(House of Representatives April 29, 2003)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Burns). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to point to a couple of issues that I think deserve our attention. As I do on many occasions, I come here to address the issue of immigration and the reform thereof.
I would like to start tonight with a discussion of a couple of people that I met not too long ago when I was on a trip to Arizona, and specifically, to the border
area around Douglas, Arizona, and I want to add them to the list of people that we have identified over the last several weeks and months as belonging to who
we have described as homeland heroes. They are George and Linda Morin. They own and manage a cattle ranch of 12,000 acres, located only 4 miles from the
Arizona/Mexico border. Their ranch house is only 5.5 miles from the border.
They have one son, 26, who lives on the ranch and helps run the business. George Morin's grandfather came to America in 1908 and bought a dairy farm in
southern Arizona. He speaks Spanish and has a half brother living in Mexico. After living 54 years in this border region, he knows both sides of the border
Beginning in the late 1980's, things began to change along the border, and we heard this refrain often. We heard this same thing from almost everybody we
talked to there, and most of the people who live in this area have been living there for generations, and they have witnessed the phenomenon of immigration
over that period of time. They have witnessed people coming across the border looking for jobs, people that they have befriended, people they have aided
economically, and this has never really been a huge issue for them except in the last 10 or 15 years.
George and Linda noticed a steady increase in the number of illegal aliens crossing the border and coming across their land. Over the past 5 or 6 years, this
flow has become, as they put it, a flood. They run a large cattle ranch as a family business, and it is a lot of very hard work. Drought, cattle diseases, volatile
market prices for beef cattle, all of these make cattle ranching a tough business in the best of circumstances. The massive flood of illegal immigration across the
border has brought many more hardships. Among the recent experiences, consider the following: The waterlines that carry water to their cattle have been cut and
broken so many times that they have lost count, and again, by the way, this is a complaint that we heard over and over again. Water in this part of the world of
course, in this part of the country, is very valuable, and it is something that ranchers depend upon for their existence, frankly, and the people coming across the
border, for reasons that are sometimes difficult to explain, oftentimes vandalize these waterlines, vandalize the wells, even though many of the ranchers will
leave out cups for these people so they can drink from the well and not do anything to harm it, but they do anyway.
The same thing goes for cattle fences. Repairing cut fences is now a routine task, and we saw hundreds of miles of broken-down fences along the border.
Electric switches for water pumps are often jammed or vandalized. The Morin ranch has lost 8 cattle in the last year to death by eating plastic trash bags that
trespassers drop as they pass through the land. This is also a site that is all too common throughout this particular area. There are occasions throughout the
Southwest, and especially in southern Arizona that are referred to as pickup sites. These are places where large numbers of illegal immigrants will gather for the
purpose of getting a ride eventually, because these places are often near roads, sometimes highways, but they are often on private land, sometimes on public
land, but they are places, as I say, in which large numbers of these folks will gather.
When they gather there and they start to undertake the next part of the journey, they discard everything that they have been carrying because the coyotes, the
people who bring these people across, tell them that there has to be a lot more room in the trucks so they have to discard everything they have, and they throw
everything in these pickup sites. We walk through them now, and they really are similar to large refuse piles, dumps essentially. I have, sometimes not so
facetiously, referred to many of our parks in the area, the Cactus Pipe National Park as the Cactus Pipe National Dump because of the way it appears, and the
trash is everywhere and these plastic bags are everywhere, and the cattle eat them and die. Trash left behind by the thousands of trespassers are not only
dangerous to the cattle that eat it; it is despoiling the land and environment in numerous ways. In one day, Mr. Morin collected 42 syringes left by one group
along with discarded drug containers.
All of this goes on, by the way, in plain sight. It is something that if the media would pay attention to, certainly there would be an outcry. We wonder why there is not an outcry from groups like the Sierra
Club and Friends of the Earth and various other environmental organizations that often raise Cain about the despoiling of the land, but seldom say a word about
this particular problem because of course it is connected with illegal immigration, and therefore a topic not willing to be discussed by these left-wing
We wonder how many people are coming across. Do they see these people? Do George and Linda, his wife, see them coming across? How many do they
see? Can they actually identify people who are coming across illegally? And of course, that is very possible. Two years ago George Morin woke up to some
noise at about 5:30 in the morning. He discovered a virtual army of 600 trespassers walking through his ranch within eyesight of his ranch house. He called the
border patrol. They did come this time and loaded 297 people onto buses and took them back to the border patrol station for processing. About half of the 600
got away, scattered to the hills, trails before the border patrol could load them onto buses. Sometimes these folks coming across the land get lost or they are abandoned by the coyotes. Again, these are the people who are paid to bring them into the United States.
It is common for ranchers and border patrol agents to hear from a group that their coyote pointed them to the lights in the distance and told them there is
Phoenix. Maybe it is Tucson or maybe it is some small town only about 40 miles from the border.
One Thanksgiving morning 4 years ago, George and Linda Morin woke up to find about 80 Iranians walking across their property right in front of their
house. The border patrol agents who took them into custody said that they had been told by their coyote that they were only 10 miles from San Diego. Only last
Thursday, April 24, 90 illegal aliens were caught walking through the grassy expanse of the U.S. Army's Fort Huachuca near Sierra Vista, Arizona. The
military police caught them and marched them to the fence where the border patrol loaded them onto vans.
One thing that is important to understand is this, as I mentioned earlier, is a new type of phenomenon. We have always had illegal immigrants coming across
the line, but we have seldom had this happen in the numbers that we are witnessing today and/or in ways that are so organized. It is no longer just a few people
coming across looking for jobs.
It is now a very well-organized effort, a very well-organized activity conducted largely by people who have heretofore been involved with drug smuggling
into the United States. Because it has become very lucrative, that is why the drug cartels have become interested in this business. They are paid between $1,000
and $1,500 for a Mexican national to come into the United States illegally, but costs for a Middle Easterner or an Asian will get to about $30,000.
So there is so much money now in people smuggling that it rivals drug smuggling into the United States in terms of just the sheer volume in both human
beings and in dollars.
If they are poor and they want to get smuggled into the United States, they do not need to come up with the ongoing price of $1,000 to $1,500 to get the help
of professional people, smugglers. One can now be smuggled into the United States on the installment plan. It is happening this moment on a very large scale. It
is widely understood by the border patrol and law enforcement agencies in the west. What happens if one gets to Phoenix or Los Angeles or Omaha and do not
make their promised payments? Some very bad things happen.
Only last week, two illegal aliens who had made it to Phoenix were killed by members of the Mexican gangs that had smuggled them into the country. They
were killed because they did not make their mordita payments. This is now a "travel now, pay later" business. But if you cannot pay, it is "travel now, die
Not only have the numbers of nationalities of people coming across the land changed over the last 10 years, but the character of the people and their attitude
has also changed. Twenty years ago it was not uncommon to encounter illegal aliens on the ranch who would ask politely for a drink of water or ask for
directions. Ranchers were normally cordial and often did not report the trespassers if they were in small groups or posed no immediate threat.
In the past decade, this has changed because the groups are larger, more aggressive. Part of this change is due to the increase in drug smuggling. The people
who are transporting drugs across the open rangelands are usually armed and dangerous. They do not want any interference, and they will usually take what
they want and not ask for it politely.
One recent trespasser George Morin encountered was angry because he had been caught and was being turned over to the Border Patrol. He told Mr. Morin,
You don't belong here. You are in Mexico, and you don't know it. We are going to take it back and you will be gone.
This man is not delusional. He was deadly serious. He was voicing a goal of a small and radical movement within Mexico and the Southwest that looks
forward to what it calls "Reconquista." This is the reconquest of the lands Mexico lost to Texas in 1836 and to the United States in the Mexican war of 1846.
There is a larger and more persuasive movement that is more powerful and very influential. The changes this movement seeks, in my opinion, pose a threat to
our civic and legal institutions that provide the foundation for our freedom. I am talking about the multiculturist movement.
This movement is very political and politically correct. It becomes very influential in our universities, our public schools, our foundations and our mass
media. The problems raised in this movement go far beyond the immediate concerns presented by illegal immigration; yet the two sets of problems tend to
reinforce each other.
Many of these problems created by large numbers of illegal immigrants are exacerbated by the diversity movement because of the many proponents welcoming
illegal immigration and opposing measures to controlling it. So I want to speak to that issue tonight.
Over the past several weeks, I have tried to deal with the issue of immigration reform in a variety of contexts. We started off talking about the problems with
porous borders and what that means to the United States, especially in terms of our own national security. We talk about the economic impact of massive
immigration of low-skilled, low-wage people. That was another segment. We talked about the environmental damage.
We spent 1 hour here talking about just this one aspect of it, the environmental damage that is being done by the literally millions of people coming across our
southern borders, both walking and driving through pristine land, destroying some of the most beautiful and important national monuments.
All of this, as I say, is happening without the attention that would normally be focused on that kind of activity by the environmental groups in the United
States. If it were done any other place, any other way, any other time, you would have hell to pay. The environmental groups would be just going crazy about
the fact that we are destroying so much of our natural environment. Yet nothing is said about it here because we are talking about illegal immigration, and
nobody wants to touch that subject.
This is a chart that describes what is happening in the United States in terms of population growth. By the year 2100, if we do absolutely nothing, if things
continue as they are today, if the numbers increase as they are from the sources that they are occurring today, here is what happens. We reach a little over half a
billion people in the United States.
The fact that we get there via immigration and descendants of immigrants is the important point here. It may be a very good thing. It may be very positive for
the United States to have population growth of this nature, so dramatic and so important in terms of many things, including the economy. People talk about the
need for growth in the economy, so maybe it is a good thing. Maybe this kind of growth is good.
It is important to understand that this growth is not coming as a result of the natural birth rate in the United States; it is coming as a result of immigration. So
we have to make a decision as to whether or not this is where we want to be in 2100.
Again, this is if it just stays at the same level. This is all U.S. census data here. This is not something we are interpreting. This is where the U.S. Census
Bureau tells us we are and where we are going and how we are going to get there.
Mr. Speaker, we can go back to the one part we talked about in terms of immigration reform and what this really means in terms of the environment, the
impact on the environment. I come from Colorado, and I will tell you that things have changed pretty dramatically in my State over the last several years. The
increase in the State's population has been dramatic. All of the infrastructure costs that go along with massive increases in people are, of course, prevalent, and
they are to be paid for by the taxpayers of the State of Colorado.
This is happening not just in Colorado, but in States all over the Nation. But where is this growth coming from? Again, I want to emphasize, it is not the
natural growth rate of the country.
It is a growth rate made up of immigration and the descendants of immigrants.
Again, this could be what we want. It could be absolutely where we want to be, so that pretty soon it is much more difficult to get through on congested
highways, to visit the national parks, to experience that pristine wilderness that we have all enjoyed. But maybe that is all worth it. Maybe giving all of that up,
maybe, is worth it, because the economy demands this kind of population growth rate.
But what we do not talk about and what I want to focus on tonight is the effect of immigration, of two things, and this is very important to discuss tonight or
at least pay some attention to.
It is not just immigration that poses a cultural threat to the United States. Heaven knows that this is a Nation of immigrants. We have talked about this over
and over again. We are all here because somebody in our past, some grandparents, great grandparents or however far back, decided to leave wherever they were
and come here. I do not care if you call yourself a Native American. The reality is somebody many, many, many generations ago came across a land bridge
from Asia to what we now call America. So all of us came here as a result of somebody making a decision to leave someplace and come here.
This has been a source of great strength for the United States. It is something to be enjoyed. Diversity is a good thing. I am not arguing that point.
By the way, this level of immigration, this rate of immigration, is something far greater than anything we have ever experienced in this Nation. It is far greater
than what we experienced in the 1900s when in fact my grandparents came here. The numbers are huge.
Now, this does not even account for illegal immigration into this country. We talk about the fact that there are, we do not know for sure, maybe between 13
million and 20 million people in the country illegally. That, combined with all the people who have come into the country legally because we have now
expanded our immigration and opened our immigration doors wider than ever in the past, all of these things can be positive.
I am not saying that we should slam the door to all immigration. Certainly not. But what I am suggesting is it is important for us to review as a Nation the
connection between massive immigration into the country and something else we call multi-culturalism, this sort of rabid multi-culturalism.
What do I mean by that? Multiculturalism is a philosophy that permeates our schools and society in so many ways, and it says essentially this: there is
nothing unique about American culture. In fact, if there is anything noteworthy about American culture, or Western Civilization, it is that it is bad. It is that it has
been a culture developed on the backs of slaves, and that all the people who created the American dream were slave owners, people who came to pillage and
rape the land. That is what we teach children about America and that there is nothing unique about America; there is nothing special, there is nothing that we
should sort of glom on to and maybe disconnect from in terms of where we came from. This is the problem. This is a very serious problem in this regard.
The combination of these two things, massive immigration and this rabid multi-culturalism that tells people there is nothing unique about America, and that if
you come here you should probably not only not integrate into our society, but you should in fact keep separate, keep a separate culture and keep a separate
We go to the extent of spending billions of dollars every year to teach children in our public schools in languages other than English. I think that this is a
dangerous phenomenon. I think that we can handle immigration into this country, and always have; and we can do so because people coming into the United
States, people coming here were, for the most part, coming from something else and to connect to a new idea. At least that is what my grandparents always
My grandparents came here around the turn of the 20th century, and I can remember very distinctly my grandmother telling my grandfather all the time, Speak
American. Speak American. There was this implied and sometimes not so subtly implied desire on their part to really Americanize themselves.
I think of that when I think about a lunch I had not too long ago with a gentleman in Colorado, his name is Gomez, and he happens to be a Catholic bishop.
Bishop Gomez asked to have lunch and discuss this issue of immigration, because he knows I am quite concerned about it. He knows I talk about this issue an
awful lot here in the Congress of the United States, and he does not agree with me. So I certainly agreed to have lunch with him.
He said something that I found very illuminating in the course of our luncheon. He said, Congressman, I don't know why you are so worried about all of this
immigration from Mexico, let's say. He said, "You know, they don't want to be Americans anyway."
I thought that was just an amazing statement. He said, "Don't be worried."
He thought for some reason or other I was worried that these people were coming into the United States to become Americans, and I did not want them to. Of
course, it is exactly the opposite. I explained to him that was exactly why I was worried about massive immigration today. It is a different thing.
Mr. Speaker, we have argued about this issue since our Nation's inception. People have come to this floor over the past 200 years to talk about concerns
about the newest wave of immigrants from someplace else and how that might affect America or whatever, and I do not mean to suggest that these old
arguments hold water.
I am not talking about the simple fact of immigration, although it has, as I say, implications. Regardless of whether or not it was connected to the multi-culture
issue, it has implications for many things just because of the numbers, which are far different than it ever was before.
But regardless of that, there is something new that is happening, and that is what I keep harping on, that is what I keep trying to bring to the attention of
anyone who will listen, that there is a different immigration pattern today, and it is, as Bishop Gomez accurately described. He said, They don't want to be
Americans. That was his comment, an exact quote: "They don't want to be Americans," so I should not worry.
They are only coming here for economic reasons, to escape poverty, the same reason my grandparents came, for the large part, and many others, to escape
poverty and the blight of their history and the past.
But I am telling you that there was this other aspect to that immigration of past years, this one thing that said, I want to disconnect from that old way, from
those old ideas, from that bankrupt history. I want to connect to something brand new in the United States.
I wanted to become part of it. This is showing itself in a number of ways.
When my grandparents came to this country, they no more would have thought about the possibility of having a dual citizenship status than they would fly.
They really wanted, as I say, to disconnect from the old country. They came to the United States, and they took an oath of allegiance, and they swore to end any
allegiance to any foreign power or potentate. That is the same oath that people take today, but something else is happening. In about 1947 or 1948, the United
States decided to allow people to have dual citizenship. Now, we did that primarily because of what was happening in Israel at the time; Palestine, later to
become Israel. And there were maybe at any given point in the last 50 years, up to the last, let us say 10 years, there were maybe 100,000 people in the United
States, according to our research, maybe 100,000 at any given time holding dual citizenship. Now, something has happened. Something brand new is occurring
that reflects, I think, the problem that I have just described with this concept of multiculturalism, the lack of any desire to attach themselves to any American
experience, if you will, and to retain political and cultural ties to the country of origin.
About 2 1/2 years ago, Mexico allowed their citizens to actually have dual citizenship, something they had never done in the past. And they also began to encourage, this is over maybe 5 or 6 years, they began to encourage a large flow
of Mexican nationals into the United States, which created the kind of problems that we talked about here with the Morins on their ranch because they had never
seen this kind of thing before. As I said, they had lived here for generations, but they had never seen the kinds of problems that they are seeing today, the
numbers that are coming across, in this case from Mexico. And the fact is that this kind of combination of events where Mexico is encouraging the movement of
people into the United States, allowing people to take dual citizenship; this is having an interesting effect here in this country.
For instance, we now think that there are between 6 million and 10 million people living in this country who claim dual citizenship. This is an interesting new
phenomenon. Is it worthy of our discussion here? Is it something that anybody thinks is interesting, relevant, important? What does this mean? What is the
effect of having this many people in this country with divided loyalties? And that is really the only way that one can describe it. I think Teddy Roosevelt said,
we can have no 50-50 Americans. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all. Teddy Roosevelt.
The idea that we have so many people clinging to other citizenship, clinging to other countries politically is, I think, a little bit problematic. At least it is worthy
of our interest, our debate. Yet it is something we hardly talk about. Certainly it does not come up in this body very often. Nobody wants to really push this
issue for fear that we will make someone else a little bit upset with us, that we will insult somebody else, some ethnic minority in this country, some dual
citizen, some "something" hyphenated American or something that will offend them. Well, I would suggest that we should not worry about that kind of
offense; we should talk about it because it is meaningful in this country. It is important to understand what is happening here.
I want to go back for a moment to what I was talking about in terms of the difference that is occurring and the whole concept of what it means to be an
American, how that is fading away, how difficult it is now to actually define this idea, this "concept America."
When I was a child, when I was growing up in Denver, Colorado, and attending St. Catherine's Elementary School and, later on, Holy Family High School,
I was taught about my heritage, who I was, and what my history was; and if someone would have asked me then, if someone asked me now, what is my
heritage, I would say it is American. Who are my heroes? Who do I look to in my history and the history of who I consider myself to be from a heritage
standpoint? I would say Jefferson and Lincoln and Washington and Adams, because I connected directly to that, even though I am a relative newcomer to this
land. My ancestors did not come here on the Mayflower. But I connected to America, because that is what I was taught. I was taught by my parents, I was
taught by my school that that was my heritage; that I was here now, and that this was the American ideal to which I was to aspire. And I did.
I would challenge people today to go out and ask a child, ask a student, almost any school in America what it means to be an American. Define that term:
American. And I think many people would have, many students would have a very difficult time in doing that today. They have been told, frankly, that it is not
a very good term, that it really does not, and it should not be used to signify something select and different and unique, distinct.
Not long after 9-11, the National Education Association put out a list of suggestions for teachers and for parents as to how they should address the issue of the
attack on the United States on September 11. In not one word of about a 3- or 4-page little program that they distributed did they talk about the uniqueness of
America, the importance of defending this Nation. The entire little descriptor was to tell people, tell parents and tell children that they should not think about
these people who attacked our country in negative ways; I should say, they should not use the attack to cast aspersions on any group or any organization, and
that there are many bad things in America that we have done, and that maybe we even actually sort of brought this on ourselves. Well, an ex-President of this
country, and I am feeling a great deal of comfort in actually saying ex-President, for me anyway, Bill Clinton, was speaking at a university, I think it was
Georgetown, and he said essentially the same thing. He said that the reason why we were attacked is because of slavery and the way we treated the Indians. I
mean, this is the most incredible stuff. But this is what we are teaching our children about America.
Now, this is, I think, dangerous stuff. It is reflected in other ways. It is reflected in other ways. I look at the way in which the media has portrayed, for the
most part, I guess, I should say the media, a large part of the media has portrayed the conflict in Iraq. I could not help noticing, I was in Europe last week, or
the week before last, and I was watching, I think it was CNN International, and it was fascinating because they could not report a single story without some sort
of twist they could add to it that they could characterize as anti-American. Every single event in Iraq, no matter how difficult it was to describe in this context,
they managed to do it.
They are not unique in that. I think many, many aspects of the American media one could describe as being overly sensitive to the other side's attitudes,
opinions, and ideas, overly critical to American interests. And this is what I am talking about. We cannot even report stories factually anymore. We have to
couch everything in this sort of multiculturalist light so that no one might come to the conclusion that there is anything better about, let us say, the United States
and Western Civilization than any other civilization or country. And that is why it was so hard for many members of the media to really analyze this issue
objectively and report it objectively. They are stuck in this multicultural miasma. And they are, of course, helping to expand and to incorporate that kind of
thinking into American schools and American thought.
I realize I am walking into somewhat uncharted waters here, and I want to make some very important distinctions. When I talk about multiculturalism and the
problems I see in it, I am not talking about cultural diversity that brings into our society the music, the poetry, the art, dance from different cultures of all
continents of the globe. Certainly our Nation has been enriched and continues to be enriched by these contributions. I am not talking about people of other
nations bringing their language, religion, continuing to practice their religion in our free society. The freedom of religion is, of course, one of the most cherished
liberties we have and must remain so. I am not talking about new immigrants who continue to speak their native language in their homes and want to pass it on
to their children as part of their biethnic heritage. What I am talking about is the current politically motivated drive to enshrine, enshrine diversity as a goal that
requires and demands a change in our fundamental values governing our civic institutions.
What the advocates of this new diversity seek is a kind of reverse assimilation who want American society to assimilate and adapt to the values of other
cultures. An example of this political drive is to establish bilingualism as a national standard for official business in government operations and commercial life.
Previous generations of immigrants expected that their children would learn English. As I mentioned, my grandparents demanded of my parents and of us,
demanded that we learn it as quickly as possible. Only in the recent past have we seen a political movement that seeks to perpetuate a parallel culture that does
not speak English and thus cannot participate fully in the mainstream of American life. There are schools in States throughout this Nation, in cities throughout
the country, where children can actually spend years and, for a while, one could actually go 12 years to a Denver public school and never be taught in English.
I believe that the demand and push for manufactured diversity in every facet of our lives has a political motivation. Its purpose has nothing to do with toleration of other cultures. Our Nation has historically been the most accepting,
most tolerant people on Earth; and this has not changed, nor should it. But Americans could and did accept millions of immigrants from diverse cultures
precisely because we had a set of institutions and a set of civic values that all of the new immigrants were expected to adopt. In doing so, immigrants did not
give up their language, their music, their religion. They became Americans in certain essential ways that allowed them to assimilate into American life and enjoy
the benefits of liberty. I am gravely concerned that our recent and current immigration is not of the same character as our historic immigration and that the impact
and effect will be to weaken our civic culture and our political institutions that guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I will give a concrete example of this changed character of our recent immigration and especially the impact that can be expected from granting amnesty and
citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.
I speak now of the matter of a divided loyalty and a growing acceptance, as I mentioned earlier, of this dual citizenship. Do Members think it is a mere
accident or happenstance that the oath of allegiance taken by every one of the tens of millions of naturalized American citizens who had passed through Ellis
Island over the last 150 years contains the words "I hereby renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, State, or sovereignty
of which I have heretofore been the subject or citizen"? These words explicitly and unabashedly require new citizens to give up any loyalty to the foreign
I have oftentimes, perhaps not so often, but I have certainly spoken to immigrant groups coming into this country. I have gone to citizenship ceremonies
where people take the oath of office, new immigrants to the United States.
I have gone there and said to them, first of all, I want to tell you welcome to the United States. Secondly, I want to tell you, thank you for doing it the right
way. Thank you for coming here, working through the process and doing it legally. I also want to tell you how important it is to now adopt a new life around a
set of ideals that we can share, that we have in common.
I want to encourage that. I do try my best to encourage that. I say this because I want to reemphasize the fact that I am not opposed to immigration, but I
certainly believe that it is in desperate need of reform.
I think another way to describe what is happening, besides using the word "multiculturalism" is to talk about the people who have developed what is called a
cult of ethnicity. It challenges the idea of what it means to be an American.
There are major implications to this phenomenon. I have talked about, to a certain extent, the problems we have when we do not encourage people,
Americans, especially our children, to understand and to believe that there is something unique about America worthy of their allegiance; not to be chauvinistic,
necessarily, but to simply understand the basic reality of the situation.
That is this, that western civilization has provided the world, certainly America, with the infrastructure that has enabled us to actually grow the greatest, I
think, civilization on Earth. Now, that is a personal observation; but I think it is empirically provable, also, that there is something better about what we have.
I am proud of what we have. I am proud of being a product of western civilization. I am proud of the infrastructure. I am proud of the principles that we
embody in this organization we call the Congress of the United States. I am proud that we have an adherence to the rule of law. I am proud that we believe in
and strongly defend the right to pursue our own religion, to speak openly about our feelings about government.
All of these things really are an aspect of and a product of western civilization, and they are worthy of our allegiance and worthy of things we should tell our
children about, and that we should encourage them. If we do not, we will find ourselves lacking in a number of ways. We especially will find ourselves in a
dangerous situation when this civilization is, in fact, threatened, as I believe it is today.
Now, this gets me into an even more, I guess, controversial arena than what I have spoken of up to this point, if that is even possible. I believe that what we
are witnessing throughout the world is, indeed, a clash of civilizations, and I believe western civilization is threatened.
I think the major threat today comes from something that we can refer to as radical Islam; not the religion of Islam, but it is the religion married to a political
philosophy that says that all other people on the Earth have to be annihilated, abolished, eliminated.
Now, this is a clash that we have seen actually for centuries. It is not new, this confrontation. This conflict has been going on, as I say, for centuries. It peaks;
it goes down. There are times of a great deal of activity, and times when there is not a lot of activity around this thing. But it has been going on for a long time,
and it goes on even today.
It is important to understand this, because what it means is this: that it must be fought. If we are going to defend western civilization, it has to be fought with
force of arms, as we have witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also has to be fought in the world of ideas. It has to be fought with ideas.
Western civilization rests upon certain ideas and ideals. They, in fact, need to be taught to children and to adults.
I was a teacher. I taught for 8 years in the Jefferson County public schools. I taught civics. I will tell the Members that very, very few children ever come to
school with an innate appreciation of certain things like art, music. They need to be taught. They do not just wander in the door thinking, you know, I just feel
something really good about Mozart or about Picasso. We have to teach children. We have to teach people about the value of these things to get them to
appreciate them, more often than not. Some people may have that gift, but most of us do not.
Likewise, children do not come to school with an innate appreciation for western civilization or what it means to be an American. They have to be taught.
When we abandon that and we offer it up on the altar of multiculturalism, we risk a great deal; especially when, as I say, there is the threat to the system.
Now, anybody can feel sort of a visceral response to somebody driving a plane into a building and killing 3,000 of our citizens; driving a plane into the
Pentagon and killing a couple hundred of our fellow citizens there; crashing a plane into Pennsylvania that was destined for this spot.
Anybody can get a visceral reaction to that and say, yes, I want to confront that and punish whoever did that. That is fine. It is fine if, in fact, that conflict only
lasts a short time, and that we identify the culprit and we take care of business.
But unless Americans understand that this is a long-term prospect, that this is a long-term conflict; and that it is not just with a segmented chunk of society. It
is not just with a group we call al Qaeda or a group we call the Taliban or an individual we call Osama bin Laden, or another individual that we call Saddam
Unless we realize that it is something broader than that, something bigger than that with which we are in conflict, Americans will lose heart for this conflict
because they do not connect it to anything bigger than an attack on the Pentagon, an attack on the World Trade Towers.
This is why I say that this is an important issue for us to discuss as Americans, and understand that there are cultural ramifications to massive immigration
when it connects with this rabid, bizarre multiculturalist philosophy which permeates America.
There was a book written not too long ago by Arthur Schlessinger, Jr., certainly someone that I would not have thought before I would have found myself
having a common ground with, but he wrote a book called "The Disuniting of America." I have liberally excerpted from it for tonight's discussion.
He says, "The historic idea of a unifying American identity is now in peril in many arenas: in our politics, our voluntary organizations, our churches, our language."
What this esteemed historian saw as peril in 1991 is even more evident today in confronting the question we are, in fact, confronting, the most fundamental
question a nation can consider as a matter of national choice and deliberation: what is America? What is America?
This question is not one that has been created by illegal immigration. We would confront this question sooner or later, even without massive illegal
immigration into the country. Nor is the question now more urgent because the levels of legal immigration has far surpassed historic levels. The additional
numbers of immigrants brought to America by our immigrant policies no doubt exacerbate the problem of national identity, but they have not created the
What has created the problem is the influential ideology of multiculturalism discussed so eloquently by Arthur Schlessinger and accurately described by him as deeply hostile to our historic ideas of assimilation.
Now, remember, Mr. Schlessinger is not a conservative. He is not or he cannot by anybody, I think, be called names like ethnocentric or any of the other
epithets that are thrown at people who suggest that there is a problem with multiculturalism. He has lifelong liberal credentials and is a liberal scholar.
On July 4, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson spoke in Philadelphia at a mass naturalization ceremony. On that day, at the President's behest, all members of
the cabinet and other prominent members of our society spoke at naturalization ceremonies across the Nation.
As we all know, President Wilson was an idealist in matters of world politics and a liberal reformer in domestic policy. But on that day in 1915, he spoke for
all Americans when he told the new citizens assembled to take their oath of citizenship:
"I certainly would not be the one even to suggest that a man cease to love the home of his birth and the Nation of his origin. These things are very sacred and
ought not to be put out of our hearts. But it is one thing to love the place where you were born, and it is another to dedicate yourself to the place to which you
go. You cannot dedicate yourself to America unless you become in every respect and with every purpose of your will thoroughly Americans. You cannot
become thoroughly Americans if you think of yourself in groups. A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not
yet become an American, and a man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is not worthy to live under the Stars and Stripes."
I firmly believe that we desperately need to reaffirm the principles of citizenship and of American identity if we are to survive as a free people in the 21st
century. I believe this is not just a fear of immigration. As a son of immigrants, I welcome and support immigration.
What worries me is that the nation our new immigrants seek to find at the end of their journey may not be the nation of their dreams and grand ambitions. If
we are to remain true to our history, we must also remain true to our destiny. It is not that of a vague and confusing collection of ethnic groups or religious
sects; our destiny is to continue as the land of freedom and opportunity, a beacon of hope for all the world's oppressed.
To succeed and find that destiny, we must renew the bonds of citizenship and the values and institutions that nourish and sustain those bonds. This ideology
of multiculturalism does not understand this. In fact, that movement is at war with the very idea of America as it was understood for 200 years.
But most Americans do understand it and do want to strengthen it; at least I hope that is true. With the help of the good people of this Nation, we will prevail.
But we will not prevail unless we are willing to at least confront this issue, no matter how uncomfortable it is for us to talk about, no matter how challenging it
It is undeniable that massive immigration combined with a multiculturalism philosophy in this country has ramifications. Some here, some throughout
the country, may believe those ramifications are positive; I believe that, for the most part, they are negative.
I believe that the leadership of this Nation must begin a discussion with America. When I say leadership, I mean it in the way of renewing a commitment to the
idea of America on the part of all the people who come here and on the part of all the people who are here. Is Western Civilization, as epitomized by the
American experience, is it worth saving? This is the question we must pose. And in order for anybody to answer it accurately, they have to have all information
available to them.
We have to teach children about its value along with its warts. It is important that we do not gloss over the inequity, that we do not discard as part of our text
any discussion of slavery or any of the issues that we know to be negative in our history. They have to be discussed and understood in order to be overcome.
But why is it not equally as important to discuss the factual positive elements of Western Civilization and what it has brought to the world? Why is that so scary
to the academic community, to the media, and to the pop culture? Why is it so comfortable for members of the pop culture, the people in television and in
movies to stand up and criticize, only to criticize, what it is to be American when they reap so many of the benefits of Western Civilization themselves? How
hypocritical it is for them to do so. But how comfortable it is for them to do so. How easy it is for them to do so.
Is it not intriguing that if anyone were to stand up, especially in the world of Hollywood and such, how difficult it is for anybody to stand up and be patriotic
Americans, say things that reflect a true love of the country? I mean, this was not always the way. In the 1940s and the Second World War, Hollywood was
looked at as a bastion of patriotism. The movies they put out were patriotic in nature, and it was not looked down upon to express those feelings.
Something has changed dramatically, and now people who do, people who exist in that medium are afraid to actually express those sentiments for fear they
will be shunned by their peers. What has happened that has allowed this to occur? Well, I suggest to you that it is time to regenerate a discussion of American
principles and ideas; to make everybody, our children and adults, understand the importance of those ideas and ideals; to expect from immigrants coming to this
country that they want to be Americans, and to come here for any other reason is not acceptable. To come here simply to achieve economic goals, but to hold
allegiance to other countries both politically, ethnically, and linguistically is not acceptable. It is not acceptable because it will sap the strength of America. It will
sap our ability to be successful in the clash of civilizations. It will lead to our demise. And that is why I take to the floor as often as I do to talk about this issue,
It is far, far more significant than just the issue of jobs or low-skilled, low-wage people who have to come to the country and we have to build highways and
we have to build schools. And all of those things are true and all of the problems we have with population increases that are as a result of massive immigration,
those things are real and they have to be dealt with. But it is even more important than that; it is far more important than that. It is far more important than that. It
goes to our very existence.
Massive immigration in this country will determine not just what kind of a Nation we will be, but whether we will be a Nation at all.