Illegal Extortion

May 5, 2006

I find it curious that news outlets across the country portrayed this weeks illegal immigrant boycott as a pro-active political movement to support immigration. When in fact it was just the opposite, it was an organized slap-in-the-face of our immigration laws. The message to the American people was not one of solidarity; it was a message of defiance and disrespect. It was a blatant attempt to extort amnesty.

What was equally as appalling as the failed extortion attempt was the effort by American organizations to register illegal immigrants to vote. You must be a citizen of the United States to have a say in how our laws are made and how our country operates. Many of the protestors carried signs saying, protest today, vote tomorrow. I encourage every American to exercise their right to vote, but you must be an American first. It is a privilege of citizenship, a right and duty bestowed upon each and every citizen of our country that it is not be taken for granted or abused.

On the heels of Mondays boycott, the Mexican government announced their support of legalizing hard drugs, such as heroine and cocaine. It would be nave to think that this is going to do anything to lessen the violence and murder at he hands of the drug cartels. The violence along the Texas-Mexico Border is at a breaking point as we speak, the thugs running dope are becoming more brazen everyday. The Mexican government has made no attempt to address the violence and appears has given into the drug lords that will soon rule their country.

This is just one more reason it is time the United States take back the border. We have wasted so much time and energy focusing on the plight of the poor illegal immigrant that we are losing sight of the real dangers lurking along the Rio Grande. It is time the bureaucrats stop pontificating on what should be done and take innovative steps to securing the border now. It is obvious that what we have done in the past has not slowed the tide of people entering our country illegally. By not enforcing our laws we have empowered the drug dealers and terrorists around the world.

Mexicos decision to legalize dangerous drugs will only put more money and power into the hands of the enemy. Terrorist operations around the world are well funded and have no moral boundaries as to where they filter their money as long as it facilitates their radical agenda. The legalization of drugs in Mexico makes the Texas-Mexico border prime breeding ground. Drug dealers work with human smugglers and with the encouragement of drug use in their country, more illegals with drug addiction will enter the US continuing to make their problem, our problem.

We can not sit idly by and let Texas be overruled by illegal inhabitants and a corrupt foreign country. I have personally invited President George W. Bush to come to Texas and meet with the Texas Border Sheriffs Association so that he can hear first hand the serious consequences we are facing. I have an open-ended invitation to my northeastern colleagues in Congress to visit the border with me as well; so far I have not had any takers.

Our own history shows us amnesty does not stop illegal entry and only rewards illegal conduct to people who disrespect American law. Lawlessness only breeds more lawlessness. You must be proud to be an American and pledge allegiance to her and her only. We have only but one flag in this country and only one National Anthem. That is just the way it is.

As gas prices soar, common sense solutions are on the decline. Once again, the American consumer is paying the price at the hand of foreign oil rich nations and OPEC. Simply put, we do not produce enough oil or natural gas from domestic sources despite our overwhelming abundance and every year less and less crude oil comes from our own nation.

Gas prices are hovering near all-time highs, hitting the three dollar mark right here on the Gulf Coast, the petrochemical capital. I know, I fill up at the same gas pumps and pay the same prices as my constituents. Not to mention my old Jeep doesnt get the same gas mileage it use to. But what most people do not know is the reasons behind the recent increase in gas prices.

It is important to understand that U.S. oil companies only have a 10 percent stake in actual crude oil production. The vast majority of crude oil is produced by members of OPEC, therefore they are in control of setting the price. OPEC is upping their reserves, but putting less crude on the market driving up the price per barrel.

Another reason for escalating prices is actually one billion reasons, China. Countries such as China and India are paying above market prices for crude oil. The Chinese economy is expanding so rapidly that they are buying up every ounce of oil that they can get their hands on at any price. Simple economics dictates that when supply becomes limited, prices increase.

In an effort to gain control of our oil and gas destiny, I have filed legislation that will allow us to expand domestic drilling, lessening our dependence on nations unfriendly to the United States. I have sponsored and co-sponsored legislation that would immediately expand drilling throughout the entire Gulf of Mexico, off the east and west coasts and increase the states share of royalties oil companies pay for off shore leases. This additional revenue for the State of Texas would be a significant boost to funding our education system and better prepare us financially for disaster relief.

According to the Department of Energy, last year the United States imported more crude oil than ever before. The White House this week released a staggering statistic that 1 in every 10 gallons of refined gasoline being sold at U.S. pumps is imported. Not hard to believe since we have not built a refinery in this country in 30 years. Due to the extensive and expensive permitting process is not feasible for companies to start from the ground up.

However, some good news is on the horizon. Shell recently announced that they plan to expand their Motiva refining facility in Port Arthur, making it the largest in the country. Pending approval of government regulations, Shell plans to have the refinery online by 2010 and produce 610,000 barrels of gasoline a day, exceeding Exxon Mobils Baytown refinery as the largest in the country.

Congress must come up with a diverse energy plan that incorporates increasing domestic production of crude oil and natural gas from off shore leases and in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), increase our domestic refining capacity, invest in alternative fuel choices, aggressively address price gouging reports and call for a short-term release of crude oil from the Strategic Oil Reserves to immediately ease the pain at the pump.

We must quit giving lip service to being energy sufficient. It is time for America to take charge of our energy policy and lessen the stranglehold of foreign countries. Thats just the way it is.