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Mr. Speaker, there are rules and procedures for coming into the United States legally. You have to sign the guest book at the point of entry so we know who you are. We have a right to know why someone wants to visit our country--and we have the right to tell them when it's time for them to go home.
But right now, America's hardworking taxpayers foot the bill for anyone who sneaks across our borders unabated. American taxpayers are expected to pay for the world's problems. We have enough problems of our own right here.
Let me mention some of our border issues and some of those issues that we have on the Texas-Mexico border.
Criminal aliens are a part of that problem. There is a crime wave taking place in our border regions. There are 14 Texas counties that border Mexico. And recently, I called the 14 county sheriffs and asked them this question, "How many people do you have in your county jail that are foreign nationals charged with crimes other than immigration violations like misdemeanors and felony offenses?" And they told me that 37 percent of the people in the border county jails in Texas are foreign nationals charged with those crimes.
These are not rich counties. These are poor counties. And yet they're expected to take the brunt of the crime problem on the border. They don't have the money to prosecute or even house these individuals. You see, Mexico's problems have become our problems.
Further, the violence in Mexico has escalated. Just yesterday, a Holiday Inn in Monterrey, Mexico, was attacked by narcoterrorists. The assault was done by 50 gunmen who seized cars to block streets to slow down police response. At least three people were kidnapped in the attack by the drug cartels.
Violence at our southern border with Mexico has escalated as well, and it not only affects Mexican nationals on the northern part of Mexico, but Americans on the southern border as well. Murders, kidnappings, Old West shootouts, Mexican military helicopter intrusions into the United States, and reports of criminal cartels cloning border patrol vehicles to smuggle drugs have all occurred.
An Arizona rancher was murdered at the border recently on his ranch. A California border agent was assassinated just a few months ago. In El Paso, Texas, our border patrol agents are reportedly being targeted by the Azteca hit men. These outlaws work and protect drug shipments for the Juarez drug cartel.
Arizona has just passed a new law giving local law enforcement the ability to check immigration status and detain those in the United States illegally. The bill also puts an end to sanctuary cities in Arizona. It requires law enforcement agents to make reasonable efforts to determine a person's legal status if there is a reasonable expectation they're in the United States illegally. Arizona and other States are desperate so they are trying to do the job that Washington will not do.
This bill is waiting for the Governor's signature in Arizona, and most Arizona citizens support this law. Border States have been asking for help for securing the border against the escalating violence for years. States have to protect their citizens because the Federal Government refuses to act to adequately secure the border. It is the primary purpose of the Federal Government to keep American citizens safe. When the Federal Government refuses to act, the border States are left to deal with the problem on their own.
Governor Rick Perry in Texas has been asking for National Guard troops for over a year, but the Department of Homeland Security has ignored these requests.
There seems to be blissful silence in D.C. about the border war. Why do we wait for more tragedy before more boots are put on the ground? Our law enforcement agents need help. Doesn't Washington know the border has become a war zone?
National Guard troops should be deployed to the border immediately to protect us from the narcoterrorists. Border patrol and local sheriffs in Texas and other States are outmanned, outgunned, and outfinanced.
The United States guards the borders of other nations, but yet we refuse to guard our own border. Why do we do that? Mr. Speaker, we fail to act at our own peril.
And that's just the way it is.
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