[Congressional Record Volume 165, Number 6 (Friday, January 11, 2019)]
[Pages H512-H517]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           ISSUES OF THE DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2019, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gohmert) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. 

                        Clarification of Remarks

  Mr. KING of Iowa. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas for 
yielding to me here this afternoon.
  I come to the floor here of the United States House of 
Representatives with a specific purpose today, and that is to address 
an issue that has become a controversy.
  I regret that I made a freshman mistake a week ago today when I took 
a call from a reporter from the New York Times, and that was a 56-
minute interview, without a tape, that resulted in a long article. In 
that article were snippets of the 56-minute interview.
  Part of that inquiry was about the history of immigration policy in 
this country for over the last, say, 18 or so years, of which I have 
been a significant part, especially in Iowa, as we have a voice to 
shape policy and help these presidential candidates move on to the Oval 
  I am grateful that much of the policy that was debated then is in the 
Oval Office today, and it is being debated all over this country. But 
one phrase in that long article has created an unnecessary controversy.
  That was my mistake, Mr. Speaker, so I want to start this out with 
some context of that discussion, and that is this: That if you can 
control the language, you can control the policy.
  Labels have been hurled in this country at people like we have never 
seen in this history of America. I made a point of this in a September 
12 tweet that I sent out as a component of this broader dialogue, and 
here is the tweet, verbatim, Mr. Speaker:
  The word ``Nazi'' is injected into leftist talking points because the 
worn out and exhausted word ``racist'' is overused and applied to 
nearly everyone.

                              {time}  1330

  That is the foundation for at least part of that discussion with a 
New York Times reporter, Mr. Speaker.
  In that also was discussion of other terms that had been used, almost 
always unjustly labeling otherwise innocent people the word ``racist,'' 
the word ``Nazi,'' the word ``fascist,'' the phrase ``white 
nationalist,'' the phrase ``white supremacist.''
  They even are derogatory toward Western civilization, which is the 
foundation for the American civilization, and we are today the 
  At this point, I will read the quote that had brought about this 
controversy, Mr. Speaker, and this is from The New York Times article 
titled: ``Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and 
Anti-Immigrant Politics,'' which, by the way, is a bit pejorative, 
because I have never been anti-immigrant. I have been anti-illegal 
immigrant, and I remain that way.
  But here is the quote. It says: `` `White nationalist, white 
supremacist' ''--and this is from me, by the way, Mr. Speaker--`` 
`White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization--how did 
that language become offensive?,' Mr. King said. `Why did I sit in 
classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our 
civilization?' ''
  That is off of this article, and that is the substance of this 
heartburn that seems to be churning across the media in America today.
  So I look at that and I think, well, what was that conversation? It 
was about how those words got plugged into our dialogue, not when the 
words became offensive, which is what the technical interpretation of 
this is. How did that language become offensive?
  It is, how did that offensive language get injected into our 
political dialogue? Who does that? How does it get done? How do they 
get by with laying labels like this on people?
  When I asked the question, ``Why did I sit in classes teaching me 
about the merits of our history and our civilization?'' that response 
was strictly for: Why did I sit in Western civilization classes to hear 
about the merits of our history?
  I have never sat in a class at any time and heard any merits about 
any of those other names, including I have never heard a merit about 
``racist.'' I have never heard a merit about ``Nazi'' or ``Fascist'' or 
``white nationalist'' or ``white supremacist,'' but Western 
civilization has merit, and I remain a defender.
  So I put together a statement, which is public, and I choose to read 
it into the Record now, Mr. Speaker, and it is this:
  ``Today, the New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for 
white nationalism and white supremacy. I want to make one thing 
abundantly clear: I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they 
define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted 
ideology, which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 
6 million innocent Jewish lives.
  ``It's true that, like the Founding Fathers, I am an advocate for 
Western civilization's values and that I profoundly believe that 
America is the greatest tangible expression of these ideals the world 
has ever seen. Under any fair political definition, I am simply an 
American nationalist. America's values are expressed in our founding 
documents. They are attainable by everyone, and we take pride that 
people of all races, religions, and creeds from around the globe aspire 
to achieve them. I am dedicated to keeping America this way.
  ``This conviction does not make me a white nationalist or a white 
supremacist. Once again, I reject those labels and the ideology that 
they define. As I told the New York Times, `It's not about race. It's 
never been about race.' One of my most strongly held beliefs is that we 
are all created in God's image and that human life is sacred in all its 
  All of my life's work, all of my public record, all of my bills, all 
of my votes, all of my activities support that statement that human 
life is sacred in all of its forms and that we are created in God's 
  So, Mr. Speaker, I regret the heartburn that has poured forth upon 
this Congress and upon this country, and especially in my State and in 
my congressional district. But the people who know me know I wouldn't 
have to even make this statement, because they do know me. They know my 
life. They know my history. They know that I have lived in the same 
place since 1978. There is nothing about my family or my history or my 
neighborhood that would suggest that these false allegations could be 
supported by any activity whatsoever.
  I reject that ideology. I defend American civilization, which is an 
essential component of Western civilization.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas again for the 
opportunity to address you here on the floor of the United States House 
of Representatives.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the gentleman from Iowa, 
for his comments. I have traveled with him, been to different parts of 
the country and different parts of the world with my friend, Mr. King 
from Iowa. I have seen him dealing with different races, nationalities 
around the world. And I have had a lot of private conversations and 
never seen anything that indicated anything but condemnation for white 
  But he is a proud American. He is an American; he is very proud of 
it. And he is proud to carry the moniker of being an American in any 
situation, and I would contend that is not a bad thing.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the speeches on the floor here 
this week. There has been a great deal of righteous indignation and 
constant condemnation for a shutdown. It is deeply troubling. There are 
some people working who are not getting paid. I would like to see that 
  But President Trump got his answer this week when he continued to try 
to compromise with Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, trying to get a 
  I was delighted to hear Majority Leader Hoyer mention that we have to 
have compromise. It is how things are

[[Page H513]]

supposed to work. I agree with the tone o that comment, but it is not a 
compromise to say I will give you a dollar for the border wall when it 
is such a serious matter, and especially when we have a history of 
people making comments on the Democratic side as well as the Republican 
side about the need for border security, the need for either a wall, a 
barrier, a fence, but tough, tight border security for the country, 
which is the most generous country, not only philanthropically. There 
has never been a country that has given more, done more, without any 
request in return, but just out of the goodness of Americans' hearts, 
for other parts of the world. We do that. We care deeply.

  But the only way you can have people who are giving and who have 
money to share and spare is if we have a vibrant economy here. 
Otherwise, America continued the move we saw during the last 
administration where the middle class kept shrinking, the poor got much 
bigger, and the rich, well, it is easiest to put it this way: We have 
never had a time in the United States history, never, when the policies 
of an administration would have the effect that the Obama 
administration had.
  Here is what President Obama acknowledged: For the first time in 
American history, 95 percent of American income went to the top 1 
  But that is what happens as you move more and more toward a socialist 
form of government. You will have the rich ruling class, virtually no 
middle class, and then you have everybody equal in the poor ruled 
  That is where socialism goes, and that is where this country has been 
heading as young people have been miseducated and not been informed 
that socialism has never worked. It will never work. It always leads to 
totalitarianism. You can't have socialism without totalitarianism.
  One might ask, why do we have so many billionaires supporting 
socialism, the Democratic cause, the progressivism, as they call it? 
Well, it is because they see themselves being in the rich ruling class 
once they get rid of the middle class. It helps to get rid of the 
middle class if you keep bringing illegal immigrants into the country 
so they take the jobs of Americans. But never forget the cost of that.
  Here are some quotes:
  ``Well, look, I voted numerous times when I was a Senator to spend 
money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from 
coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.'' That was 
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
  She was asked: ``Would you commit tonight that you would finish the 
fence and speed up the construction?''
  And she said: ``Both Senator Obama and I voted for that as part of 
the immigration debate . . . . We were voting for the possibility that, 
where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered.''
  So she was watering it down already a little bit from where she had 
been before.
  But Senator Barack Obama said: ``We fail to protect our Nation if we 
do not regain control over our immigration system immediately.''
  It is really heartbreaking to hear people that I like condemn as 
hateful and immoral a wall like they have around their house. The walls 
of the houses themselves show that wall works. The fact that so many 
people in this body at night, the last thing they do, they make sure 
all the doors are locked. It didn't used to be that way.
  If you are in a gated community and you have really tight security in 
your gated community, you may not need to lock your doors. You may feel 
safe enough without that. But most will secure their doors, not because 
a burglar can't break through and get into their home, but because 
walls work. They are secure in slowing down people who would be 
trespassers, burglars, long enough, hopefully, for either the police to 
arrive or for the homeowner to be prepared for the burglar coming in. 
That is the hope.
  I mean, that is why people don't just have a roof. They have walls 
around their home. People that they don't want to come in and interrupt 
their families don't come unless they are invited. That is the way the 
immigration system works.
  So I would encourage all my friends who say walls don't work, go home 
this weekend and get a contractor to destroy your outer walls. If you 
have a wall or fence around your home, you have a gated community, tell 
them, demand, that the walls, the gates, they all be destroyed and say: 
``Walls don't work. I have been saying it over and over on the House 
floor and in the media, CNN, MSNBC, `Walls don't work,' so I am going 
to eliminate the hypocrisy that some could see in my life. I am going 
to eliminate the outer wall of my home, because walls don't work. I am 
not going to have a door anymore, no walls, because walls don't work.''
  That is what needs to happen this weekend to avoid--some people I 
really care deeply about, I don't want them to look like hypocrites. I 
want them to look fine and upstanding, but you have to eliminate the 
walls of your house, because walls don't work, according to you.
  The righteous indignation that we have heard this week and in prior 
weeks about the shutdown, I want to put the focus on people who are 
working right now and who may not get their next paycheck if Speaker 
Pelosi and Schumer do not at least agree to some compromise, something, 
not continue to say no to a wall, no to a barrier.
  Then when he says: Okay, I will compromise. It won't be concrete. It 
will be steel. There is a compromise.
  They said: Oh, now we see you don't have a definite plan.
  Well, yeah. He is trying to compromise with people who disagree with 
him. Fine, but if you are going to compromise, you are going to do it 
with the President: Okay, I will compromise. We will make it a steel 
  Okay, we will compromise, and we will have barriers.
  Let's work it out, what we will have.

                              {time}  1345

  Oh, see, they say: He doesn't have a plan. We need to see exactly 
what his plan is.
  Oh, he has got a plan, but you said under no circumstances would you 
agree. He has been compromising. That is what it is called. That is 
what he is trying to do. And that is what we have been wanting to do 
here in the House. Let's have a compromise. But don't say under no 
circumstances will you ever agree to any kind of wall, fence, barrier 
and then say: There is our compromise. That is not a compromise.
  And if people would just go back and look at what they have said in 
the past, it will be much easier for them to reach this compromise: Oh, 
I forgot I said that. I did.
  And I know they wouldn't have said it in prior years if they hadn't 
meant it.
  Now, some of my friends across the aisle are saying, well, we don't 
need a wall. We need a virtual wall: the drones, the cameras, and that 
kind of thing. Well, you also do need a barrier or those things don't 
  And, in fact, under the prior administration that had, as I recall, 
about $8 billion to create a virtual wall in support of securing our 
border, there was one little out that they had to avoid doing any of 
that, and that was if the administration declared virtual walls 
wouldn't work, the technology wouldn't work. And that is what Secretary 
Napolitano did.
  I can't find out what they did with the $8 billion in the prior 
administration since they didn't spend it on the drones and the 
technology, but they declared, in the prior administration, that that 
kind of thing doesn't work, and so they weren't going to spend money on 
  Now they come back some years later and say: Well, do you know what? 
We think we were wrong before. Those kind of things do work. The 
technology, that is what we need.
  Why they are saying that now, when they disagreed some years back, is 
because President Trump, who creates PTSD--President Trump stress 
disorder. They are suffering from the PTSD, the President Trump stress 
disorder. And now, in that condition, they are saying: It doesn't 
matter what he wants. We are not agreeing to anything he wants, period. 
He has to have total capitulation, and that is our offered compromise.
  Going back just a little bit again, you had this comment: ``When I 
see Mexican flags waved at pro-immigration demonstrations, I sometimes 

[[Page H514]]

a flush of patriotic resentment. When I'm forced to use a translator to 
communicate with a guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.''
  My friends may recognize the name. That was Senator Barack Obama.
  You have another here: ``The American people are fundamentally pro-
legal immigration. . . . ''
  And put me in that category, too.
  But he said: ``The American people are fundamentally pro-legal 
immigration and anti-illegal immigration. We will only pass 
comprehensive reform when we recognize this fundamental concept. . . . 
First, illegal immigration is wrong, and a primary goal of 
comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future 
illegal immigration.''
  That is what President Trump is trying to do. That is what we are 
trying to do.
  By the way, that was Senator Schumer who said that.
  We had a President that recently said: ``I'll tell you what we can't 
have; it's these parents sending their kids here on a dangerous journey 
and putting their lives at risk.''
  That was President Barack Obama in 2015.
  I have several pages of quotes from Democratic friends who have been 
supportive in the past of what we are asking for now. Let's not play 
politics with this. Let's just help the American people.
  I got a great quote from President Clinton in his State of the Union 
back in 1995, when he felt like the Republicans do now.
  Here is a good quote: ``It's a competition for space.''
  I don't buy that, but this is what was said by a Democrat: ``It's a 
competition for space. Whether the space is a job, the space is a home, 
a place in a classroom, it becomes a competition for space. This is a 
country that's based on immigration. And we all know that. . . . And 
yet, at times you become so overtaxed you have to concentrate on 
saying, `The people who should be here are those who come legally at 
this time.' And we've got to, for the time being, enforce our 
  That was a well-educated Senator named Dianne Feinstein on a visit to 
the border. And, yes, it was some years back.
  And again, I have got lots of these quotes. Here is one.
  ``Do we have a commitment to secure the border? Yes. What are the 
options that we have available to us; let's make sure they work. . . . 
Because we do need to address the issue of immigration and the 
challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly 
do not want any more coming in.''
  And I agree with Speaker Pelosi when she said that previously in the 
last Democratic majority. That was made in 2008. That helped the 
Democrats keep the majority for a second term.
  And now, I think, to put the needs of the American people behind the 
desires of people who want to come in illegally is a big mistake. You 
will erode and destroy this country's ability to be the most 
philanthropic, to be a country that every year produces cleaner air or 
cleaner water, like Texas has. You erode that ability. Because when 
people are struggling financially, the thoughts of a cleaner 
environment and helping others fall behind the desires of just making 
enough to feed their family. We have seen it throughout history. It is 
important to secure our border.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my friend from Florida (Mr. Yoho), a real 
patriot. I don't believe he minds being called a patriot.
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas for yielding, 
who is a great friend of mine.
  I think the pictures you have up there speak a loud picture of the 
other side of the 21-day shutdown, of what is really going on.
  Yesterday and today, we have heard a lot from our Democratic 
colleagues about what 20 days was, what 21 days was. And, yes, there 
are people who have been furloughed; and, yes, it is tragic for them if 
they can't pay their bills. But we know this is a temporary 
  We passed a bill today, in this Chamber, that will be signed into law 
that these people will be made whole. So it is a temporary 
inconvenience, and we don't like it. Neither side likes this.
  But when you look at the cause of this, when we go back to the cause 
of this--and we saw that meeting in the White House with Chuck Schumer, 
Nancy Pelosi, and President Trump. After that, there was a press 
conference where she said not one penny will go to a wall.
  As you have illustrated so eloquently, how many times have 
President--or Senator Obama at the time, Senator Feinstein, Senator 
Schumer, and Ms. Pelosi supported a wall, border security, and the 
hypocrisy that it is okay then but it is not okay now because they want 
to label it ``Trump's wall.''
  What this President is trying to do is fulfill all of our obligations 
to the Constitution, to uphold the Constitution from foreign and 
domestic enemies.
  Border security is something we all do, border security at our homes. 
I imagine 90 percent of Americans lock their doors at night because of 
security to protect their families. Mayors and police chiefs of towns 
protect their citizens. That is their job.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Do they secure their doors and secure their cities 
because they hate people who are not part of their home or their city?
  Mr. YOHO. No, not at all. They do it because they want to protect the 
people whom they have been tasked to do. That is all we are asking for 
here is border security.
  So 21 days ago the government shut down, a partial shutdown: 76 to 80 
percent of the government is funded. There is a small portion that is 
not funded.
  And again, I feel bad for the people who have been furloughed, but 
today, the legislation passed, as I said, where they are going to be 
made whole.
  Since 21 days ago, the government has been shut down, making this the 
longest--or we are tying the previous record for the longest shutdown 
in U.S. history?
  Why has it been this long? Because the Democrats refuse to come to 
the table and negotiate a solution.
  When you have two sides, where one is willing to work and compromise 
and the other one says not one penny, you are not even at a starting 
point to compromise. Instead, they would rather bring up messaging 
bills that don't fund the vital programs. Also, that they can say: We 
didn't support President Trump's border security.
  This is hatred at the highest level, yet they talk about tolerance 
and all this other stuff. They have such a disdain for this President. 
And again, all he is trying to do is secure this Nation.
  Well, let's take a look at the last 21 days; on the other side, as 
you have brought up here, 21 days.
  On average, 2,000 inadmissible migrants arrive at our southern border 
daily. This means that in the last 21 days, without a secure border, 
approximately 42,000 migrants have sought illegal entry at our border 
without going through the proper channels.
  If they come through the proper channels, as you said, we allow over 
a million people in this country, to immigrate here. We have proper 
channels for people to come through. But over 42,000 immigrants have 
sought illegal entry at our border without going through the proper 
  Additionally, in December, 27,518 family unit aliens were apprehended 
for crossing the border illegally. If those numbers remain consistent, 
that means over 18,000 family unit aliens have been apprehended for 
illegal crossings in the last 21 days.
  In fiscal year 2018, 2,028 illegal aliens arrested had homicide 
charges already. If this number remains consistent, that is 115 
homicide charges for illegal aliens in the last 21 days.
  Further, on an average, 300 Americans die per week from heroin. 
Ninety percent of all the heroin in the U.S., and marijuana and 
cocaine, 90 percent of that comes from our southern border.
  Secure the border, Ms. Pelosi.
  That means that in the last 21 days, if we have 300 dying a week--21 
days is 3 weeks--that means at least 900 Americans have died because of 
heroin illegally crossing our border.
  Secure the border, Ms. Pelosi.
  This doesn't even include the amount of fentanyl that crossed our 
southern border in 2017, which the amount that has come in is enough to 
kill every single American via overdoses.
  If you talk to the Democrats, they will tell you that $5.7 billion is 

[[Page H515]]

much to pay for protection at our southern border. But what they won't 
tell you is how much more it costs the Federal Government and Americans 
by not securing our borders.
  And again, we want to be sensitive to the people who have been 
furloughed. As I said, and I know I am going to take some heat for 
this, it is a temporary inconvenience. But for these people that you 
have on this picture, for the countless other people we can talk 
about--Kate Steinle in San Francisco, Mollie Tibbetts, Peter Hacking--
all were killed by illegal Mexicans who have come into this country, 
and I find this very egregious.

                              {time}  1400

  Peter Hacking, a father of nine, a blended family, had been married 
to his wife approximately a year. He and two of his children were 
killed by a Mexican that came into this country illegally. That person 
that killed these people, a person who should not have been in this 
country, got 2 years in prison. It is a sham that the Democrats want to 
use politics to say this is not about security of this Nation. Ask 
those people.
  For the people who have been furloughed, it is a temporary 
inconvenience. They are going to be made whole. But for these people, 
it is a permanent damage, not just to their families, but to their 
communities and to this Nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me, and I will be 
here if he needs me to weigh back in.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida. We have 
been friends for a long time, and I know how deeply my friend, 
Representative Yoho, cares about this country and about the people who 
are under our charge.
  This poster has some more recent folks. You have heard about Officer 
Singh, who was recently killed by a person illegally in the country. 
That is the charge. Pierce Corcoran, 22 years old, and I was hearing 
his parents talk about him yesterday; Justin James Dennis Lee, 14 years 
old, a cute kid; Steven Marler, his family would love to have him back. 
Some of these were not intentional murders. Some of these were 
accidents, some by drunk drivers, and some by negligent homicide, but 
they killed Americans.
  Grayson Hacking, she was 22 months old. It is a little harder. Ellie 
Jean Bryant reminds me of one of mine, killed when she was 4 years old; 
Blake Michael Zieto, he was 20; Chrishia Odette, 13; Rocky Jones, 51.
  Now, Dominic Durden's mother is a friend of mine, and I know how she 
has suffered--she is a single mom--at the loss of Dominic. He sounds 
like he was an absolutely awesome young man. Then there is Shayley 
Estes and Grant Ronnebeck. He was 21.
  I got to see a little bit of my friend Sean Hannity's show last night 
and I saw these names scrolling, and I was going: Oh, my gosh. Look at 
those names. And there is a website his producer, Linda, directed me to 
that they were using that has lists of names. There are three columns, 
in case someone can't see, three columns of names.
  This isn't everybody that has been killed by illegal immigrants. So 
knowing people who have lost family members to illegal immigrant 
homicides, it is difficult to absorb the pious, righteous indignation 
that we have sometimes heard here on the House floor about the 
shutdown. It sounds like callousness on this floor, potential 
callousness to the murders and the deaths of so many Americans that 
would not have happened if Congress had done its job.
  And it breaks my heart to think of the murders and the homicides, 
negligent homicides and otherwise, that will occur if we continue to 
fail to do our job, which is, I would submit, a part of our oath.
  Our oath is not to protect and defend people who want to break into 
this country illegally. That is not the people for whom and to whom we 
took an oath.
  I have heard from teachers who were saying: My heart breaks for these 
groups of kids that are thrown into our classrooms that don't speak 
English. But my heart also breaks for the American citizens and legal 
residents who are not getting the education anymore that they would 
have gotten had we not had so many illegal immigrants thrown into the 
classroom. We can't take care of both. We can't teach them both because 
if we try to concentrate on the people who don't speak English that are 
illegally here--and I am hearing from teachers saying, we are getting 
them constantly.
  We are getting more people, and we are not prejudiced against 
anybody, but we can't teach them and the students who are legally here 
because they can't learn at the same level. So what happens? The 
American citizens, the legal residents, people who are legally here, 
they are not getting the education that they would get otherwise.
  I would just submit, before I yield again to my friend from Florida, 
this is a compassionate country. It is one of the things I am proud 
about. But I ask the question, Mr. Speaker: What is more compassionate? 
Is it to allow people to flood into America illegally when we know 37 
percent of the girls are being sexually assaulted, normally multiple 
times; 17 percent of the young boys are being sexually molested on the 
way, as they are drawn toward the United States to come in illegally; 
and every day another girl is pulled into sex trafficking that would 
not be if our border weren't so porous.
  Is that compassionate or is it more compassionate, looking at the 
situation--and I love Mexico. They have got some of the most beautiful 
places in the world. My wife and I honeymooned there 40 years ago and 
we loved it. I got certified in an hour to scuba dive. It was a great 
certification process, and I loved scuba diving. It was just beautiful. 
They have got incredible beauty in Mexico and in Central America.
  They have more natural resources than most countries in the world. 
They have got actually a better location in Mexico and Central America 
for commerce than North America does. They are between two continents, 
two oceans. They ought to be one of the very top economies in the 
world. There is one reason they are not, and that is the corruption.
  Where does the corruption come from? It comes from the tens of 
billions of dollars that Americans pour into the drug cartels. Because 
they are getting money for people coming up here from human 
trafficking; they are getting money from sex trafficking; they are 
getting money from the drug trafficking that is going on in the U.S., 
and it is funding corruption.
  We have got places where the police won't step up because they know 
they will get killed like the last ones that stepped up. It ought to be 
a top economy in the world. It ought to have a burgeoning, huge middle 
class that is thriving and doing so well. It is not because we have a 
porous border, and we are funding the corruption in Mexico.

  They have got some of the hardest working people in the world. I know 
some. It would be so much better for the people of Mexico if we would 
secure our border, cut off the money to the drug cartels, and let them 
become what they could be if we weren't funding the corruption through 
our porous border.
  So I ask my friend from Florida if he would agree that the 
compassionate thing to do is to secure our border, if our only goal was 
to help all of the people in Mexico.
  Mr. YOHO. Absolutely. And we are going to continue this on--it will 
be 22 days, 23 days, hopefully, not long, but we are going to highlight 
what is going on. The compassionate thing is--and as you brought up, 
this is not anti-immigration. This is not anti-Mexican.
  I made reference to three people that were killed by people from 
Mexico who were here illegally. That doesn't mean all Mexicans are bad.
  I have worked with a lot. I come from an agricultural background. 
They are hardworking people, just like Americans are. This is something 
that if we don't have rule of law, you can't have a law-abiding 
  I want to address one other point, if you will allow me.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Please.
  Mr. YOHO. President Trump has taken a lot of heat about Mexico paying 
for the wall. I talked to the President about this when he was a 
candidate, and I think that is an issue that we do need to talk about.
  When you look at the facts, Mexico, since 2008, has received $3.2 
billion, with a B, in foreign aid. That comes to about $320 million a 
year in foreign aid.
  I am a proponent of foreign aid. They had also started the Merida 

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in 2008. Since that period of time, $1.6 billion has been invested into 
that program. That is strictly counterdrugs. It has been $1.6 billion 
since 2008, and I ask you: Is the drug problem today better in America 
or worse?
  Mr. GOHMERT. It is worse.
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, it is worse. So my proposal is that we, as a 
body, start looking at rerouting that money. If 90 percent of those 
drugs are coming through legal ports on our southwest border, in 
addition to the open, porous border, would it not make more sense to 
secure our borders, whether it is more screening at the legal entries, 
but let's also take care of the illegal ones.
  And so in reality, that money that was earmarked for Mexico in 
foreign aid and drug initiatives, I propose that we reroute that and 
let's do those things that we know we can do. That will stop the amount 
of deaths, the 300 deaths a week that are happening from fentanyl, or 
heroin, and then the cocaine and the marijuana coming in. A border wall 
and beefed up border security will do that.
  And I ask Ms. Pelosi to please negotiate and get off the moral high 
horse that you are caving into the President. This is not a partisan 
issue. This is an American issue, and it deals with our constitutional 
  I thank Representative Gohmert for his leadership on this.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my friend, Representative Yoho 
from Florida, not just for his eloquent comments, but also for his 
friendship and his deep, abiding love for America.
  There are three rows of names on each of these, and these are just a 
part of the people who have been killed by people who came into the 
United States illegally.
  I would like to go back to the place I honeymooned with my wife, one 
of the prettiest places on Earth, Las Hadas.

                              {time}  1415

  For our 25th anniversary we went to Cancun. But I am not comfortable 
going back now. I read recently near Cancun cartels had some people 
killed. I want Mexico to return to being a safe place to go. There was 
a time when the cartels would not do anything like murder around any of 
the tourist attractions because tourism was so important to Mexico. 
That has gone by the way. The corruption is terrible. People who stand 
up many times pay with their lives or family members' lives.
  I have heard people here on the floor say that this is a manufactured 
crisis and that, of course, the megaphone that is used in places like 
CNN, MSNBC, and others repeat the same exact talking points. I don't 
have any talking points here from the President, the White House, or 
from Republicans. This is just coming from the heart and from the 
  We are in trouble. This little experiment in self-government our 
Founders knew would not go on forever. They knew it would go on for 
only so long as we could keep it. As Ben Franklin said:

       It is a Republic, madam, if you can keep it.

  I know a lot of my friends across the aisle think they are acting 
from compassion when they say: let's leave these borders wide open, and 
let's do a blanket amnesty for everybody who can get here.
  But as someone who has worked in our legal system, our judicial 
system, much of my adult life, I do believe with all its faults--and 
there are plenty--it is the best legal system the world has ever known.
  One of those legal doctrines that has evolved over the years because 
it is fair, it has been deemed to be fair by Americans, I think it 
exists in every State, it has a strange name for a doctrine, attractive 
  Mr. Speaker, most Americans know inherently or through education that 
if you have something like a swimming pool or a really cool playground 
and you don't put a fence around it, then if someone comes and is hurt 
in that swimming pool or drowns or falls in the playground, or is 
killed or hurt in some way, the landowner that refused to put up a 
fence or a wall or something to keep people from getting to that 
attraction are held financially liable, and they have to pay 
financially to those who have suffered, or, in the case of a death, to 
the family of those who have suffered. That has been considered one of 
the great doctrines of our legal system.
  But thankfully for people here in the House and Senate, we haven't 
applied that sound doctrine to the fact that America has become a lure, 
a draw, and it is drawing people by the thousands and tens of thousands 
and hundreds of thousands. Some die on the way here or when they get 
here. Some are pulled into sex trafficking, their lives are destroyed.
  I have been there so many times when it is not on their lists of 
questions to ask, but many times they ask: How much did you pay to get 
into this country?
  The response was 5, 6, 7, $8,000.
  Where did you get that kind of money?
  Well, $1,000 here, $1,500 there.
  Where are you getting the rest from?
  The drug cartels are who get the money.
  They are going to let me work it off when I get where I am going.
  I have watched them hand over different addresses. 2, 3 in the 
morning, while the Border Patrol is coming down and asking the 
questions, getting the information; they pass around a different 
  I have seen them say, basically: Do you want to claim this child?
  No, you claim the child.
  Mr. Speaker, you don't know how many are unaccompanied and who are 
accompanied by people who they shouldn't be.
  Let's stop luring people to their demise or to their despair. Let's 
continue to be the most generous country in the world when it comes to 
allowing people in legally, as we do. As my friend, Congressman Yoho, 
pointed out, over 1 million visas legally a year. Nobody else does 
that. China? Russia? Nobody does that. We do.
  But let's make sure it is legal; that it is not MS-13 gang members 
who are going to repeatedly stab a young boy or girl and rape women. 
Let's make sure that it is not drug cartels sending people in.
  I hear people say: well, there is not that much drugs that comes 
across our border on the south.
  Mr. Speaker, I have been there too many times, and the Border Patrol 
will tell you, down there at 2 and 3 in the morning: look, they just 
sent over 20 in a raft.
  You hear it on the radio. They call all the Border Patrolmen in. They 
start processing the people, and as the Border Patrolmen will tell you, 
that is when they send in the illegal drugs.
  The two guys who said that we got pinned down a while ago by a 50-
caliber--there is no mistake about that 50-caliber when it is fired--
and we were hunkered down behind the tanks wondering what high value 
individual or what big drug shipment are they bringing across right now 
when they know we don't have anything that stops a 50-caliber.
  Look, the drugs are coming in. We have been there when we used 
thermal technology--I say, we, it was the Texas Department of Public 
Safety that gave that information by radio to the Border Patrol. They 
float up a balloon. They use their thermal technology.
  They say: oh, yeah, we see those two or three people here. Apparently 
they are carrying drugs, some big thing they are bringing in. Here are 
17, 18 people, they are not carrying anything; they are clearly just 
trying to come in illegally.
  They would find the people that we would tell them about as they 
float up the balloons and get to zoom in. In the end, they said: okay, 
we have got all the people. We are processing all the groups that you 
saw that appear to be just trying to come in illegally. But the ones 
who appeared to be bringing in drugs, they knew some little way and 
they got away, so we didn't catch any of those guys.
  That goes on every day, every night. Who dies from those illegal 
drugs coming in?
  The compassionate thing for Mexico, for Central America, and for the 
people to whom we owe our oath, is to secure the border. Build a 
barrier where we have got to have it to secure the border, and let's 
stop Americans dying unnecessarily, so we can save the righteous 
indignation in this room for those who have died because we did not do 
our job.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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