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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


Congressman Steve Chabot
Congressional Record: 116th Congress
4 June 2019

  Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I claim the time in opposition to this very flawed piece of 
legislation here this afternoon. It is flawed in many ways.
  First of all, it doesn't do anything to get more control at our 
southern border. We have thousands of people streaming across that 
border in various places on the border. It does nothing about that.
  It does nothing to improve on our asylum system, which is very flawed 
right now.
  The drug cartels make huge amounts of money by the people who are 
coming in illegally. They are told the magic words, which are basically 
to say that they fear if they return to their country, so they are let 
into our country.
  They are put on a bus or they are put on a plane and shipped 
somewhere around the country, to some city. They are given a court date 
2 years out, 3 years out, 5 years out. Very seldom do they show up for 
that court date, so they basically disappear into the population.
  This legislation does nothing to reform our asylum laws or to protect 
the American people. It does nothing to basically protect folks around 
the world who are trying to come here the right way.
  The DACA amnesty program which is being created here will allow 
people to cut in front of the line for people who are trying to do it 
the right way.
  Not only does it not do things to improve the existing law--and it 
certainly doesn't do it in a bipartisan manner--but it is dangerous, 
and I will tell you why.
  In the Judiciary Committee--I have been on that committee for many 
years now--I offered an amendment. I think we all know that far too 
many people are killed or injured in this country by drunk drivers, by 
people who have, in some States they call it a DUI, in some States they 
call it a DWI, driving, basically, impaired, either drugs or alcohol.
  I offered a commonsense amendment which said, basically, that you 
would not be eligible for this if you were convicted--not just that you 
have driven, but you were convicted--of drunk driving and you either 
killed a person or the person was seriously injured. Serious bodily 
harm could be loss of an eye or a limb. Or, if you had multiple DUIs, 
two or more DUIs, you wouldn't be eligible for these.
  All the Republicans on the committee voted for it; all the Democrats 
voted against it.
  Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, indicates that there are over 
10,000 people killed every year in America by drunk drivers. Over 
300,000 every year are injured by drunk drivers.
  In my amendment, we are talking about people convicted of it. Mothers 
Against Drunk Drivers indicates, for every time a person is convicted, 
on average, they think they have probably driven drunk 80 times.
  So we are allowing folks to be eligible for this program. All the 
Democrats on the committee voted against this amendment that would have 
basically made us safer in this country against drunk drivers. But they 
refused to go along with that, so I think it is really dangerous to 
pass it. It could have been much safer.
  The people who are injured are our sons. They are our daughters, 
wives, spouses, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. But this bill 
doesn't make them safer. It had an opportunity to do so, but all my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted against it.
  That is just one reason why I think this is a very flawed bill, and I 
would urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this bill.
  We could, in a bipartisan manner, actually do something for these 
Dreamers, these DACA folks, but Democrats said: No, we are not going to 
do this bipartisan. We are going to ram this thing through.
  It is really unfortunate because we could have done something good 
for the country, but that is not what this bill does.
  I thank the gentleman for yielding.

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