WHY OUR BORDER MATTERS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 196
(House of Representatives - December 12, 2018)

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[Pages H10106-H10107]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         WHY OUR BORDER MATTERS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McClintock) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, every nation has a natural right and a 
fundamental responsibility to determine who is admitted within its 
borders. This is what defines a country and ultimately determines 
whether its culture, customs, and institutions will endure.
  The unique qualities that develop within each country's borders 
naturally make some countries more desirable places to live than 
others. These differences drive immigration patterns. The more 
successful a nation, the greater the demand to immigrate to it, and 
ours is the most successful in human history.
  Most of the world's 7\1/2\ billion people live in violent and 
impoverished conditions, and it is no wonder that they find the United 
States an attractive alternative. Yet uncontrolled and indiscriminate 
immigration from those countries to ours risks importing the same 
undesirable conditions that encouraged their immigration in the first 
place.
  History offers us many examples of great civilizations that have 
succumbed to this paradox, and the current crisis on our southern 
border poses a fundamental test of whether ours may join them.

  America has traditionally welcomed the truly persecuted who have 
escaped to our shores, but what is unfolding today makes a mockery of 
our asylum laws. This was not a peaceful caravan of asylum seekers, as 
many have attempted to portray. A caravan is a group of people 
traveling legally and peacefully through a foreign land. An invasion is 
a group of people attempting to violate a nation's border by force, 
whether by military or mob action.
  The vast majority camped on our southern border are military-aged 
males. Authorities have already identified roughly 600 as known 
criminals, and Mexican law enforcement has reportedly arrested roughly 
100 for crimes committed in their country. The fact that this force has 
attacked both Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, with several injuries 
reported, contradicts any claims that, as a group, they come with 
peaceful intent.
  Nor are they asylum seekers in any conventional sense. No doubt many 
are nonviolent and simply caught up in the group dynamic of a mob. But 
poverty and violence in a country does not entitle every person in it 
to enter ours. Asylum is reserved for those who have been specifically 
targeted for harm by their own government based on their race, 
religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group, and who have 
entered directly into our country from their own.
  In these instances, asylum is reached by crossing a border and 
accomplishing separation from that government. A Central American 
arriving in Mexico has already achieved this and, therefore, has no 
call on asylum in any other country. The appropriate request to make is 
to the Government of Mexico, a request some have already made and 
Mexico has granted.
  Nothing succeeds like success. If this group is allowed to muscle its 
way into the United States, we can expect many and still larger groups 
to follow.
  If anything, this crisis should emphasize the importance of 
completing the border wall that Congress first authorized in 1996 and 
President Trump is desperately trying to construct.
  A forceful incursion of our border can be repelled only by applying 
equal or greater force. That is a recipe for violence and bloodshed. 
The physical separation provided by a wall can prevent that.

                              {time}  1015

  It not only protects the officers who place their lives on the line 
in defense of our law, it also protects the lawbreakers themselves from 
the violent conduct that their behavior otherwise would make 
inevitable.
  Orderly immigration, regulated by law and protected by secure 
borders, is a prerequisite to a civilized and prosperous nation. If our 
immigration laws are not enforced, then our borders become meaningless 
and America becomes a vast, open territory between Canada and Mexico 
susceptible to every social, political, and economic disorder brought 
to it.
  This seems to be the ultimate aim of the American left and its 
powerful chorus in the media. We are fortunate in this crisis to have a 
President obedient to his constitutional command to ``take care that 
the laws be faithfully executed.'' In the remaining days of this 
session, Congress has a responsibility to give him the tools to do so. 
It remains one of the great remaining tests of the 115th Congress.

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