occurring along our lawless southern border.

Madam Speaker, Sheriff Flores, when he took us around, along with his deputies, also along with Texas Ranger Doyle Holdridge, he tried to explain to me in very simple matters that this is an American issue, this is not a partisan issue. This, as he said, is a red, white and blue issue, the importance of protecting the sovereignty of the United States against the illegal invasion of people coming across our border.

And how many are we talking about in Texas alone? We are talking about 5,000 a day illegally coming into the United States. We are talking about in our country now, 11- to 14 million people who came in from Canada or Mexico illegally, without permission.

And so he patrols that area. He does his regular duties, but he is concerned about three items, three things, and they all have to do with illegal activity. He is concerned about the illegal drug cartels that operate in Mexico and southern America and work their way up through the United States and to through Laredo.

As you can see from this map, Madam Speaker, Laredo here is the center port in the United States. It is the busiest inland port in the United States. Every day 7,000 18-wheelers cross into the United States from this location. About that many go south as well. And they disseminate up to the Northeast and to the Midwest. That is why this is the battle for the border, because the drug cartels want to control this area. And we have got more than one drug cartel down there fighting among themselves as to who will control the border. So the first reason is for the drug trafficking that illegally comes into the United States is a concern to these sheriffs on the Texas border.

The second concern is the illegal immigrants that come through that area, many of those people brought into the United States by coyotes. These are the people who, for money, make a profit off the human trafficking, bringing people into the United States illegally.

And the third reason, and maybe the most important reason, is because Sheriff Flores and Sheriff Gonzalez are concerned about homeland security. They are concerned about those terrorists that wish to do us harm. The next terrorist that commits a crime in the United States probably is not going to fly over here, land at Reagan National Airport, get off the airplane and look around, do some damage. They are probably not going to do that. It is too difficult. They are just going to probably come across the southern Texas border as thousands of people do each day.

So those are three reasons, Madam Speaker, that this Nation needs to have an immigration policy that works, an immigration policy that promotes legal immigration, and an immigration policy that says no to those people who wish to come here illegally.

And to try to put things in perspective, let us talk about the drug cartels that come up through the southern border of the United States. Now, I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about the problems with drugs and how it affects Americans, but we know it does, from schoolyards from the east coast to the west coast. But their port of entry, like those 7,000 trucks coming into the United States at Laredo, is right here.

The drug cartels have more money, they have better electronic equipment, they have better firepower, they have better intelligence networks than our local sheriffs do. Our local sheriffs, when we were down on the border, we used night vision equipment, but that was borrowed equipment. The sheriffs tell me that on the other side of the border, the drug cartels have the best night vision equipment that can be purchased. They also have better body armor than Americans do. And not only that, the drug cartels use satellite phones, and they track our peace officers with GPS. In other words, we have got a deputy sheriff out here on patrol in Webb County or Zapata County. He uses his cell phone to make a call. The drug cartels track where he is using GPS, and they can track his cell phone and know his location. They not only know where our peace officers are, they know where they all live. They know the names of their family members. They know the routine that they take each day.

You see, these drug cartels are the enemy. They are the enemy to America. And yet our sheriffs, they make do with what they have got. You know, they would like night vision equipment so they can patrol that area, night vision equipment that they do not have to borrow from the Federal Government.

They would like off-road vehicles, satellite phones. They have even suggested and asked while I was down there, you think, Congressman Poe, when you go back to Washington you can get us a Humvee for our county?

Now, they do not want four or five. They want one Humvee for each of these 16 counties on the Texas-Mexico border so that they can track those drug cartels.

Madam Speaker, I tried to make a few phone calls this week to see how difficult that would be to obtain some used Humvee that we brought back from the war in Iraq that we are never going to use, that this country will just put somewhere and let it rust and then melt it down to steel. And the bureaucracy, the red tape just to find the person who can make that decision, was not possible.

But it would seem to me, Madam Speaker, that while we fight the war on Iraq, when we bring those vehicles, even those damaged vehicles, back to the United States that are no longer going to be used by our military, why can't the Federal Government just give a few of those to these border sheriffs along this border so they can protect and serve our Nation better? But so far that cannot happen because there is too much bureaucracy involved.

Madam Speaker, I mentioned the sheriffs' deputies and how they are doing a great job, Sheriff Flores and Sheriff Gonzalez. But they, too, are concerned about their own safety. We know that one of these local sheriff's departments, they have to protect their own kids when they go to school; that they use peace officers to escort their children to and from school because they are afraid of the safety of their own children.

Madam Speaker, this ought not to be. You know, the drug cartels more than anything else, they have more money than our local sheriffs, because it is all about money. Follow the money trail. And in here it is a tremendous amount of money that we are talking about. The drug cartels, these are the people who, that are the runners, for lack of a better phrase, that actually bring the drugs across from Mexico into the United States. Those people who do that make $30,000 a week. That is right, Madam Speaker, just drug runners make $30,000 a week bringing that dope into the United States.

You know what a sheriff makes in Texas on this border? They make $40,000 a year. A deputy sheriff makes about $22,000 a year. A Federal peace officer in Mexico makes about $20,000 a year.

That is right, Madam Speaker. These drug cartels have more money; they pay their drug runners about 10 times what our local law enforcement make. It is all about money. And they are willing to do it. They are willing to take that risk because of the amount of money that is involved in illegal drug-running into the United States.

We know, also, that there have been many individuals that have, for whatever reason, been trained in the past in the United States for countries south of the border that have gone over to the other side. See, they can make more money. They can make more of that filthy lucre if they work for the bad guys, if they work for the outlaws. One of those groups happens to be Guatemalan-trained forces that are now mercenaries for the cartels.

Madam Speaker, this is a photograph that was taken on the Texas-Mexico border, this top photograph. It was taken with night vision equipment, borrowed, of course. This is the Mexico border. This is the Rio Grande river, and on this side is the Texas American border.

Now, this photograph, you would think, maybe these are just some river rafters going down the Rio Grande river. Not so. We know now that this photograph is taken of Guatemalan mercenaries that have gone over to the other side and work for the bad guys, work for the drug cartel. They are all dressed in their camo outfits. They have obviously backpacks, probably drugs in bags in this raft. You see a person in front with his little AK-47 protecting the dope as they cross in from Mexico to the United States.

This is our border. This is what takes place on our borders. And while some people in this House are so insistent on talking about the minute things that occur in this country, maybe we should be concerned about the sovereignty and invasion of our country by these outlaws that are bringing drugs into this country.

The photograph below is a photograph we took last weekend. It is a difficult one to see, but you see two folks in here, down here by the river. This is Mexico on this side. Rio Grande River. We are standing on this side over here on the Texas American side. There is an individual getting ready to get into the river, come into the United States. But over here, the sheriff's department tells us this individual who has got his hand on his pistol in his holster is one of those drug cartel runners protecting his drugs. But that is just a typical scene, what it looks like, looking across the river.

Now, remember, Madam Speaker, when we went down to this area of the Texas-Mexico border, we were armed. We were armed with M-16 rifles. We were armed with individuals who were from the SWAT teams of these two sheriffs' departments because you see it is not safe. And one reason it is not safe is because of the drug cartels that are bringing drugs in from other countries through our open borders.

So it is important that we first secure the borders because of the illegal invasion of people who wish to not only come here illegally but to bring that cancer into the United States and sell it for a profit, these people who wish to make a profit off the weaknesses of other individuals, and I am talking about drug dealers.

We also notice down here on the Texas side of the Rio Grande River where the entry places would be for those individuals who want to come in here illegally, not necessarily drug runners, but some of them were. The way they do that, Madam Speaker, many times they will cross the river, they will swim across the river without any clothes on. They put their clothes in a plastic bag and when they get across the river they dry off and then put their clothes on. Of course, they dispose of the bags and any other trash throughout that entire area. We saw numerous trash bags where people had disposed of the bags and other litter all along that Texas border, especially on those routes that come into the United States.

I talked to a rancher down in Zapata County not too long ago, and he was telling me that his ranch down in Zapata County, right next to the border, is like, as he said, Sherman's march to the sea. I asked him to explain that. He said, you remember General Sherman, that Union general that invaded the South and burned everything he came across until he got to Atlanta. He said, that is what my ranch looks like in parts, where people have come in across the border into the United States illegally and they have destroyed everything in their path just to get farther inland.

We are talking about American property, property rights, something that probably we ought to be concerned about, the property of Americans along our border.

However, our ranchers do not have it that easy. They have been warned by the drug cartels to be their friend, because they do not want them to be their enemy. Veiled threats. Some ranchers have been promised money or they will be harmed. They say, it is either silver or lead. What that means is we will pay you to let us cross your land or there will be lead, which is a bullet. Idle threats, I do not think so. Threats to ranchers to let those drug cartels and those human smugglers come across their land, but this is the way these people must live.

Sheriff Flores made a comment near the end of our trip with him and his deputies and Sheriff Gonzales. He said, our biggest concern is national security. He said these people will take money to smuggle people across our border. They will take money to smuggle drugs across our border, and they will take money to smuggle terrorists across our border. It is an issue of national security.

Let me continue a little bit about how much we are talking about besides drugs. Without demonstrating all the packages of narcotics, let me just show you two photographs. These were taken by the local sheriff departments down in south Texas.

This cache of weapons up here, you might think these were found in Iraq somewhere. Saddam Hussein's outlaws might have had these. Not so. This cache of weapons was found by a local sheriff department stopping a vehicle coming in, yes, to the United States from our southern border. And you see the automatic weapons at the top. You see a couple of pistols here, and then you see grenade-launching weapons at the bottom: an invasion into the United States of illegal weapons.

Just a brief moment about terrorist activity and how simple it is. I mentioned 7,000 trucks a day coming into Laredo. This is no secret. You can find this kind of information on the Internet. Right here we have about six or seven hand grenades. If you look closely, you will see that the pin has been pulled from the hand grenades. All of these here are just non-detonated bombs.

Each hand grenade is wrapped in a plastic. The pin is pulled. And you can put one of these hand grenades near a vehicle's engine. It will melt the plastic and thus detonate the hand grenade. These were found before they were ever used by local law enforcement down on the border. Just a simple way how terrorists can bring weapons into the United States, weapons that their purpose is to do Americans harm.

So I would hope that we as a Nation understand that our first responders are the people who know the communities, and part of those people are the sheriffs and the local police agencies. While it is true I have not said much about the Federal agents that are on the border, I think we must be concerned equally as well in helping our first responders because they are in this battle too. They know the territory. They know the people, and they know who the outlaws are because most of these individuals, most of these first responders were raised in this entire area.

We have 11 to 14 million people living in this country illegally. Amnesty, of course, is not the answer. We also have reports, Madam Speaker, that members of al Qaeda reside down here south of the American border in parts of Mexico. They infiltrate Mexico, of course, illegally. They assume the identity of Hispanic individuals. They learn the Spanish language; and then when time is appropriate, they come across the American border and assimilate as some down-trodden illegal immigrant into the United States.

We know that is occurring, and so that is why I make the comments about those terrorists who wish to do us harm. They are going to come from south of the border.

As the battle for Iraq races on, the battle for the border, the battle for Laredo continues. Let me mention what has occurred across the border from Laredo. Laredo is a little over 100,000 people, right here between Zapata County and Webb County. Across the county or across the American line into Mexico is Nuevo Laredo. It has about 400,000 individuals, at least it used to because now people are leaving.

This year in Nuevo Laredo because of the violence of the drug cartels, 155 people have been murdered. Sixteen police officers in Nuevo Laredo have been murdered. We know that one of the police chiefs, recent police chiefs, 6 hours after he was sworn in as police chief of Nuevo Laredo was gunned down and he had 35 bullet holes in him, because, you see, he was not going to work with the drug cartels.

We know that 44 Americans have been kidnapped out of the United States and taken across the border, and in all of those cases, Madam Speaker, not one case has been solved. Not one of those murders has been resolved. Not one of those kidnappings has been cleared. Interesting, Madam Speaker. This is the world we live in, a world that we should be concerned about. The world south of the American border.

We know that Nuevo Laredo, because of the drug cartels, because of location into the United States or near the United States and where the drugs can go has become a haven for drug traffickers, a haven for gun running, and a haven for those coyotes that bring people into the United States illegally. Just to give one example, because there are numerous examples of the violence and the victims that occur both in Mexico and the United States because of this illegal drug activity: A couple of years ago there was a young teenage girl in Laredo, Texas, who met a guy from Laredo who had a Mercedes. And he had a lot of money in his pocket and he was a teenager as well. The girl's mother told her, Do not get caught up with him. He is up to no good. Stay in school. Get an education.

Well, what happened was he was one of those individuals who worked for the drug cartel, but he was working on the American side; and he owed some money to that drug cartel. So one evening both of those teenagers were kidnapped, taken back across the border. They were beaten, bags were puts over their heads, and both of those teenagers were buried alive. It is just one example of what happens down on the war for the border.

Madam Speaker, one thing that I have done to try to put some progress in our immigration policy is to introduce the bill requiring passports for all people who enter the United States.

The 9/11 Commission and its extensive report made recommendations that the United States require passports for everyone coming into the United States from south of the border and north of the border. Now we give people a pass from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. They do not have to present a passport. All they have to do is show up at the border, present one of hundreds of different types of documents including old baptismal records. Sometimes all they have to say is state the country that they are from and they come into the United States.

This passport bill will require some documentation, that people coming into the United States, if they want to come in here legally, they have to do it the legal way. They have to have a passport, a passport with a bar card, a passport with a bar card that can be scanned so that we can record who comes into the United States.

Madam Speaker, do you know we do not record the people who come across our border, the Canadian border or the Mexican border? Why is that? I do not know. Maybe it is best for Canada, maybe it is best for Mexico; but it is not best for the United States.

Passports do not discriminate against any individual. They treat everybody the same way. Of course, we can ship a package from Honduras to the United States. It is recorded by UPS on a bar card scanner at least 10 times. We know the places that package went before it is opened up here in the House of Representatives. But yet we do not do that for people who come into the United States.

So this passport act is nondiscriminatory, and it will require individuals to have a passport to come into the United States. Otherwise they cannot enter. Therefore, it helps businesses as well, because a person then is legally in the United States and has a legal visa with a photograph on that visa that they obtained from their government and our government. When they go to get a job, the business does not have to check Social Security cards and all these other documents. They look on that passport to see how long they can stay in the United States.

So this is one step I think we should progress and look forward to having a passport for all individuals who come into the United States.

Now, Madam Speaker, we have gotten some criticism about this. When I introduced the Passport For All bill, the criticism came from our northern representatives and some of our Canadian friends because they want open borders between Canada and the United States. They do not want to have to pay that $100 for a passport. Let us think about that. $100 for a passport that lasts 10 years. That is $10 a year, 80 cents a month. That is less than a cup of Starbucks coffee.

So this argument that we do not want to pay the $100 is ridiculous. For our national security that is not asking too much for our Canadian friends, American, or people south of the American border. This is something we should do. We should proceed with the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

Some have asked, if the 9/11 Commission recommended it, why do we not have it already? It is because of bureaucracy. It is because people who do not want that recommendation enforced ignore it, and so therefore it has not occurred, and Congress is going to have to pass a law to require it.

One other matter that I would like to mention about our Texas border, some have talked about the only way we can keep people out is to build a fence. I am not sure about that, Madam Speaker. I think we should at least debate that issue on the House floor. One thing that is occurring, we are finding out that there are electronic cameras on the United States side that do a pretty ample job of watching the river.

The problem is when that camera spots someone coming across the river, there is no one down there in the area to go down there and stop that illegal traffic, whether it is a drug smuggler, gun runner or someone coming into the United States illegally.

We need to use some common sense in immigration. And the first thing we do is to make people who want to come to the United States legally have a simple process for them to do so and use passports to do that.

There are some absurdities that occur in our immigration policy, Madam Speaker, and I would like to mention a few of those. When our border agents capture people crossing into the United States from the southern border into the United States, the Texas portion, many of those individuals are not from Mexico. A lot of times we assume that all the people illegally coming into Texas and the United States are from Mexico. That is not true. We do a disservice to Mexico when we say that, because over half the people that came into the United States illegally from the south last year they were not from Mexico.

They are called OTMs, other than Mexico. Over 50 percent were from some other nation other than Mexico. They are from South America. They are from Central America. They are from Asia. They are from China. They are from Europe. But they are not from Mexico. These people are called OTMs, because, you see, everybody in the world except maybe some Americans, all these people in the world know that the southern border of the United States is an open border, and you can cross here in Texas or in Arizona or New Mexico and in California.

So that is why people all over the world are working their way to Mexico and coming across illegally into the United States.

In any event, what happens when border agents or sheriffs capture one of these individuals? Well, if you are from Mexico, here is what happens. They are usually put in some kind of detention facility and shipped back across the border if they are caught near the border. That does not occur once they make it into the inland, but if they are captured near the border, they are taken back after they are put in some detention facility for a short period of time.

If you are not from Mexico, that does not occur. They are taken to a local magistrate in one of our Federal courthouses on the border. The person is standing before the Federal magistrate. They do not live in Mexico. They are from some other Nation. So because our detention facilities are so full and we do not have near enough detention facilities, this person is released back into our country with the promise to appear in court in 6 months for their deportation hearing, and then some of them are actually moved up further into the United States by our own Federal authorities.

Think about this. This is catch-and-release. We catch them and then we release them. How absurd is that? This occurs with individuals who are from Nations or Nations other than Mexico.

People understand that. So much so that many times when these OTMs cross the border, once they make it to a major highway, they stand in the middle of the highway waving their hands. They want to be captured because, as soon as they are captured, they are released with that get-out-of-jail-free ticket that allows them to roam the United States for 6 months before appearing in court for their deportation hearing. This ought not to be.

Not only that, Madam Speaker, 85 percent of these people never appear in court. Are we surprised? Of course not. So when people come to the United States, illegally, for whatever reason, and they are captured, they must understand that our government has the fortitude and the will to send them home, no matter where they come from.

We must find the resources, use old military bases, it does not make any difference, find a place to house those individuals until their quick deportation hearing. When I say quick, it should not take 6 months. It should be resolved within a week, ship them back where they came from because they have invaded the United States. This ought not to be.

Of course, we know many of them come from the Laredo, Webb County, Zapata County. Just for your information, Madam Speaker, down here on the Gulf of Mexico, we have Brownsville, Texas, on the American side and across there we have Matamoros, Mexico. It just so happens that people who are from China, the Chinese are illegally entering the United States from that area. That is the area of the country they have picked to illegally come into the U.S., and the same is true there. Once they are captured, they are released on their word to appear back in court, and many of them, most of them, do not appear.

So we did not change this policy, the catch-and-release. It is no longer catch-and-release. It should be catch-and-deport and deport immediately if you are illegally in the United States.

We also have policies in some of our major cities that do not make much sense, and I call these policies the sanctuary hideouts. These are laws in major metropolitan areas that prevent local law enforcement from arresting people who are in the city, in the United States, illegally. Let me give you an example.

Unfortunately, this is one of the policies we have had in the city of Houston down in Texas where I am from. A Houston police officer can arrest somebody for jaywalking, but a Houston police officer cannot inquire into the legal status of a person that is arrested for jaywalking. In other words, you can be confined or arrested for jaywalking, but this peace officer cannot do anything about the fact the person is illegally in the United States, cannot even ask the question. The police officer will be disciplined.

This sanctuary policy, this sanctuary hideout is a policy of our major cities. So we allow different pockets of people who are illegally in the United States, we give them sanctuary. Why do we do that? I do not know. It is not best for America. It is best for somebody else's own agenda, but it is not best for America.

A police officer used to have the power to arrest somebody, find out if they are illegally in the United States, take them over to INS and INS would deport them. The local law enforcement worked very well with the Federal authorities. We should resume that policy so that we have individuals that are arrested here for one crime, they could be turned over to Federal authorities and be deported immediately, but now local law enforcement cannot even ask them the question of where they are from or they will be disciplined. Madam Speaker, this ought not to be.

When a person comes to the United States, and a lot of people do, God bless them, they come here legally, we make it so difficult for those individuals to do it the right way that they are tempted to do it the illegal way. I will give an example.

In my southeast Texas district down in Jefferson County, I talked to an individual that is a naturalized citizen from Mexico, came to the United States, did it the right way, proud American, loves our country. One of his sons is serving in the military, but he has got another son down in Mexico that he wants to bring to the United States, and there are ways you do that legally. It has taken him 15 years to get that second son into the United States legally. That is ridiculous. That is absurd. If we are going to let that individual in, let us let him in. If we are going to tell him no, tell him no, but make a decision. All the red tape and all the paperwork, 15 years is ridiculous. This American citizen I was mentioning to you wants his son to come here the right way. He has encouraged him not to illegally come into the U.S.

We have been told that there are some people that have been waiting to come into the United States on immigration status for 20 years and have yet to hear from our immigration officials as to whether they can come in the United States or not. So we can see why people come here illegally.

We also know that the administration in Mexico encourages illegal immigration into the United States because they printed up a pamphlet that I have shown on this House floor before that explains how immigrants from Mexico can illegally enter the United States and shows them where to go, where to cross the border, what to do when they are confronted by American officials, et cetera. We know that a person can purchase fake documents at flea markets, get a forged Social Security card and come into the United States illegally, and this is encouraged by other Nations.

American taxpayers pay each year per taxpayer $2,700 for the cost of illegal immigration. That is the cost we pay for those people who are here illegally, $2,700 a piece. That is how much Americans have to pay. Americans pay, Americans always pay.

Just some specific examples, Madam Speaker. Health care. Oh, tonight, we heard so much about the cost of health care. Over here on the other side, we heard some moaning and groaning and weeping about the cost of health care in the United States, but I will ask my friends across the aisle, why do they not address one of the costs of health care costs in the United States, and that is, the cost that we pay for people who are in the system that are illegally in the United States, obtaining health care that Americans pay and they do not pay for.

It has been estimated by some health care officials that over 20 percent of the cost of health care is because of those people illegally in the United States obtaining health care that the rest of us have to pay for. That ought not to be.

Why do we not want to address that issue in health care costs? Because it is political. We cannot make a political case out of health care costs. Well, maybe we should deal with the truth and the reality. We know that many illegal immigrants, when they want health care, they just show up at the emergency room, and because of our policies in this country, I am not saying it is right or wrong, I am just saying when they show up at the emergency room they are taken care of. Of course, emergency room treatment is the most expensive treatment in health care, but that is where those individuals go. The rest of us pay for it. Maybe we ought to be sending some of those bills down south of the border and letting those other countries pay for the health care costs that we are paying for, that health care cost that their citizens are taking from the rest of us.

Something else we have heard a lot about in recent weeks is education and the cost of education in the United States. It costs a lot of money, not only with your local schools up through the 12th grade, but individuals who wish to go on to college. I had four kids and I know the expense of education. All of them have finished college but one. One is still in college, but let us talk about education.

People in education tell us that part of the education costs is because of people who are illegally in the United States that we educate free. Let me explain that to you.

Let us use this example. Let us say I decided to go to France, and some of the things I have said about the French government, they probably would not let me in legally. So I would have to sneak into France and I am going to take my whole family with me. So I sneak into France. I take my four kids. I show up someplace and

say educate all of us and educate us in the English language because we do not speak French. If I did that, you would think that was absurd. Of course, the French government would not let that happen, would they? No country in the world would let that happen. They would get rid of me first.

Second, they sure would not let me go to school and would not pay for it or educate me in English or Texan, whichever, but yet a person can come to the United States, show up to one of our schools, take their kids there, and we educate them because we educate everybody that is in this country. I am not saying it is right or wrong. I just say we do it. We educate them in their language, and yet the rest of us pay for that.

So maybe we ought to reevaluate the cost of education, the cost of medical health care in light of the fact that it costs Americans so much to pay for the education and medical expenses of people here illegally.

Let me talk one more thing about education. I mentioned I have four kids and went to college. One of them is still in college working on a Ph.D. She will finish it, God bless her, but we have a policy in most State universities that if you are from the State that you go to school in, you pay in-state tuition. You go to one of our major universities, you live in the State of Texas, you pay in-state tuition.

But if you from Kansas, let us use Kansas, and you come down to Texas, well, you pay out-of-state tuition because you are not from around here. You are from Kansas so you pay out-of-state tuition.

Let us say you come from a foreign country and you have applied for an education visa. You came here to the United States the right way and the legal way. You got admitted to one of our good universities in Texas. Well, you pay out-of-state tuition because you are not from Texas; you are from somewhere else.

But if you are illegally in the United States and you are illegally in Texas, you can apply to one of our State universities. If you get admitted, you pay in-state tuition.

So we discriminate against Americans from other States. We discriminate against other citizens and other Nations who come here the right way, to the benefit of people who just show up illegally in the United States. This ought not to be.

This is so ridiculous that there are some places in the United States that illegal immigrants can get State grants to go to college. That means they go free. I think maybe those State grants ought to go to citizens. They certainly should be considered ahead of illegal immigrants and legal immigrants ought to be considered before illegal immigrants.

With the competition so tough in getting into our universities, all of them throughout the United States, some of these illegal immigrants are knocking American citizens, American kids that are just average students, out of a chance to go to college. Maybe we ought to reevaluate this policy of favoring illegals to the detriment of Americans.

For a long time I was a judge in Houston, Texas, 22 years. I saw about, oh, 25,000 criminal cases, tough cases, everything from stealing to killing, rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping, child abuse, capital murder and everything in between.

During that time, and most recently especially, I dealt with numerous cases of people who were from some other country than the United States, most of whom were illegally in the United States.

It is estimated that about 20 percent of the people, 20 percent of the people incarcerated in the United States in our State prisons, our jails and our Federal penitentiaries are illegally in the United States to begin with.

What that means is the criminal justice system, which we pay for, Americans pay, Americans always pay, part of the reason it is so expensive is we have got people in the system who are illegally in the United States to begin with. So we pay for that system for those individuals.

But to carry it a little bit further, to show you how we do not follow through with enforcement of our laws, if I would send a person to prison that was convicted of a crime in Texas, sent him off to the Texas State penitentiary, you would think when they get out of the penitentiary, we would have a border agent waiting there at the gate to pick him up and take him back home, wherever they came from, whether they were legally or illegally in the United States, but that does not happen.

What happens is when a person finishes their time in the penitentiary. They are taken back to the city in which they were convicted and released back in our community. So here we have a person illegally in the United States, commits a crime against someone in the United States, goes to our State penitentiary, does time in our pen. When they get out, rather than just automatically deport them, send them back home, wherever they came from, we release them back into the community.

This ought not to be.

So we have to deal with the absurdities in our immigration policy. We have to be concerned about the illegal immigrants that come into the United States. We must expect and demand that those people who want to come here come here the right way. There is a reason they did not come here the legal way. Maybe we ought to find out what those reasons are. The rule of law must be enforced.

Madam Speaker, lawlessness on the border breeds more lawlessness, and that is why it is increasing. That is why the drug cartels are doing what they are doing, bringing drugs into the United States to do harm to the rest of us. That is why those coyotes, those human smugglers, are bringing people into the United States for money, and that is why those terrorists who wish to do us harm, when they come to the United States, they will come the illegal way as well. We must be serious about enforcing the rule of law, enforcing what is best for America.

About 100 years ago this statement was made: ``In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room but for one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have but room for one language here, and that is the English language, and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is the loyalty to the American people.''

This was said by President Theodore ``Teddy'' Roosevelt in 1907, a great believer in immigration. An immigrant, a person who wanted people to come to the United States the legal way. Words of wisdom, maybe something we ought to listen to.

Madam Speaker, we must win the battle for the border, we must win the battle for sovereignty, and we must win the battle against lawlessness that surrounds our country. That is just the way it is.