Congressman addresses war, immigration during town hall meeting
Polk County Enterprise, June 2007
By SHAY EVERITT,
Special to the Enterprise
LIVINGSTON —The War on Terror, border security and proposed tax increases were just a few topics discussed by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) at a Town Hall meeting held June 9 at the Escapees Community Center.
Brady revealed the latest developments with the War on Terror, including specific issues such as the numerous attempts by U.S. military to clear and hold Baghdad.
Brady said the U.S. military has done its part and it is now time for the Iraqi government to step in.
“We will clear Baghdad one more time, but now they have to hold it. So far, in this surge, they have stepped up, but around September the president will have to make some pretty hard decisions about what to do next,” said Brady.
As far as the immediate withdrawal of troops, he maintained that that move would simply create new problems.
“If we pull out troops, the enemy will follow them here. We will stay there and be allies and make sure Iraq is not a haven for terror,” he promised.
This issue sparked a debate between members of the community concerning America’s initial reason for entering Iraq. Brady interjected with his explanation for the war.
“We are not fighting to make Iraq secure, we are fighting to make the United States secure,” he said.
Along with the War on Terror, Brady has concerns regarding immigration. One of his main worries is that children born to illegal immigrants immediately become U.S. citizens.
“Three-fourths of all births in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston are to illegal immigrant mothers. The law allowing children to be born into citizenship was initially meant to ensure slaves of this right. It is time for these laws to change,” said Brady.
He also raised the issue of the new immigration bill, which he opposes. He believes this bill, if passed, will increase illegal immigration.
“The bill will open the back door of illegal immigration and shut the front door of legal immigration. As of now, the front door is broken and people waiting to get here are on an eight-year backlog,” he said.
Brady believes this bill will not make the U.S. more secure and deems it unfair to anyone who chooses the legal route to become an American citizen. Although he does not agree with this particular bill, he is not opposed to all immigration efforts.
“Next year 77 million Baby Boomers will be retiring, leaving a huge shortage of jobs which will need to be filled,” said Brady.
Beyond this bill, he thinks there should be more efforts involving illegal immigration, such as an independent agency that secures borders instead of the U.S. military or police force. He also believes other countries should do their part for their citizens, especially in the way of providing employment and not leaving this burden to America.
“It is great that this country is such a great place to be, but other countries have to start taking their responsibility for their own people,” Congressman Brady said.
After he spoke of immigration, he discussed the fact that Congress has proposed to balance the budget within five years. He is opposed to this because a Texas family of four would be forced to pay $2,700 a year in taxes.
“Before Congress asks you to tighten your belt, shouldn’t Washington tighten its belt, as well?” Brady concluded.