Mr. Speaker, the open borders crowd is at it again, pushing for amnesty for people that are illegally in the United States.

It is bad public policy to give a wink and a nod to people who continue to advocate the exploitation of American border laws for their own personal agenda. A nation cannot survive in freedom without just following the law. The very future of any civilization rests upon the rule of law.

Now, we are a self-governing people. That means we are a Nation of laws. We don't get to choose what laws we follow and what ones we don't. That would mean complete chaos. If people want to come to the United States legally, by all means let them come legally. Sign the guest book at the port of entry so we know who you are, so we know the purpose of your visit and whether or not you mean harm to American citizens. That means everybody who comes here, not just a select few.

The push to reward illegal behavior today by granting amnesty only encourages more of the same illegal behavior. A new Zogby-Washington Times poll in Mexico found that 56 percent of Mexican nationals surveyed said that if we pardon illegal immigrants here, it will encourage more of them to come across the border illegally.

The poll also showed that most folks in Mexico think their countrymen who come here still owe their loyalty to Mexico, not America. Now, these are things the open borders crowd won't tell you. Many people come here and don't want to become Americans; they just want the personal benefits of being in the United States without any obligation to the country. And amnesty will only encourage more illegal entry.

Anyone who comes to this country permanently owes this Nation the respect of learning what it means to be an American--embracing the melting pot concept. They should honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have made our history great in these 200-plus years. This mighty Nation is the beacon of liberty, and it did not happen by chance. It came through hard work and sacrifice in the name of freedom. It came from following a set of principles and ideals, and it came from following the rule of law--laws passed by our representative form of government with the consent of the governed.

The American dream is not about money; it's about liberty, and those who come here owe this Nation an obligation to understand that. They need to learn what freedom is and how we go about keeping it, and a big part of that is following the law.

Solving the problems of illegals and the crisis they have created will not be an easy task before us. There are those who want amnesty and who support policies that promote more illegal entry and lawlessness. These are unacceptable in a post-9/11 world. We can start by enforcing the law and showing we are serious about it. We also need to eliminate policies in this country that encourage and ignore illegal entry.

Such policies include easy access to jobs with little enforcement on employers who knowingly hire illegals; free health care and free education, policies that don't promote assimilation; and the inability of local law enforcement to assist Federal immigration authorities.

We need to upgrade interior enforcement of immigration laws. Many people come here legally, then they never go home, because this Nation doesn't do much about visa overstays. Border security is a national security issue. We just witnessed recently a Jordanian national who came here legally, who overstayed his visa and then tried to blow up a Dallas skyscraper. Thanks to the work of law enforcement, this bombing plot was averted.

We owe an obligation to the future of this Nation to guard and secure our borders, to permit entry of only people who will benefit our Nation and to keep up with those who enter as guests of our country. It is not too much to require that people legally enter the United States or don't come at all.

And that's just the way it is.