Statement ● Immigration
For Immediate Release: 
December 15, 2005
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD), made the following statement tonight on the House Floor in opposition to the GOP Immigration Bill:

“Mr. Speaker, let’s set the record straight: this legislation is a cynical, political charade.

“But don’t take my word for it.  Just listen to Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform and a White House confidante.  This morning he is quoted as saying: ‘the good news is that the legislation that is being voted on, even with amendments that would improve it and make it less problematic, is not a piece of legislation that is going to pass the senate and be signed by the president.’

“This bill, even if it did become law, would not solve the real issue that confronts our nation – the federal government’s failure to ensure that our borders are secure.

“Let no one be mistaken: our nation has a border security problem.  And, it has an immigration problem.  These problems were not created overnight.  And they will not be remedied with the misguided, mean-spirited proposal that the majority has put on this floor today.

“The fact is, Republican inaction has left the United States ill-prepared to prevent or respond to another terrorist attack on our soil.  The 9/11 Commission just issued a report card that gave Congress and the White House grades of D or F on the implementation of 17 of the Commission’s recommendations.

“This legislation would do little to prevent would-be terrorists from entering our country.

“Democrats are for the rule of law, we want to get border security right.  But this bill is not about solving problems.  It is all about harsh, punitive measures that will not work.

“This Republican Congress has simply failed to provide the resources that our federal law enforcement agencies need to get the job done.  And, we certainly do not have the detention space necessary to keep all the undocumented migrants we detain – much less the millions of people that this bill would force us to incarcerate.

“So, after allowing this situation to become a crisis, Republicans today offer a purely political proposal that promises a quick-fix, a magic bullet: make them all criminals – the workers, their neighbors, and their employers.  And, make local and state law enforcement officials do the job of the federal government.

“Democrats have a different approach.  We want to take on this challenge in a comprehensive fashion.  We would do what’s necessary to protect our borders, give law enforcement the tools that they need, ensure that our businesses have the workers they require, allow families to stay united, and honor the principles of inclusion and freedom that have always been our hallmark.”