Tom DeLay

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Mon Apr 18 06:50:04 MDT 2005

Subject: Texan pushes reform of immigration system

Texan pushes reform of immigration system
By Stephen Dinan and Charles Hurt
>From the Nation/Politics section
Stephen Dinan and Charles Hurt
The federal government must prove it can protect the nation's
borders before Congress can pass a guest-worker program, House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday, vowing that the House
will insist that the emergency war-spending bill contain the
immigration security provisions that passed in the chamber.
   "Ultimately, we need to enforce our laws. The American people
need to see us protect our borders and enforce our laws," Mr.
DeLay said. "Then, they'll be willing to talk about a guest-worker
   In an extensive interview with editors and reporters from The
Washington Times in his office in the Capitol, the Texas
Republican said the House will produce a broad immigration bill
this Congress. He also defended his chamber's record on spending
and passing the Medicare prescription drug bill, said he is
driving a project to "redesign" government around Republican
principles and added that in the wake of the Terri Schiavo case he
has asked the House Judiciary Committee to oversee judges.
    "The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation
of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that
Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is
because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to
privacy is because Congress didn't stop them," he said. "We're
having to change a whole culture in this -- a culture created by
law schools."
   Mr. DeLay said the House will insist that the emergency
supplemental spending bill for the war on terror restrict illegal
immigrants' ability to obtain driver's licenses and limit asylum
claims, despite calls by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist,
Tennessee Republican, and Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada
Democrat, to drop those provisions from the bill.
   "The House has stated its position, and the House is going to
stand by its position ," Mr. DeLay said.
   Mr. DeLay also disagreed with President Bush's recent
characterization of the Minutemen currently aiding the U.S. Border
Patrol's apprehension efforts in Arizona as "vigilantes." The
Minuteman Project calls itself a "citizens' neighborhood watch
along our border."
   "I'm not sure the president meant that. I think that they're
providing an excellent service," Mr. DeLay said. "It's no
different than neighborhood-watch programs, and I appreciate them
doing it, as long as they can do it safely and don't get involved
and do it the way they seem to be doing it, and that's just
identifying people for the Border Patrol to come pick up."
   He said that before a guest-worker program can pass Congress,
the American public must be convinced that the government is
serious about controlling illegal immigration.
   "I personally think that we ought to use the eyes and e ars of
our military," Mr. DeLay said, pointing to equipment such as
remote-control Predator aircraft, which he said could set up a
"seeing-eye wall" to police the border. But he said the effort
shouldn't include soldiers.
   "Soldiers are trained to kill. They're not trained as border
patrol or police, and you cannot do that. But you can use their
technology," he said.
   Mr. DeLay also said Congress must prove it wants to address the
more than 10 million illegal aliens living in the United States --
and that it is possible to get most of them to return home.
   "If we're enforcing the law, they will," he said. "It puts a
lot of pressure on them if they know that we're not just looking
the other way like we're doing now."
   Mr. DeLay favors a guest-worker program that would require
those already here illegally to return home before applying and
that would not allow workers to bring their families here.
   He said the president "thinks the country of origin is a good
idea," but that Mr. Bush is less enthusiastic about not bringing
   Mr. DeLay acknowledged that Americans are conflicted about the
issue. He recalled sitting next to a woman at a lunch in Texas who
was "ranting and raving" about illegal immigrants.
   "We got to talking. You know, she had a yard man, she had a
maid, she had some illegals living across the street. I said,
'Well, I'll tell you what, I'll call up right now and pick up your
maid, your yard man and the people living across the street,' "
Mr. DeLay recalled, adding that she responded, "Oh, don't you do
that. Don't you do that. I want the ones that are up there in
North Houston to be picked up."
   The Senate yesterday passed a nonbinding "sense of the Senate"
resolution yesterday that called for the House immigration provi
sions to be dropped from the spending bill. The Senate also called
for senators to forgo a broader discussion of amnesty and raising
visa caps until later this year.
   Mr. DeLay said the Senate risks legislative gridlock if it
omits the House provisions. "We don't need to drop it in the
conference report. This is too important for the American people,"
he said. "We need a national debate about this, and we're going to
have that national debate."
   On spending, Mr. DeLay said the House budget this year is the
toughest since 1997, and that the chamber's leaders have convinced
the White House and Senate Republican leaders to examine mandatory
   He said he is committed to "throwing out this tax code and
replacing it with a 21st-century tax code."
   He defended the 2003 Medicare bill that he led the fight for,
despite objections by conservative groups. Mr. DeLay said that by
i nserting health savings accounts and other Republican values
into the Medicare system, the party has fundamentally changed the
   "If Medicare gets out of whack and is not going like we think
it will go, and the cost curve will be bent because of what we've
instituted, then we've got those institutions and we can dial them
in and out and make them happen," he said.

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