(House of Representatives - May 02, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 75 (Tuesday, May 2, 2017)]
[Pages H3061-H3064]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Mast). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 3, 2017, the Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Rohrabacher) for 30 minutes.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, before I get into the substance of my 
remarks, I would like to mention a little story.
  When I used to work for Ronald Reagan years ago, he also said: Well, 
Dana always start off with a little funny story. So I thought I would 
share one that Ronald Reagan loved with all of you and the 
Congressional Record and those watching us tonight on C-SPAN.
  What it deals with is a man who was struggling, struggling to get by. 
He lived in an area that had very little farmland left. My relatives 
all came from dirt-poor farms in North Dakota. They didn't have very 
good land up there. They were homesteaders, and it was rough going. But 
they did make a go out of it. They made a living out of it. This story 
is about a fellow in Kentucky, a guy who wanted to be a farmer but 
couldn't even find any land as good as my parents ended up with when 
they homesteaded.
  One day he found a piece of land that he knew was very fertile. What 
it was was an old riverbed. He decided he could plant that riverbed, 
and it was such good soil that he would have a great crop. Well, the 
trouble with it was that the riverbed was filled with tree stumps and 
rocks and all sorts of weeds and horrible obstructions to get anything 
done. He spent a year of his life cleaning out that riverbed. Every day 
after work, he would go and blow up the rocks, haul them out. He would 
get a mule team and pull the tree stumps out. He would take a machete 
and cut down all the weeds. The briars would scratch his body. It was a 
monstrous job, but he got it done and he planted a garden.
  When that garden started to come in, it was so beautiful that he had 
to tell somebody, he had to brag to somebody. He went to the person in 
his little town who he respected the most. It was the preacher. He 
said: Preacher, I want you to come out and see this.
  The preacher came out, and the preacher said: This is a miracle. 
Praise be to God. Look at that corn. I have never seen corn so big as 
that. And that watermelon, my gosh, and the berries. My goodness, I 
have never seen such a wonderful garden. Praise be to God.
  He went through this, kept going: Thank God for this, thank God for 
  Finally, the young farmer said to him: You know, Preacher, you should 
have seen this when God was doing it all by himself.
  Well, today, there is a lot of stuff going on in Washington, D.C. 
People are very active. Don't think that there is not a lot of 
activity. You may not be able to see it, but we in this new Congress, 
we are scurrying around. There are all sorts of people working on 
healthcare reform, tax reform. We have got the fiscal year `17 and 
fiscal year `18 appropriations. We have got border bills. We have got 
security problems and issues that are the highest order. We are working 
here. I believe that with the Republican Party under President Trump, 
we are going to accomplish great things. These are things that we are 
asking the help of God, but we are not waiting for God to do it.
  I would like to discuss tonight a few of the creative proposals that 
I have made which I believe could impact and have a very positive 
impact on the United States of America and the American people.
  First of all, I would like to talk about border security. And an 
issue, of course, in border security that is the number one issue that 
has been plaguing us for so long, so let's understand, there has been a 
massive flow of illegal immigrants into our country at least for the 
past 30 or 40 years. I trace it back, unfortunately, to the time I was 
in the White House. I trace it back to Ronald Reagan's amnesty of 1987.

                              {time}  1930

  Ronald Reagan was told that there would be 3 million people who would

[[Page H3062]]

then be granted citizenship, would be brought into the core of American 
activity, and be made U.S. citizens. He also was promised that there 
would be border control if he signed on to giving amnesty to 3 million 
people, that no jobs would be permitted to be given to illegals from 
then on, and that there would be some sort of situation where we could 
control it so that not only illegals weren't going to be further coming 
across the border, but they certainly wouldn't be given benefits by our 
government to encourage them to cross the border.
  Well, what happened?
  Yes, Ronald Reagan had pity for these poor folks who came here, 3 
million of them, who he was going to agree to grant citizenship to, and 
he did. He signed an amnesty law. And instead of 3 million, it turned 
out to be 11 million.
  And from that moment on, those 11 million, there were none of these 
restrictions on jobs. We could be E-Verifying all jobs right now and 
cut that off. We could have done it long ago. We could have done it in 
the next year after that amnesty that Reagan signed. No.
  There hasn't been a huge effort to make sure that we control our 
borders. Just the opposite. We have had administrations that undercut 
the border guards that control our borders.
  So what have we had since 1987, especially when the word got out that 
we actually will provide benefits? We will actually provide health 
care? And we will actually provide jobs? And education for children? 
Anybody who could just get here, even if they are here illegally?
  Well, what we have had is a huge flow into our country that has been 
threatening, and is threatening, to change the basic fiber of our 
country in the long run. But even in the short run, it has had a 
horrendous impact. It has had a horrible impact, for example, on the 
wages that ordinary Americans have. They have come in, and the middle 
class and lower middle class working Americans have had their wages bid 
down by tens of millions of people who have come in and bid down the 
wages of the American working people.
  Now, don't anybody try to tell me, as you have heard--everyone has 
heard this: There are 11 million illegals in this country. They have 
been saying that for 20 years. Be honest with yourself, everybody. 
Let's talk about it. There are probably 30 million illegals in this 
  What has that caused? How has that impacted on us?
  What have we seen?
  We have seen an education system that has been drained of its 
resources so those very same working class Americans, who depended on 
us to make sure their children had a decent education, now have an 
education that is nowhere near good because the money has been drained 
away to take care of millions of young kids who have come here 
  Well, where is our allegiance?
  What about the healthcare dollars that are being consumed?
  Average working people know that illegal immigration to our country 
has hurt, yes, the education and the healthcare benefits to their own 
  Plus, we have destroyed the security of so many middle class 
neighborhoods where now we have--again, of course, some people don't 
even want to deport illegal aliens who happen to be criminals. They are 
talking about let's have a city in which they will not abide by the 
law, even to deport criminals who are here, violent criminals against 
our own citizens.
  No, these aren't sanctuary cities that we are talking about. These 
are outlaw cities that don't care about the American people as much as 
they do about people who come here illegally.
  Well, those have been some of the really negative aspects that we 
face. We know that.
  The reason that we understand, and people have recognized this, is 
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States because of this 
issue. We know that.
  The American people understand that their wages are going down, 
quality of life is going down, safety in their neighborhoods is going 
down, education for their children is going down, and health care is 
being torn apart. And a lot of it goes right back to a massive flow of 
illegals into our country.
  Thus, when Donald Trump shook up the system by saying, We are going 
to build a wall, and we are going to prevent this massive flow of 
illegals into our country from continuing, that is why Donald Trump was 
  So this out-of-control illegal immigration has got to stop. And that 
is one of the things that now with Donald Trump as President, and with 
a Republican majority, we are committed to doing.
  And the first step, at least the most important step, maybe not the 
first one, is fulfilling Donald Trump's pledge that we are going to 
build a wall across our southern border that will be both symbolic and 
will be practical in stopping this large and massive out-of-control 
flow across the border.
  I have a proposal that I think will go a long way in helping 
President Trump build that wall. My proposal called the Border Security 
and Immigration Enforcement Financing Act of 2017--that is the name of 
the bill. Again, I will say it. Border Security and Immigration 
Enforcement Financing Act of 2017. I am currently drafting that bill, 
which will be submitted as either an amendment or it will be submitted 
as a separate bill.
  This goes a long way that will permit President Trump to keep his 
promise to us.
  Now, why wouldn't he keep his promise to us?
  Everybody has been saying: He will never find the money necessary to 
build that wall, so he has fed a false promise to us.
  No. There are resources that are available if we use our creativity.
  Ted Cruz, over in the Senate, proposed the $14 billion that we have 
confiscated from a Mexican cartel leader, who we now have in custody, 
let's use those $14 billion as a down payment. I think Ted Cruz has got 
a great idea there, and I think that is one idea.

  My idea, which I am encompassing my legislation, is based on the idea 
that we have, and most people know this, 1 million legal immigrants 
coming into our country every year. Let me make clear what I just said. 
One million legal immigrants.
  Republicans are not against immigrants. We are portrayed that all of 
the time. We support 1 million legal immigrants coming into our country 
every year, which happens to be more legal immigrants migrating into 
our country than all of the other countries of the world combined. 
Nobody comes even anywhere close to us in our generosity, and 
Republicans are in favor of that legal immigration. Because we will 
choose who is coming, they will benefit and help our society as a 
whole, and they will not especially undermine our poor and working 
class Americans.
  Well, what does that have to do with the wall?
  Well, my legislation, which I am now in the middle of writing, says 
this: Of that million, it recognizes there are 50,000 people who are 
permitted to come into our country legally every year.
  And how are they selected? The rest are very carefully selected.
  These are people who are selected by a lottery. That is right, a 
lottery. We are having a choice, just by happenstance, who we pick, of 
50,000 people coming into our country. We may need them. They may be 
able to contribute. They may not. But we are leaving that up to a 
  My proposal is eliminate that 50,000. But we are not going to lower 
the number of legal immigrants coming into our society. We support 
legal immigration. In fact, those people who claim Republicans are 
anti-immigrant, they are the bigots. They are the ones who are 
proposing that we lump legal and illegal together.
  So don't let anybody kid you. That is a political ploy.
  So when you hear someone say, Republicans are anti-immigrant, just 
remember, we are prolegal immigrant. And with them trying to combine 
illegals with legals makes them the negative force against people who 
have come here from other countries legally.
  So what is my proposal?
  My proposal is you take the 50,000 slots that now are selected by 
some kind of lottery, and you say: We are going to start a pool of 
money. It is going to be an account that is a protected account. It can 
only be used for upgrading the border security of the

[[Page H3063]]

United States, of both the border, Border Patrol, immigrations coming 
in, and making sure our homeland is more secure, especially on our 
  So we take that money in the pot.
  Now, where is the money coming from of that 50,000 a year?
  I am proposing that we charge anyone in the world, who is not a 
criminal or some kind of a terrorist. That basically we permit them to 
put $1 million into that fund. And they will immediately be guaranteed 
legal status, a green card in the country, but they will be guaranteed 
within 2 years that they will become a U.S. citizen.
  Are there 50,000 people in the world who would do that?
  There sure are. We know at least that. But there may be a lot more 
than that.
  But that would be enough for President Trump to build his wall and to 
make sure that we stem the flow, this massive flow of illegals into our 
country, and to secure our borders from these drug cartels, et cetera, 
and to strengthen our Border Patrol, and to make sure that when people 
are coming into the country we can vet them, we have some sort of 
technology devices that can help us secure that radical Islamic 
terrorists aren't coming into our country. Yeah, we can do that if we 
have the resources.
  President Trump wants to do it. Our country has been thwarted in the 
past by politicians who don't want to do it. But President Trump is 
committed. We need to get behind him.
  My proposal would at least give us the resources to accomplish that 
mission. Unfortunately, of course, there are people here, power brokers 
here in the United States House and throughout our government, who 
would like to get their hands on that money and spend it on other 
projects, special projects that they have in mind.
  Right now, the Republican Party needs to unify. We need to hear from 
our base.
  No. The number one priority for any of the money that would be 
derived from offering a citizenship to people from overseas, that money 
should be used to control our borders and create the security of our 
  Now, by the way, why haven't we acted before?
  Why is it that from 1987 on that we have had this flow and we haven't 
been able to stop the flow, or do what I am doing right now should have 
been done 10, 20 years ago? Because we have people in this country who 
wanted that massive flow of illegals.
  There are probably 30 million illegals in our country. That is not 
some kind of happenstance that just happened. That wasn't an accident.
  No. We have had, and, unfortunately, on the Republican side of the 
argument, we have had Big Business who wants cheap labor, and that has 
prevented the Republicans from doing what we want.
  And on the liberal side, on the leftwing side, on the Democratic 
aisle, you have ultra-left liberals who want what? Who want to make 
sure that we have masses of people that they can use to try to 
socialize our country. Change the fundamental nature of our country 
because they don't like the fundamental nature of our country.
  So we have a political motive and an economic motive on both sides, 
manipulating these poor people from around the world and threatening 
the well-being of those working people and those lower middle-income 
people in our own country who are just struggling by. We could have 
solved this a long time ago.
  But that is what Donald Trump was all about. Donald Trump spoke to 
those people in Wisconsin and working class people in Pennsylvania and 
elsewhere and said: We are going to watch out for you. We are watching 
out for you from now on.

                              {time}  1945

  Now, we need to join Donald Trump. The people have spoken. We need to 
build that wall, build it.
  I was very proud during the Reagan years that I participated. I was 
one of Ronald Reagan's principal speech writers, and we all remember 
what his most important line was. What did he do that really changed 
the world? He had a policy that stood firm against the Soviet Union 
without sending our troops into military action; and he stood, and he 
was strong, and he stated and he argued our case aggressively to the 
  Ronald Reagan, when he went to the Berlin Wall and he said, ``Tear 
down this wall,'' it changed history and made our country safe for 
decades ahead. I did not write those remarks, but I am very proud that 
I helped smuggle those remarks to the President of the United States so 
that he had the option of saying it. And of course, once he read those 
remarks, he was bound to say it, even though his senior staff tried to 
prevent him from doing so.
  Well, I am saying this: Donald Trump, listen in. Build that wall. We 
are behind you. The American people are behind you. You should be as 
aggressive on this issue as Ronald Reagan was in ``Tear down this 
wall.'' Because he, too, was villainized for--they claimed he was some 
kind of a warmonger for even being so tough with the Soviet Union; and, 
of course, what he did is lead to the disintegration of the Soviet 
  So that is my first idea.
  Mr. Speaker, I have another project that I have been working on, and 
I know this sounds perhaps a little bit disconcerting for people 
because people have the idea that everyone here is left and right, and 
they have stereotypes of who is on the left and who is on the right.
  So let me just suggest that my next proposal is something that is 
usually associated with the liberal left, and that is I happen to 
believe that we have had a tremendous waste of our resources. It has 
had a horrible impact on our country that we have tried to regulate 
adults using marijuana, and especially our efforts to stamp out any use 
of marijuana, which is what the policy has been for decades, in a way 
that has prevented us from developing the medical uses of cannabis, 
  Cannabis is a plant that has enormous potential for our economy. We 
can't even import it now. It was used to make all of our rope. The 
Constitution is written on cannabis paper. There are so many uses. Our 
farmers aren't even permitted to grow it. And on top of that, no one 
has been permitted the means necessary to see if there are some medical 
purposes. And just now, after a few decades, we have found there are 
significant medical uses for marijuana.
  Now, it took me a long time to get to the point where I found out 
where we could work, a coalition could work on both sides of the aisle 
to try to just look at this issue with a realistic eye.
  What is going on? What is this incredible hysteria over some adult 
smoking marijuana in his backyard that we have to waste the resources 
of our police forces?
  The police should be out protecting people down the street, but 
instead they are going into the guy's backyard to make sure that he is 
not smoking marijuana. And then how about the jailer? How about the 
judge? How about the penal system? How about all of those? How about 
the loss of income of that individual?
  Trying to control people's personal lives, especially their 
consumption of cannabis, has been a horrendous failure because it has 
not prevented people's use, and it has been dramatically costly.
  And then, of course, there is the side effect of what? There is the 
side effect that we are financing drug cartels throughout the world who 
are actually putting democracy in those countries in jeopardy, and we 
are financing it.
  The issue isn't whether or not people should smoke marijuana or have 
cannabis. The issues are:
  If you are going to have that cannabis, shouldn't the person selling 
that be accountable so that they only sell it to adults?
  Shouldn't it have a label on it so that you know it is not filled 
with opium or poisons?
  Shouldn't it be a situation where a businessman has a bank account 
and is taxed and regulated and is treated like any other business, 
responsible business? Or we can let the drug cartels have the billions 
of dollars that that endeavor will be bringing in every year, and which 
it does.
  So we have financed the drug cartels overseas. We have gangs here, 
domestically, all tied to the fact that we are trying to control 
people's private behavior for their own benefit.
  It is time to unshackle people. An adult in the United States has 

[[Page H3064]]

right to make his own decision about whether or not he will consume 
cannabis, and that is especially true of doctors and patients. We 
believe, supposedly, Republicans believe in the doctor-patient 
relationship. We have talked about it with ObamaCare, et cetera.
  Well, guess what? The doctor-patient relationship if we are saying, 
``Yeah, you can do this, but you can't do anything with cannabis,'' 
that is not recognizing the doctor-patient relationship. So don't tell 
me about limited government. Don't tell me about individual freedom. 
Don't tell me about the doctor-patient relationship. Don't tell me 
about those things if you believe that adults should not be able to use 
cannabis, especially for medical purposes.
  And the worst part is there are some medical reasons for it. We have 
already seen that Israel has, by the way, legalized marijuana, and they 
have done great research just in recent years on the medical uses of 
cannabis, of marijuana.
  They have found that epilepsy, children's epilepsy in particular, 
this will stop seizures. Yet we are denying our own people the use of 
this. How insane.
  Yes, we need to make sure that we watch out for our people, but we do 
not control their lives because we know better.
  This is not a nanny state, but some people, interestingly enough, on 
the other side of the aisle, who believe in the nanny state, are the 
ones who believe mostly in allowing people to use medical marijuana if 
that will help them.

  I just will say this: we have an epidemic of opiates in this country. 
And one of the reasons we have that is because we have our veterans who 
have been given these opiates at the VA.
  I just had a call yesterday from a friend whose son came back from 
the war, and he was in convulsions on the floor, and they couldn't help 
him. They took him to the VA, and they put him on opiates, and it still 
didn't help. Finally, after a year, the doctors pulled him aside and 
said: Come to my office off the campus. They gave him a prescription 
for medical marijuana, and the man's son hasn't had a seizure since.
  So what does that mean?
  So he doesn't have a seizure. You have a veteran who has been filled 
with opiates. So now I got a call just yesterday. This poor young man 
who is smoking that marijuana does not have seizures, but they have 
filled him with opiates. He is trying to get off the opiates, but the 
process they have got him going through is he has to be dry of 
everything, including marijuana. And as soon as that level goes down, 
he begins having seizures again.
  And then he went a few days ago--maybe a couple of weeks ago he was 
at the VA hospital. They were trying to get him off these opiates. He 
is going to feel a seizure. He went to the car to smoke a marijuana 
joint and was arrested because the people at the veterans hospital who 
run the parking lots are Federal employees. It is Federal property.
  We have had votes right here in Congress saying that if a State 
legalizes the use of medical marijuana, the VA in that State is 
permitted to let their people utilize medical marijuana, and it failed. 
That vote failed.
  I challenge my Republican colleagues to join with the Democratic 
colleagues who supported that resolution last time. If you really care 
about these people--yes, we have an opiate, an opium-based horrendous 
surge going on in our country, and it is bringing down our people, our 
veterans in particular. Let's not eliminate if the doctor believes that 
medical marijuana will have an impact. Let us not outlaw that doctor 
from doing this. Let us also remember that we know that it can end 
  This poor guy who called me the other day, his son, once the medical 
marijuana is going down--and they won't let him do this on the campus 
of the VA hospital--he ends up going back into seizures.
  This is a type of catch-22 when you are trying to control people's 
private lives. It doesn't work. It is not right. It is not right for 
our veterans. It is not right for our senior citizens who are sitting 
in the senior citizens' homes. If they would like to take a gummy that 
is filled with a little cannabis, so what? So what? Let them enjoy 
themselves a little bit, for Pete's sake, in a way that is not harmful; 
bring back their appetite, or whatever.
  No, we are trying to control people's lives, and it is having a 
harmful effect on the people themselves. And think about one last note 
of it. Who is most hurt by this is we have people in the poorest 
neighborhoods of our country who end up being arrested and being 
frisked to see if they have got any marijuana on them.
  We have armed groups who look like Army personnel coming into our 
cities for drug raids. The Founding Fathers never meant criminal 
justice to be handled at the Federal level--they never did--but now we 
have the equivalent of SWAT squads going in and breaking people's doors 
down for providing medical marijuana. This is ridiculous. And those 
poor people in the Black areas and the Chicano areas get arrested. They 
are arrested, and that follows them for the rest of their life.
  I have a bill that says that it is up to the States. And I would ask 
all of my colleagues and the people listening tonight to support the 
States' rights to make this decision. This is a State issue. And I have 
a bill that basically says that the Federal Government shall respect 
State marijuana laws. And when we do that, that will be left up to the 
people of those States to make these decisions.
  That is what our Founding Fathers wanted, and that is why things 
didn't go haywire back in the old days. We left it up to the States. We 
especially left that issue of drug enforcement, but also law 
enforcement, at the local level for local police.
  Mr. Speaker, so those are two ideas that I thought I would share with 
my colleagues tonight, that I think would save billions of dollars on 
the wall, and trying to change our attitude, trying to stop the waste 
that we are wasting lives, and billions of dollars, and creating drug 
  When it comes to marijuana, we need to change that law and leave it 
up to the States. And we can then--if people need help, we are going to 
give it to them. But if they are adults and Americans, they have a 
right to run their own lives.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.