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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. PUTNAM). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 3, 2001, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. SOUDER) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. SOUDER. Mr. Speaker, tonight I would like to focus on our border policies and drug and anti-terrorism policies and want to share a number of things that we have been working on, and hope to continue to do this as we are in session the rest of this year.
First, I want to begin with a series of hearings that we are working with on the north and south borders. The actual conception for this idea came out of the U.S.-Canada Parliamentary Conference last May. Some of the Canadian legislators had expressed concerns that the slowdowns at our borders, much like on the Mexican border, were impacting commerce.
We have become so interconnected in all of our border states, particularly you think of California and Texas, but in the Midwest, Michigan, as well as my home State of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, New York State and all of New England, are very interconnected with the Canadian trade. We have gained almost as many jobs in our trade with Canada as we have lost to Mexico in Indiana, and in Texas they have gained from Mexico, but lost some to Canada. That is what the North American Free Trade Agreement was originally conceived to do, and ironically seems to in a way that many of us were skeptical about, be working, but only if our borders work.
At the same time, I as cochair with Susan Whalen of the House side of the Transborder Sub Group in our Canadian Parliamentary Conference, as I pointed out, we are not going to back off on our drug war, we are not going to back off on illegal immigration because of the trade thing.
We have to figure out how we can have adequate means to move commerce and the people moving across the border and still protect our borders. That was long before September 11. We had agreed to hold a number of hearings on the border. After talking with the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. KOLBE) and the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. BALLENGER) and those in the U.S.-Mexico Parliamentary Exchange as well, we decided to do some on the south border.
At this point, we are at least going to do the Detroit-Windsor corridor, the Buffalo-Toronto corridor, the Seattle-Vancouver in the north, as well as the New York-Montreal, Boston-Montreal corridors, and on the Mexican border, the California crossings, Nogales to El Paso-Juarez and the Monterey zone.
To get a picture of what is happening on our borders, our first hearings were held this past weekend at Highgate Springs in Vermont, which is the I-89 corridor where Montreal, Quebec City come down and into Boston and New England, and at Champlain, New York, on Monday morning on the I-87 corridor where Montreal comes down to New York City.
We also visited the border control regional command center. Twenty-four states are coordinated out of Burlington, Vermont, the U.S. Coast Guard Center on Lake Champlain, and the southern border crossing between I-89 and I-87.
The first zone highlights from these first hearings highlighted certain things that are likely to be repeated as we do other hearings. One, there is insufficient staffing for customs, INS and Border Patrol. Two, the current staff is working overtime and having vacation leave canceled, which is exhausting them and also reaching the overtime limits in some cases. You can do that
for a short period, but not for 10 years, if we are in a long-term war with terrorists. Three, because of the pay grade and benefit restrictions, many INS agents are leaving the agency. Four, few receive language bonuses, some even who are bilingual.
We have a different kind of problem. We have looked at this in different ways, but the State Department test difficulty, which is one of the ways we give language bonuses, is probably too stiff for what we need for conversational language at the border. Thus, we had one case of a person I talked to, because with Quebec there at that northern border, French becomes critical. Yet at the same time one person who grew up in Quebec, whose first language was French, could not pass the State Department test.
This leads us to the question of we are not even sure whether our government employees, including maybe Members of Congress, could pass the State Department English test, because it is testing things beyond conversational level. What we really need at the boarders are conversational level, to be able to identify things and certain key phrases, like, for example, anthrax. So we have fewer people taking language training where we actually need it because of this difficulty.
For example, in this north zone, and I am going to point out later it is important because Montreal has been
a center for a lot of these terrorists to move around at different border crossings and different ways in the United States, we do not have anybody in the entire zone who can speak Farsi. We only have one at a regional headquarters who can understand Arabic. For that matter, you could conceivably have anthrax or illegal narcotics sitting in your front seat and as long as it is in a language that the Border Patrol or the INS agent cannot read, theoretically it could get through. We need to have more language understanding, certainly like Spanish on the southern border, or French on some of our borders as well.
Also infrastructure needs are significant, but they differ by station. Trade we also learned is the lifeblood of the border communities, and it is down and it is going far beyond just the border communities.
Let me step back for a minute and look at the border perspective in a bigger way. The U.S. customs has, along with INS, border crossings from basically Seattle or the Blaine crossing, all the way up to the northeast corner of Maine. There are hundreds of crossings. In addition, some of those run along water, such as the St. Lawrence River or Lake Champlain or Puget Sound. Some of them have natural barriers, and some of them are just woods or open space like in Maine and Montana.
The major ones, as I mentioned, that we are looking at on the Canadian side are Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto as it goes to Buffalo and Niagara, Montreal as it comes down, and Detroit-Windsor. Then if you look at it from the perspective of border security, Winnipeg, International Falls, as well as Thunder Bay and Grand Portage at the top of Minnesota flows down toward Minneapolis-St. Paul, going toward Chicago. You also have the Edmonton and Calgary areas in Alberta that come across all that open space in Montana, and then Maine and North Dakota.
On the southern border with Mexico, you have San Diego-Tijuana moving east all the way to Yuma. Then you have a sector of where Tucson and Nogales moving through New Mexico towards El Paso-Juarez, and then another heavily crossed area that feeds into Monterey and the zone where so many American industries have located across the Mexico border, crossing at Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville.
You have one gap running from El Paso down to Laredo where Eagle Pass is that is a kind of a no-man's zone, and no major highways connecting, and a lot of Desert, but has also been a pressing point.
So when you say your goal is to seal the border, it is not that easy when you look at the total number of mileage. In this description that I just gave you, it is not just that, it is the airports and it is the water. We have major customs facilities obviously watching the Gulf of Mexico, the entire East Coast of the United States, as well as the West Coast of the United States, all of the airports.
Let me give you an example as I alluded to earlier. In the specific crossings we worked in Vermont and New York, you have a crossing at I-87 that is the Maine corridor. Then you have a little bit of land and water from Lake Champlain. Then you have a small station that up until we went on high alert only had one person there and was only open for part of a day. Then you have more Lake Champlain. Then you have a crossing at I-89 that is a major crossing. And then a whole series of small crossings, some of which are unmanned and some of which have one person and now have a little bit more pressure on them.
You look and say, boy, that water in there, I wonder if somebody could move through the water? Or think of the St. Lawrence River and the area called 10,000 Islands. Or at the Great Lakes, anybody who has crossed at Souix St. Marie, you see Manitoulin Island in there and the crossing from Manitoulin Island and jumping over to some of the northern Michigan places is basically a row boat.
Similarly, in Puget Sound, anybody from the Northwest can understand that there are lots of islands there. And if you have any doubt that we are vulnerable there, remember had it not been for an extremely vigilant customs officer highlighted in the PBS special aired last weekend, that one of the millennium bombers targeting LAX Airport was captured at Port Angeles, who, by the way, was coming from Montreal. He crossed clear across Canada and tried to slip in through a ferry boat to Port Angeles, Washington, coming across the water, in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
This is not easy, and those who think we can easily seal the border are making a serious mistake. But it is not to say it is impossible.
Let me get into some of the specific challenges at the border hearings we had this week. At Highgate, Vermont, they have new facilities but not enough personnel to staff them. So they were looking at our backups on a Sunday night, even though there are estimates ranging of commerce being down approximately 30 percent right now. The question is if we continue to tighten the boarders, particularly if we have any other terrorist incidents, and the terrorists are not American citizens, they are people who are coming in from outside.
Furthermore, we have this Quebec Gold BC Bud marijuana as well as Ecstasy and methamphetamines heading to New York and Boston through these border crossings, they are not things that come from inside the United States. And this Quebec Gold and BC Bud is selling in many places higher than cocaine, it is not marijuana, it is much more potent than traditional marijuana, and is as dangerous as cocaine.
So if we are going to seal these borders, at least to some degree and keep the commerce going, we have to have enough personnel to open more lanes. We cannot simultaneously say that we want commerce to work, we want more American jobs, we do not want to depress our economy; and, by the way, we do not want terrorists, illegal drugs and illegal products in the United States and immigration problems; we want the border secure, without saying then we are going to put sufficient people to keep all the lanes open where we have built the facilities and able to do that. Now, at Champlain, they still need more personnel, but they have more personnel; their backups were less, substantially less, but their traffic is way down as well. The question is what will happen when the traffic picks up, but there they do not have the facilities. There the trucks were backing up and they need a new truck facility to be able to process the trucks. At Highgate they have new equipment coming in for scanning and they are making some progress with that as well at Champlain, but those are important things, because in the trucks is a great place to stick illegal narcotics. They find them in the axles, they find them in tires, they find them packaged inside other containers. But among other things, you can hide illegal immigrants and terrorists in the back of those trucks as well. Often they find people sneaking in inside those trucks too.
Third, single-person staffing and not 24 hours is not acceptable at key border crossings. Short term, we are double staffing and keeping them open 24 hours. But unless we get more agents, this is not going to work.
Fourth, we have lots of unmanned roads in a variety of ways and we cover them with a variety of mixes: Of monitors, of roadblocks, of local people identifying, and it actually works pretty well, but we need some additional help. The news media has been really fond of particularly picking on the Vermont border right now as well as, to some degree, the New York border because of some incidents that have occurred. But what has not been told is that in almost all the cases, the news media has been caught. Even though they originally did not think that they were being caught, they were being tracked and eventually caught. Part of the argument is how fast they were caught. But in some of the places, they are actually legal, because the road runs along the border on the Canadian side, and only if one takes a right turn or a left turn, depending on the place into U.S. territory and then do not report, is one violating the law. So it can take, even when we are doing the right thing and tracking appropriately, 10 to 15 minutes before somebody catches you, because you were not illegal most of the time, and some of the media has been reporting has, quite frankly, been inaccurate. We have done a better job of protecting the border than one would think, but we still need additional things, because as we put the pressure on, so will those who want to violate the law, including terrorists.
Fifth, the water. In Lake Champlain we obviously need a little bit better protection, but in fact we have a pretty good method of watching, we just need a little bit of additional protection on the eastern part of the lake, the northeast part of the lake.
Sixth, we have an Indian reservation over by Mecina to the west that is cooperative, but because it is in effect an independent Nation, we treat Indian reservations differently than other areas as far as border crossing, and even though the local tribal council has cooperated, it is problematic how to deal with this, particularly when there is, in Canada they call them the first nations, when they have a reservation on the other side, because the law enforcement policies are different. So it takes excellent cooperation.
Seventh is just walking in the woods. Because they have caught a lot of people carrying these potent drugs in backpacks just walking through the woods across the border. Now, this becomes problematic. But remember what I said is we caught many of them.
The interesting thing here is the reason, and this could depress us to listen, because this is just the Vermont and the New York zone here, but the encouraging thing is if we can concentrate the pressure at the major crossings and fan them out so that they have to go wider and wider, just like we have worked with immigration policy along the Mexican border, it is easier to catch somebody going through open desert than it is when they get lost in a crowd at San Ysidro at the San Diego crossing.
The same thing in the north country. You may think you can walk through the mountains or in the woods of Maine or Vermont or upstate New Hampshire, but there are several things working against you. One, it is cold there a lot of the year. You are going to leave foot prints, even snowshoe prints. You are going to have to eventually hook up with the car, and we are monitoring, and the other thing are the locals. Just like on airplanes, where the private citizens on the plane need to be watchful as well, the same thing is true on the borders. It is amazing in these tight knit local communities, they know when somebody strange is coming across and they report it. To the degree that American citizens join in, we can, in fact, make many of these borders much more secure than one would think at first glance.
Now, on October 17, our subcommittee also held a hearing entitled, Keeping a Strong Federal Law Enforcement System that featured U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, the INS Director James Zieglar, as well as Assistant Commissioner at U.S. Customs and the Assistant Director of U.S. Marshals. They made several key points. Because bottom line is, we cannot control or seal the border if we do not have the agents.
In Congress, we passed this really bold bill. We said we want 3,000 new Border Patrol and INS agents. Well, that sounds real great until we get to the point of last week, we did not add agents, we lost 5 agents just before we had one meeting. What we were told at these hearings is up to 67 percent of the agents are looking at leaving in the next couple of years, and we are talking about adding them. This is our frontline of defense.
Well, what are some of the problems? We have 6,000 miles of border and 300 points of entry. The budget calls for 3,000 to 3,500 new Border Patrol agents and immigration inspectors. In 1999, INS had to attract 75,000 applicants to fill 2,000 positions. Of those 2,000 positions, 37 percent were former military. Now, they say they do not recruit from the military, but, in fact, they recruit from people who are retired, and many people who retire are looking at whether it is going to be a satisfactory job, so people who have job options will leave the military, and re-enlistment has become a big problem. 30 percent come from local law enforcement. That was one of the debates we had here tonight on the Airline Security Act. If the Federal Government nationalizes all security at the airport, where are the guards going to come from?
Last week, last Sunday, to be exact, Philadelphia reported that they had 37 murders compared to 25 last September and directly attributed it to the fact that so many policemen had been taken off of traditional law enforcement and moved towards antiterrorism efforts. Twelve people died because we were chasing things that did not happen in Philadelphia. That has been repeated all over America. We cannot do more things with the same number of people without diverting resources from one place to another. People are dying daily because of drugs; children are being abused, wives are being beaten, all sorts of things are happening in our country. If we do not have adequate law enforcement or if that law enforcement is chasing anthrax hoaxes or worried about things they previously did not have to deal with, and we have to reconcile this that if we are going to do more law enforcement, then we are going to need more agents. And if we are going to get more agents, given how hard it is to hold, retain, and recruit agents now, some changes are going to need to be made.
Well, like what? One, for the INS Border Patrol, they need a waiver of the overtime cap. I mentioned earlier at the borders that we visited this past weekend, they are nearing the overtime cap. They have people with no vacations and they are working overtime, and yet we capped them out of overtime, so that is not even going to be an option. Then, what are we going to do? In late November, early December, we are going to say okay, we have used up all of our overtime, we do not have any a little, I guess we will now just open up the borders completely. I do not think so. We have to address this rapidly.
Secondly, we need comprehensive pay reform. Part of the problem is that INS and Border Patrol they are topped out at a G9 and anybody who has been there a while if they have an option like oh, tonight, more sky marshals, where do sky marshals come from? They come from Border Patrol and INS, but we just said we are going to hire 3,000 more of them but we are taking them and moving them to sky marshals. We have to figure out how we are going to get people in both places, which means, for example, recruitment bonuses.
In San Francisco, because of the cost of living and the shortage of applicants, they had to have $5,000 bonuses and then they got the applicants. In the year 2000 they used $2,000 recruiting bonuses. Just sitting on the border is not the most exciting thing and then being held accountable if one person in every 500,000 slip through, it is difficult. If we do not pay adequately, we are not going to be able to recruit people. We also need law enforcement status for INS inspectors. They are expected to do law enforcement work; they are expected to catch criminals, and yet at the same time, we do not pay them that way.
We also need to really raise the earnings caps, and we also need language
bonuses. I referred to that earlier. We need some changes in how those language bonuses are worked. It is not that they are not good, they are 3 percent of their salary. But if they are viewed as unachievable and not relevant to your job, then nobody seeks the bonuses. We should be seeking that, and if we tie that to people's pay; if we say, look, we will give you 5 percent more if you learn Farsi. It would make me feel more secure if we had people on the borders who speak Farsi, and if we are going to give them a pay raise, let us tie it to something, but let us make it achievable. They do not have to be a teacher in Farsi; they need to be able to understand it and have basic communication with somebody who is crossing the border, or Arabic or Spanish or French or whatever language we need, the Asian languages on the West Coast in particular, but increasingly across the country.
We also had a hearing this week student on visas in the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and let me make a couple of points with that. First, let me put it in context. The only real way we are going to stop terrorists and, for that matter, illegal drugs, is before it gets to the United States. One of the chief planners of the September 11 attacks was on a student visa, was not a student. How can we protect ourselves if people are here on visas that they have jumped, and nobody reports it? So I would suggest several things. First, let me state one other problem.
Foreign students, of which we have hundreds of thousands, or we have at least several hundred thousand plus, apply to multiple universities, just like we do in the United States and our kids do. Presumably, the student may tell the university, I think most of them either put a down payment down, they pay it, they get a dorm, they get their classes, but right now, the government requires that the student, when they get their visa, say what university they are going to, but the university is not told they are coming, so the university could have a student headed for UCLA or Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame, and they might have it on the student visa, but the university may very well not know they are coming. So one thing we need to fix is to let the university know that the student got the visa in that university's name.
Then, the university has an obligation to let the United States Government know: did the student actually check in and start classes? Did the student drop out? And/or did the student graduate? In other words, once they have completed the criteria on their visa or fail on the criteria of their visa, they are the first line of defense to let the government know. They do not have to be a law enforcement agency. It is not their job to go out and find the student, but the government does not know where to find them or whether they have even jumped the visa if the university will not help. The only way we learn usually is after they have committed a felony. That is how we learn whether somebody has violated their visa. So we need to get a better system with that.
What I would suggest, because not every student is obviously a case at risk here, and we are not talking about American citizens or immigrants who have come to America and are going to college, let us get this straight. We are talking about people who are here because of the free nature of our country. Just like when our students go overseas, they are a guest in that country, and when they go overseas, there are certain criteria that they have to follow.
For example, let me tie this to another incident, and I mentioned one of the terrorists. A number of years ago, when we were looking at stolen Chinese secrets which basically made us much more vulnerable to attack from China, the son of the equivalent of the head of the CIA of China had come to the United States. The way we turned this up in the Committee on Government Reform is we were investigating Johnny Chung and he worked for him. He was a lower level in the process of where the money got laundered and he was very open with us, and it may be, I am not saying the son was a risk, but the plain fact of the matter is he was enrolled at a university in Los Angeles, did not show up, we lost him. We lost the son of the CIA.
Now, do Members think China, when George Bush, Senior, was head of the CIA, and George W., if he had visited in China to be a student, do Members think China would have lost George W., being a student there? I do not think so. It is incredible that at a time in the very period when our secrets were stolen, we did not know where the son of the head of their CIA was in the United States because it was not reported that he did not show up on a student visa.
So this has happened before. It is not new, and it happens a number of times, but we are looking for a needle in a haystack in the terrorist question unless, what I would suggest is that they start with a simple process.
The INS does not have enough people to look up everybody who jumps their visa. This is not just students, it also applies to workers and when somebody sponsors a visitor. They ought to be held accountable for notifying the government if they have jumped.
We need to give additional dollars then to the INS. I said, we cannot get the borders covered, the basic work covered even for felons, so if we are going to put a new thing on them, we have to give them the money to be responsible.
It is a waste of money to do this for everybody right now because everybody is not at risk, but how about if we start something simple: If you are a student from a terrorist nation, one that the State Department listed as funding or supporting terrorism, and there are seven, then those students ought to be tracked, those workers ought to be tracked, and those guests ought to be tracked.
We ought to know if they have overstayed or violated the terms of their visa, and it ought to be reported to the government by their sponsor if they know that they have violated it. It is not their sponsor's responsibility to track them, but it is to let the government know, and the INS will track. There ought to be a penalty if you do not report.
Furthermore, in addition to those terrorist countries, we ought to add Afghanistan. Right now Afghanistan is not on the terrorist list. It kind of surprised me when I heard that, because we do not recognize the Taliban. Since we do not recognize there is a government there, they are not on the terror lists.
It would not be too hard to come up with another list, and that is if the country is not themselves a terrorist threat but there is reason to believe that that country is the home nation of a lot of terrorists.
Let us take, for example, Saudi Arabia, where I believe 15 of the 17 were from; that then students from that country, even though their government may be completely innocent, that we track them. In other words, let us look at the facts. If you are a terrorist nation and certified as such by our State Department, or you are Afghanistan with the Taliban, or you are from Saudi Arabia right now, you are at much more likely risk if you have violated your visa, and we are not talking about people who are following the law.
I would place a bet right now that the average American thought this was already happening. We would have thought that if there was a student from a country certified for terrorism and they had a work visa or a student visa or a tourist visa, Members probably thought that once they were here longer than they were supposed to be, or were not doing what they were supposed to be, that we know. Well, we do not. It is time we fix that right away.
I also want to comment on the role of the Canadian parliament, the Mexicans, and the commerce.
As I mentioned, we started this process through the parliament groups. Both sides of the border are interested in fixing this. We know the importance. The Plattsburgh Chamber of Commerce leader said that $1.4 billion in trade in that community of 80,0000 people.
Fourteen percent of the people who work in the area work for a Canadian-owned companies. I have multiple Canadian-owned companies in Fort Wayne, which is 140 miles from the Windsor-Detroit border.
We have become totally interconnected in big cities, and in Michigan Texas, Arizona, far more than Indiana. We all know there needs to be a
stake. The Canadian parliament now is working on an antiterrorism law and are working on their immigration laws, but they have different traditions and we have to work through it.
If we are going to have accelerated border passes, background checks, fast passes, they need to understand they are going to have to make changes in their countries just like we are, because the American people as well as the people in their countries are not going to tolerate living in fear of nuts.
Now, I want to also talk tonight, in addition to the terrorism on the border, a little bit about our anti-narcotics efforts. In our subcommittee, we have oversight of narcotics. It is a lot like terrorism. We
are going to learn how difficult it is to fight terrorism, because if Members think the drug war was hard, the antiterrorism war is going to be even harder because there are fewer people and they have more targets. At least in drugs we know the networks and know where it is coming from.
Number one, it is coming from Colombia, the heroin and cocaine. It is then coming either through the Caribbean corridor or the Pacific corridor or by air. Depending on our successes, sometimes when we put the pressure on the Caribbean, it moves to the Pacific. When we put pressure on the Pacific, it moves to the Caribbean.
It used to be all through the Andean Indian region, but Bolivia got most of theirs eradicated. We need to make sure that stays firm. In Peru, they got most eradicated but it is coming back. It has moved to Colombia. Chances are overwhelming, about 90-some percent, if you have heroin in your community, as every community basically does, if you have cocaine in your community, as every community basically does, it is coming from Colombia. We know where it is at. We have to get it there.
They are having a war in that country. We have had a big controversy in this Congress about the so-called Plan Colombia. We passed over $1 billion, and if I have heard it once, I have heard it 50 times on this floor when we debated the Andean initiative this year, how can we keep pouring money into Colombia. Plan Colombia did not work.
As we heard in our drug task force today from Rand Beers who heads international narcotics for the State Department, I am going to have to recall this from memory because I do not have it written down, but of the Blackhawks that we put in our package, four arrived in September, two for the CNP and two for the military, and six more will arrive by the end of the year.
Of the Huey helicopters that we had in the budget, they are arriving in January.
In other words, how can Plan Colombia fail when it is not there yet? I am tired of hearing how Plan Colombia failed. When we budget for a helicopter, we do not just pull it out of a Wal-Mart. We have to build it. There is a backlog of orders because we do not have right now as big a military establishment as we have had before. It takes a while to get the helicopters built, and the new Huey IIs, we do not just all of a sudden ramp up an assembly line like G.I. Joe. These are not little plastic toys. I did not mean a real person G.I. Joe, which we cannot ramp up, either. We have to do training.
It is not a plastic toy. These are real helicopters which are complicated. It takes a while to get there.
We do not know whether Plan Colombia does not work. We will know more in 6 to 12 months. What we know is the Colombians were bravely fighting a battle, and we had aid there, but not the size of the aid we are talking about.
If we are successful in putting pressure on Colombia, we know the pattern. They are going to move to Ecuador, move to Bolivia, move to Peru, move to Brazil. So that is why this year the House appropriated $670-some million out of the President's $707-some million request, the bulk of which goes first to Colombia, that is the biggest battle; second to Peru; third to Bolivia, where we know they have been before and could potentially come back; and fourth to Ecuador, which is on a watch list.
So what did the other body do? The other day they cut it another couple hundred million dollars, and they cut Colombia first, Peru second, and left in for Bolivia and Ecuador, which is fine, but they are three and four.
If this budget does not get fixed, we will have put $1 billion into Plan Colombia, then cut the follow-up plan, and wasted the money, basically.
What is the point? Can we not ever see past our nose? Are we going to be inevitably constantly repeating our Vietnam problems, where we get into, and this is not exactly like Vietnam, but when I say that, it is like the antiterrorism war or the war on drugs. We do just enough to fail. When we finally get ahead of the curve, we somehow decide we are going to be off on another adventure and do not finish the job.
In the case of Colombia, we need this assistance because, first, we have to stop the terrorizing before we can plant alternative crops. People say they want to plant alternative crops. It is just like a kid on a street corner. If he can make $600 an hour as a lookout, he is not going to take minimum wage at McDonald's unless the risk of being a lookout is too high, and then maybe he will take the job at McDonald's. But we are not going to pay him $600 an hour at McDonald's.
The same calculation goes into a coca grower. If they are going to plant palm hearts, they are not going to make the same as coca, but they want to plant legal things. They want a decent living for their family.
If they are going to get shot, and when we were in Colombia and we talked to one of the members who had left the FARC, I will never forget this, Mark Sanford and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. BLAGOJEVICH), two other Members, we were waiting for the gentleman from Illinois (Speaker HASTERT), then Congressman, to arrive in his helicopter.
We were talking to this young kid who just left the FARC. He was an enforcer. We asked him if he had ever shot anybody. He said yes. We asked, ``Why did you shoot him?'' He said, ``The guy was behind in his payments.'' What do you mean? ``He was a coca grower and he was not paying us the amount that he was supposed to pay us. I warned him twice and then shot him. He did not pay his bills.'' ``What do you mean, he did not pay his bills? You do not shoot him for that.'' We were told that, yes, we told him if he did not pay the tribute money we were going to shoot him. What did you do? He was an older man. We went to the restaurant. I went up behind him and we killed him. And he said, ``Look, he did not pay his bills.''
Now, if you are a farmer and they are coming in killing your family or kidnapping them or maiming them, it is pretty tough to walk in and say, by the way, we want you to plant palm hearts.
First, we have to get order. Then once we get order in Colombia, then we need to go in and help them get or make a living, because if we do not help them make a living, they are going to go right back to what they were doing before. That is why we have money to help build the legal system.
Right now the judges are intimidated. They killed one-third of them back in the days when the movie Clear and Present Danger highlighted it. At the same time, they shoot the judges, and they have destroyed and killed much of the legal system. People are intimidated. There are brave souls fighting away, but we have to rebuild a respect for law and work with the people.
Colombia is the oldest democracy in South America. Because of our drug habits, they have had serious problems in their country. We need to get the Andean initiative because if this process works in Colombia, it is going to move as it always does.
People say if you legalize drugs in the United States it is going to go away, like the people who are making all this money are going to say, right, I am going to go broke now. No, they are going to step people up to other things. We are not going to legalize cocaine and heroin, even if we legalize marijuana, which would be a huge mistake.
So it is important now. We are having a big debate in Congress. We understand if we cut back the Andean initiative, that the net result of this is going to be more terror on our streets at home, more cases like what we have heard in our hearings from mothers whose husbands were whacked out on drugs and came home and beat them
and their kids, or used up all their money for health care and for education to fuel their drug habits; or as I have talked to former and current drug addicts, when they need money, they just go out and rob somebody, mug them, or kill them if necessary to get the money.
We visited juvenile detention centers and had some young guys tell us, one of them had killed somebody when he was stealing his car to fund his drug habit. The question was, why did you kill the person? He said, what does it matter? I will be dead by the time I am 25, anyway.
So when we look at that, it is a tough thing. If we cannot get it in the source countries, then it moves out into the Pacific and the Caribbean. Then we come back to the border question I was talking about before. Once it gets to the border, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack in a city.
We dare not cut back the Andean initiative any further than we have already cut it back. I know there
are many money pressures, but we have to simultaneously say if we are going to go after terrorism, we are not going to go after terrorism at cutting back on illegal narcotics.
Alcohol and illegal drugs account for, in every district, every city in this country, 70 percent to 85 percent of all crime, including child abuse and domestic violence. If we are going to get at other sins in the society, we have to get rid of the enablers.
Let me talk a little further about a couple of other things. The DEA has finally started to crack down on some of the medicinal marijuana problems. We have had a huge problem in this country with so-called medicinal marijuana. There is nothing medicinal about marijuana. Lots of poisonous things have some good ingredients in them.
There is no medicinal marijuana. There are components inside marijuana, as there are in arsenic and other things, that are healthy. But in California, this has become a way, for example, they got into one housing addition where it looked from the air like it was a housing addition, but they were all fake homes growing quantities of marijuana.
In my home State of Indiana, where they have what is more commonly called ditchweed, they have now been bringing in BC Bud and mixing it with Indiana ditchweed. Indiana has become the fifth largest exporter in the United States of marijuana, and it is shipping to the east and west coast mixed with this BC Bud, and we are talking about in Indiana a raid just like in Colombia.
They plant it in the corn and it is not even necessarily that the farmer knows it is there. They plant the marijuana inside the corn. It is hidden under there. You have to catch it with different screening methods from the air or ocean, or from tips. It is extraordinary how wishy-washy some of our leaders back here are. And my favorite chart that I do not have with me tonight showed directly that in 1992 to 1994, with the combination of the signals we sent from our top down of ``I did not inhale,'' and joking about it, to the movies, to the music, and then, combined with our reduction in source country interdiction in the drug budgets from 1992 to 1994, the drug use in the United States soared at such a level that to get back to that in 2001, we have to have a 50 percent reduction from where we are at to get back to where it was when President Clinton first took office in 1992, a 50 percent reduction.
A 50 percent reduction. That is how bad it was. And it was directly correlated. In 2 years it soared that much. And what we saw was the purity soar. We saw the price go down, and we saw the use go up. In 1995 and 1996 it started to stabilize. In the last years of the Clinton administration with General McCaffrey as drug czar we started to make progress again; but we have challenges.
I want to read from The New York Times Magazine from this past weekend about a man named Adam Sorkin, who is the key person behind ``West Wing''; and I am just going to read out of this magazine. As you may know he was busted again. This article talks about how he has a drug habit. It also shows the problem with our drug treatment program because he has been through a treatment program, and he is cynical about ever being cured; yet they keep saying he is cured.
Quote: ``While Sorkin seems to derive a very similar kind of relief from writing hyper-articulate dialogue and from inhaling crack, he keeps his two worlds separate. That is not to say he never writes about drugs. His teleplays are sprinkled with roach clips and bong pipes and all the references are slyly appreciative. Five weeks into the West Wing pilot this year, a high priced call girl whom we will soon come to appreciate for her intelligence and strength of character, greets the day by lighting up a joint and saying, `It is not like I am a drug person. I just love pot.' ''
We in Congress can work and work at it, but if we have the producers of ``West Wing'' and other people, ``West Wing,'' by the way, is a tired, formerly creative TV show that is basically trying to rehash what former President Bill Clinton would do if he was facing the crises that they can develop each week; and it is starting to become old, but it is entertaining in many ways. But it is also here from the producer bragging about working in pro-drug statements.
What kind of example is this? How are we supposed to fight it on the one hand when our TV producers glamorize drug use on television. Then we wonder why we are failing the drug war when people call it medicine, when TV producers glamorize it.
Furthermore, to quote an article this week in the Washington Post, which is something we have been talking to the South American and Central American countries about, our drug habits because of irresponsible leaders in the media and in political offices and people in the TV industry, because of our usage, they now have produced such a supply in these countries that the use is increasing and doubling in many of these countries.
This article this week in the Washington Post, which I would ask to be inserted in the RECORD, says ``Mexico finds drug abuse is now its problem too.''
Let me read from one of the paragraphs: ``Mexico used to think that people like this Arellano were an American nightmare. By Mexico's reckoning, Americans were the ones using drugs. And their insatiable demand was the reason that violent cartels, which continue to conduct daily assassinations on the border, existed here. Places like Tijuana, where people did not even use drugs, were suffering because coke-heads from Malibu to Maine could not get enough, it was said. But that is changing fast. Mexico is not now the only major transit point for drugs shipped into the United States. It has a growing demand problem of its own.''
[From the Washington Post, Oct. 31, 2001]
Mexico Finds Drug Abuse Is Now Its Problem, Too
TIJUANA STREETS TEEM WITH ADDICTED YOUTHS
(By Mary Jordan)
TIJUANA, MEXICO.--Berenice Arellano Gil celebrated her 29th birthday by doing what she does most days: She slipped $3 into another addict's hand on a downtown street corner and bought a two-inch vial filled with crack cocaine.
``I feel like a dog running wild on the freeway, not knowing if I am going to make it off the road alive,'' she said, cupping her hands around the smoking white powder and inhaling deeply, letting the crack fill her lungs and surge into her brain.
She opened her glassy eyes, looked toward the United States, beyond a metal fence a few yards away, and her story tumbled out. She had a good life once in Los Angeles, installing carpet for $10 an hour, but she got caught and deported and despair led to crack, and at least now she has cut back and is spending only $10 a day on her habit instead of the $100 she used to waste, and she hates her job making $5 a day working in a restaurant but will never, never, never again have sex with a stranger to make a few bucks for crack, and you just can't believe how hard it is to get unhooked.
``It's my birthday, you know,'' she said.
Mexico used to think that people like Arellano were an American nightmare. By Mexico's reckoning, Americans were the ones using the drugs, and their insatiable demand was the reason that violent cartels--which continue to conduct daily assassinations on the border--existed here. Places like Tijuana, where people didn't even use drugs, were suffering because cokeheads from Malibu to Maine couldn't get enough, it was said.
But that is changing fast. Mexico is now not only the major transit point for drugs shipped into the United States, it has a growing demand problem of its own. While drug consumption in Mexico is still far below that in the Untied States, it began climbing in the mid-1990s at an alarming rate.
This gritty city of 1.2 million is Mexico's drug-use capital. Between 1993 and 1998, government surveys found a five-fold increase in the number of people saying they had used drugs in the past month. For 1998, the last year the survey was conducted. 15 percent of Tijuana youths said they had tried cocaine, heroin or other drugs--three times the national average.
Since then, far more people have begun trying drugs, particularly crystal methamphetamine. There are now hundreds of Tijuana crack houses, alleyways and street corners where people gather to snort, smoke or inject drugs.
``It's a dramatic problem affecting the quality of life here.'' said Victor Clark Alfaro, a prominent human rights advocate. ``Many of these people steal to get money for drugs. People are afraid of what people will do when they are high on crack and crystal meth.'' He said poor addicts are most visible because they often use drugs in the street. But he said middle-class children are taking them, too--in homes and discos at parties, out of their public eye.
The increasing drug use is generally traced to a change in the practices of Mexican traffickers who ship drugs into the United States. In the mid-1990s, according to Mexican law enforcement officials, the traffickers started paying local employees--those who handled such jobs as fueling planes and renting warehouses--partly in drugs. Those people needed to create their own market, and they began selling drugs in their home towns.
At the same time, the price of cocaine and other drugs has fallen. Drugs used to be beyond the means of poor youths from the Tijuana barrios, but a vial of crack now sells for as little as $2--and a heroin injection costs a $5 to $10, depending on quality, according to interviews with addicts here. They said the most popular drug is the cheapest: crystal methamphetamine, or ``ice,'' a synthetic drug that goes for $1 to $2 a hit.
Some Mexican law enforcement officials say the problem has become far worse since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States. U.S. border security has sharply increased, making it harder for the cartel to move their cocaine, marijuana and heroin across the border. That has led to concern that the backlog is being dumped in Mexican towns, where youths have a growing appetite for drugs.
U.S. law enforcement officials say they doubt the border security has curtailed drug trafficking. They note that U.S. street prices for drugs have not risen, a sign of steady supply.
But Pedro Jose Penaloza, who oversees crime prevention efforts in Mexico's attorney general's office, recently said that ``the consumption of cocaine in the entire country has risen alarmingly since the Sept. 11 attacks.'' He said the ``sealing of the northern border by the United States'' has led traffickers to drop the price of cocaine and other drugs normally destined for the United States and flood the market in Mexico.
In Mexico, drug consumption is seen largely as a health problem and is rarely prosecuted. In most places it is not a crime to consume small amounts. But despite concern over health, the government has devoted little money to treatment or rehabilitation, focusing instead on prevention efforts, which are far less expensive.
Clark Alfaro said there are about 80,000 addicts in Tijuana and the city's 50 private rehabilitation centers have room for 3,000. To many, these places, often run by former addicts or church workers with no formal training in rehabilitation, are notorious for harsh treatment.
Two people who have been treated in such centers said in interviews that techniques there include dousing addicts with ice-cold water, beating them and chaining them to make sure they don't flee. Several Tijuana newspapers recently ran photos of teenage addicts chained down in one of the centers. The youths had been placed there with the permission of their parents, who said they didn't know where else to turn.
Such techniques are ``not uncommon'' in the private centers, said Enrique Durantes, a psychiatrist who heads Tijuana's drug prevention program in the city's health ministry. ``We are totally against this method.''
He said more federal funding is desperately needed to open rehabilitation centers that use accepted treatment techniques. Last year the federal government issued national regulations and guidelines for drug rehabilitation centers, but officials said there has been little effort to enforce them.
``The government is leaving in the hands of [private groups] the process of rehabilitation,'' said Clark Alfaro. ``They are closing their eyes to human rights violations that occur there.''
Arellano, the crack addict, said she would not enter a private rehabilitation center. ``They are horrible. It's not like you have in the States. No, no, never, never, will I go into one of those places. I must try to get unhooked myself.''
A recent tour of open-air drug markets in Tijuana found many people inhaling crystal meth or crack and a new injecting heroin. Most of the users were in their twenties. One man sat on the curb on Ninos Heroes Street, the hood of a parka pulled over his face on a day when the temperature was near 80 degrees, a vial of crack supped in his hands.
A half-block away, Manuel Lopez, 32, slouched against an abandoned house, high on a combination of crystal meth and crack, known as a ``speedball.'' He was too incoherent to speak. Another man in much the same condition wandered into traffic on International Highway, nearly getting run over before his friends pulled him back.
Police in Tijuana have long been connected to major drug traffickers. Now those corrupt links extend to street-corner drug dealers, who say that association has created new bribery patterns.
Money paid to the police by drug cartels is often carefully orchestrated. High-ranking officers decide how big the bribe should be, and how it should be distributed within the ranks. But now cops on the street are taking ``express bribes'' from local dealers, pocketing a relatively small amount of money without consulting or sharing with other officers. One dealer said that as the recession has set in, more police officers have become open to taking bribes to look the other way.
Mexican police officials deny publicly that their officers take bribes. But many officers on the street readily admit that they take bribes to augment their low salaries.
Clark Alfaro said a man who manufactures crystal meth in a Tijuana laboratory recently complained to him that he had paid the police a $9,000 bribe because they threatened to shut down his lab. the man was upset because the cops wanted $20,000 and he had to bargain hard to bring down their price.
Our problem has now spread throughout Central and South America and throughout other parts of the world because we could not get control of our problems; it has now spread. And so the blood on the hands of those who die to illegal narcotics, of those who say marijuana is not a big deal, doing crack is a cool thing, who write songs like the song ``Heroine Girl'' that was supposedly an anti-song that turned out not to be an anti-drug song at a second level, that people who do that type of thing are responsible not only for the deaths in the United States but elsewhere too because much of this is psychological in whether behavior that is seen is approved or not approved.
There is another wave that we are trying to address. Clearly methamphetamines and Ecstasy have become a huge problem in the United States, and we are doing the best we can to address these things as well. We will continue to work at that as they come in from countries like the Netherlands. There they say legalization has worked well. Yes, they are shipping it to us. We would not have the stuff coming through Canada and through our borders and through other ways in the United States if they were not doing that.
The New York Times, ``Violence rises as club drug spreads throughout the streets.'' In Fort Wayne, Indiana, ``War on meth, number of labs raised to record highs.'' Here is from Fresno: ``Meth dump discovered.'' There they have a law because so many little kids have been burned to death with labs exploding, these giant labs. USA Today: ``Ecstasy drug trade turns violent.''
Just the other night there was a ``Dateline'' special on some of this potency. We have a huge problem in the United States. We do not just have problems with anthrax, which is scary, where four people have died. We have people overdosing, terrorizing their families, terrorizing their neighborhoods every day because of illegal narcotics.
The ranking member of the subcommittee from Maryland (Mr. CUMMINGS) has said it well. We are already under chemical attack. The chemical attack is illegal narcotics. The way we address trying to protect our borders from the terrorists, from coming up with strong law enforcement and in tracking and anti-drugs is going to be the same way we catch the terrorists coming in our midst.
We are working in multiple ways. This week in the committees alone we have done the postal. We did the student tracking. We have done field hearings at the border. We did airport security tonight. We are doing the best we can to try to address it. We cannot stop every terrorist. We cannot stop every illegal drug. But we will do the best we can and with the cooperation; and the support of people in their home neighborhoods, we in fact can make progress. We will never eliminate sin in America; but if we work together, we certainly can limit it.
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