Mr. Speaker, it is the first duty of government, especially our government, to protect the people. That is why governments are formed throughout the world. That is why the United States was formed, to protect the people who live in this great country of ours.

This weekend, we honor the veterans that have served in our military throughout all of its wars. It started on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, which was called Armistice Day, to end the war to end all wars, World War I. We now call it Veterans Day, where we honor those who went to war and came home.

Now America is engaged in wars in lands far, far away. We are engaged in the war in Iraq, we are engaged in the war in Afghanistan, and Mr. Speaker, it is my opinion that the finest military that has ever existed in the history of the world is fighting for American values in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American warriors.

You know, they are fighting in the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan. But we are also engaged in a war closer to home, that for some reason many have missed it, and it's the border war that we have on our southern border.

You see, our people who live in the southern part of the United States, and I happen to be one of them, I'm from the State of Texas, they are concerned about a constant invasion into our homeland by people that come here without permission. These people are coming into this country and they are colonizing our Nation. I have been to the southern border of Texas and Mexico over a dozen times. I've been to the border in Arizona, the border in California with Mexico, and every time I go to the border, the situation is worse. It is, by any definition, a war zone.

In the American town of Laredo, across the river, in Nuevo Laredo, it is a hostile and violent place. In the year 2005, there were 147 murders in Nuevo Laredo, many of them peace officers, and not one case has been solved. There have been 400 kidnappings; 41 of those have been American citizens kidnapped in Mexico, and not one case, not one has been solved by law enforcement.

It is a violent place. We have the three drug cartels coming in from Mexico, bringing that cancer into our country, and they are violent because it's all about money. And now they're working with the human coyotes, and they smuggle drugs and people into our country, all because of the almighty dollar.

We have reports of the Mexican military that have come across our border in arrogance and defiance, coming here to apparently help the drug smugglers bring in the drugs. But be that as it may, Homeland Security seems to be blissfully silent about the problem on the southern border with Mexico. And I ask the question, why? Is it because of political reasons? What do we owe the nation of Mexico? Our government, Homeland Security, owes the American public public defense.

It is the first duty of government to protect the homeland, and that includes the invasion by people without permission from our southern border. Thousands of people a day come in here without our permission, and I'm here to say that it's our obligation as a Nation to protect the southern border.

There has been legislation, bipartisan, that has been introduced this week to move that direction; 8,000 more border agents, using the military surveillance; also, requiring that American departments such as Social Security, Homeland Security and the IRS work together to prevent people from fraudulently trying to become American citizens, and of course, requiring more immigration judges. And I think we personally should use the National Guard and put them on the southern border as well. Whatever it takes, by lawful means, to secure the Nation's homeland, we owe that to the Nation, we owe that to the veterans who fought all over the world, and we owe it to the veterans who are on the southern border with Mexico to make sure that we protect our country, the dignity and sovereignty of this Nation.

And that's just the way it is.