Madam Speaker, I want to speak today about how to come to America. Millions of people apply for visas every year, and 90 percent of the people that legally come to this country do so through an immediate family member. If someone has a mother, father, brother, sister or spouse in the United States, they may apply for immigrant visas. They go to the United States consulate, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and then they wait, and continue to wait.

It is a long process even when they are fully eligible. According to the State Department, unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens that are in Mexico or some other foreign country that applied in 1983 are just now being considered for immigration status. Twenty years is too long to make people wait to enter the United States legally.

So while thousands of immigrants patiently wait, millions are sneaking in illegally and exploiting and disregarding American laws every day.

Madam Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention the illegal way to come to America. An illegal can walk to the local Mexican flea market, purchase a combination of fake documents. For $100 or $200, an illegal can purchase a fake green card as well as a fake Social Security card with the number picked at random. They can borrow someone else's Social Security number, and the next step is crossing the border. This does not seem to be too difficult, especially since the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations has made available to Mexican migrants that want to come to the United States this extensive book on how to come to America, even illegally.

The cover of this book, Guide for the Mexican Migrant. Throughout this book it shows possible scenarios that could occur to the migrant. First of all, it shows how to cross the border. You run across. If you come across an American border agent, how you handle that situation. It discusses how some places are not as safe as others to cross the border, and it talks about coyotes, those people who are bringing illegal individuals into the United States, and how to deal with those individuals. This book is extensive on how to come to America the illegal way published by the Mexican government.

Once they get into the United States, it is simple to visit their local consular, and for $26 they can purchase a matricula consular card, which is a so-called identification card issued by the Mexican consulate to prove an illegal immigrant's identity. This card has been pushed onto the United States Federal Government. The Mexican government wants the Federal Government to use these identification cards, but the Federal Government refuses to do so. So Mexican consulates are going to local communities, local governments and trying to get them and businesses to use this document.

The card resembles a driver's license and is becoming widely accepted as a form of identification at many of the Nation's banks, car dealerships, insurance companies, and even in some States they are allowing individuals to purchase or get driver's licenses based upon this document. It is so widely accepted that many companies are spending millions of dollars marketing directly to these migrant card holders.

It is a total lack of enforcement of our immigration law by the Federal Government that puts businesses in the United States in this precarious position. It seems to me to come to the United States is not that difficult. In May of this year, the Department of Homeland Security arrested 60 illegal immigrants who worked in 12 critical infrastructure sites in six States, including my home State of Texas.

Illegal immigrants were working as subcontractors at seven petrochemical refineries, three electric power plants, and a pipeline facility. They were said to have presented phony documents and some of them had entered the country after being deported once before.

Although this may sound distressing, it is not shocking considering that we require employers to accept 94 different documents to verify an employee's legal status. The United States policy makes businesses in the United States do the police work that the Federal Government ought to be doing.

There seems to be a growing amount of fraud associated with Social Security cards as well. Illegal immigrants use fake Social Security cards, they buy legitimate Social Security cards from migrants, and some of them use the same Social Security card at different times.

In 1986, the United States offered amnesty to millions of illegal individuals, and we are still suffering from that policy because it is estimated that 3 million of those immigrants received resident papers and went directly back to their homeland where they made a profit from loaning out those papers to other individuals in their homeland, and then they came to the United States and used them.

Most of this is taking place unbeknownst to the employer that unknowingly accepted the fraudulent document in the first place. Not only is this widespread use of fake documents deplorable, it is also detrimental to homeland security. Eighteen of the 19 hijackers possessed either a State-issued or counterfeit driver's license or ID, and all 19 of them had obtained some sort of Social Security number.

And the word has gotten out. Due to the widespread acceptance of the matricula consular card, other countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and even Poland are preparing to issue similar cards for their own citizens that come to the United States illegally; and why not? Clearly we are not punishing those that continue to break the law and exploit America's compassion to other foreign citizens.

Madam Speaker, if the United States expects to solve the immigrant problem, we must come up with a plan to stop the widespread use of fraudulent documents. If we are truly, as ``Business Week'' puts it, ``embracing illegals,'' then our homeland is at risk.