Immigration Bills (2000's)

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Immigration Bills that were passed in this century

In order to be familiar with a candidate, a citizen must know where their congressman stands on the issues that matter most to them. The following is a list of relative bills dealing with immigration and how certain congressmen voted on the pieces of legislation.

Secure Fence Act


  • Passed on September 14, 2006
  • In 18 months the United States government will have "operational control" of its international and domestic borders in a manner that is satisfies and pleases the government.
Operational control - is the stopping of illegal entries into the United States, which includes terrorists, unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other illegal contraband.
  • The United States will have constant surveillance on borders by both land and sea through new technology such as ground sensors and vehicles continuously patrolling the area.
  • There will be an organizational overhaul to ensure illegal aliens to do not gain admittance to this country. There will be additional roadblocks and checkpoints to help insure this happens.[1]
  • There will be over 700 miles of double layered fencing covering the Southwest Region of the United States[2]

Reasons to Support the Bill

  1. One of the main objectives of the government is to protect our borders [3]
  2. Fencing aids in preventing illegal immigrants from coming into the country[4]
  3. In San Diego the fence along its border has provided stability against constant traffic of immigrants entering the city[5]

Reasons to vote against the bill

  1. Over 3,000 immigrant workers have died in the southwest region since 1995 from border control initiatives [6]
  2. The fence could become a financial nightmare with attacks against it and maintaining it against illegal aliens[7]

Preclusion of Social Security


  • Prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving Social Security Benefits
  • Text from the Amendment: "To reduce document fraud, prevent identity theft, and preserve the integrity of the Social Security system, by ensuring that persons who receive an adjustment of status under this bill are not able to receive Social Security benefits as a result of unlawful activity."[8]

Reasons to support

  1. We should not allow people who are working in this country illegally to be able to reap the benefits of Social Security. Those who broke the law to enter the United States and work here should not be rewarded for their illegal actions.[9]
  2. In some extreme cases, illegal immigrants who enter the country have actually stolen the identity of an American citizen, in order to gain entry into the country and to eventually work. This amendment resolves this issue.[10]

Reasons to oppose

  1. Many of these individuals have been living and working here for years, have been good and lawful citizens, and have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund.[11]
  2. These individuals are on the path to earning their U.S. citizenship, they should be given these benefits after having obeyed the laws on the nation.[12]
  3. Illegal immigrants working in the U.S. provide billions of dollars in payroll taxes, and actually assist the Social Security Administration.[13]
  4. It is not fair to steal their earnings or completely empty their Social Security accounts; it is not fair after all of the labor they have done in this country.[14]

National Language Amendment Act


  • Barbara Mikulski voted yes to declaring English as the official language of the U.S. government June 2007.[15]
  • The bill was passed with a vote of 64-33, June 6, 2007.[16]
  • Although the bill passed, It is a part of a larger comprehensive immigration reform act.[17]
  • The bill intends to preserve and enhance the role of the English language.[18]
  • It would make English the only language in which the government is required to provide citizens with information. [19]
  • Citizens would not be legally entitled to receive information from the government in languages other than English under this bill.[20]
  • The bill seeks to develop an electronic English learning program.[21]
  • The bill doesn’t prohibit the use of languages other than English. [22]
  • 91 percent of people in America want English as the official language, while 76 percent of Hispanics want English as the official language.[23]

Reasons to support the bill

  1. Although the U.S. is a diverse country, proposing English as the official language is said to unite its citizens.[24]
  2. The bill would save taxpayer dollars that have gone toward providing materials in languages other than English. [25]
  3. The bill would preserve English as a part of U.S. national identity.[26]

Reasons to Vote Against the Bill

  1. Materials provided by the government should be handled on the state level and based on the needs of the citizens in that particular state—not by individuals in Washington, D.C.[27]
  2. The bill reduces entitlement to multilingual services.[28]
  3. According to Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Inhofe amendment is racist. “I believe it is directed at people who speak Spanish. This amendment is divisive,” he said.[29]

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act


  • The United States Senate rejected the Immigration Reform bill, (S. 1639) with a vote of 46 to 53 on June 28, 2007. [30]
  • After it was rejected, the bill was returned to Congressional Calendar 208. [31]
  • Makes it unlawful to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien. [32]
  • The bill would establish the following benchmarks:

(1) operational control of the border with Mexico; (2) Border Patrol increases; (3) border barriers, including vehicle barriers, fencing, radar, and aerial vehicles; (4) detention capacity for illegal aliens apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico border; (5) workplace enforcement, including an electronic employment verification system; and (6) Z-visa (as established by this Act) alien processing. [33]

Reasons to support the bill

  1. The bill needs to be passed before circumstances worsen and the Congressional calendar is filled with other issues, pushing the issue to 2009. “If we do not legislate now, we will not legislate later this year when our calendar is crowded with Iraq and appropriations bills.” [34]
  2. “A vote against cloture is a vote to kill the bill. A Senator may vote for cloture and then express himself in opposition to the bill by voting against the bill.” [35]

Reasons to Vote Against the Bill

  1. If this bill becomes law, there will only be a significant reduction of 13 percent in illegal immigration, while over the period of 20 years, 8.7 million illegal immigrants will enter the country. [36]
  2. The bill doesn’t solve issues with illegal immigration. It will only repeat the mistakes of the 1986 bill, which had issues regarding amnesty and inadequate enforcement of the laws. [37]

Dutch Ruppersberger

Charles Albert "Dutch" Ruppersberger III has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 2nd district of the Maryland, since 2003 (map). Ruppersberger was the first Democratic freshman ever to be appointed to the House Select Committee on Intelligence. He was also named an Assistant Whip. [38]

  • Mock interview on immigration*
Mock Interview of Dutch Ruppersberger on Immigration

Immigration voting summary

  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)
  • Rated 33% by U.S. Border Control (USBC), indicating a mixed record on open borders. (Dec 2006)


  • Voted against an amendment to prohibit Social Security funds from being used administer benefits accrued from work performed in Mexico. Rep. Ruppersberger voted against the Gingrey amendment to HR 3043, an amendment to prohibit the use of funds by the SSA to administer Social Security benefit payments, under any agreement between the United States and Mexico establishing totalization arrangements between the two countries. The amendment passed 254-168. [40]
  • Voted against an amendment to increase funding for the construction of a border fence Rep. Ruppersberger voted against the Brown-Waite amendment to HR 2638. This amendment re-directs $89 million set to be appropriated to the Undersecretary for Management's account to the Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology Account, with a view towards constructing at least 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. The amendment was adopted 241-179. [41]
  • Voted on House floor for against an amendment to fully fund the training of immigration enforcement officers Rep. Ruppersberger voted against the Drake Amendment to H.R. 2638, the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The Drake Amendment would fully fund the president's budget request ($26.4 million) for the training and support for the voluntary participation of local law enforcement officers in immigration law enforcement, an important force multiplier in the fight against illegal immigration. This amendment passed 286-127. [42]
  • Voted in favor of border fence in 2006. [43]
  • Rep. Ruppersberger voted in favor of H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act of 2006. H.R. 6061: requires the Department of Homeland Security to construct 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border; provides for the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in five specified lengths (encompassing approximately 700 miles) along the United States’ southwestern border; requires DHS to study the necessity, feasibility, and economic impact of constructing a similar barrier along the U.S.-Canada border; enhances border infrastructure, including checkpoints, roads, and vehicle barriers; and requires DHS to achieve and maintain "operational control" of our borders within 18 months of enactment and require reports on the progress toward this goal. H.R. 6061 passed by a vote of 283-138-1 (1 denotes a vote of "present.") [44]
  • Voted in favor of rewarding illegal aliens from Mexico with Social Security benefits in 2004 Rep. Ruppersberger voted against the Hayworth Amendment (H. AMDT 745) to H.R. 5006, the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill. The amendment would have prohibited any funding in the bill from being used to pay Social Security Administration (SSA) employees to administer any benefits that would not be payable but for a totalization agreement with Mexico. The effect of this would be to prevent the U.S.-Mexico totalization agreement from taking effect -- at least during FY 2005 -- since SSA employees could not be paid for any work they do to determine or pay benefits under the agreement. The U.S.-Mexico totalization agreement would allow both legal AND illegal aliens working in the United States to qualify for Social Security benefits. The amendment failed by a vote of 178-225. [45]

Ruppersberger says:

  • "I believe the American people deserve 100% of the border protection we promised them in the Intelligence Reform Act, not 10% like the President is proposing. These additional border patrol agents are critically important to keep our families and our communities safe by preventing terrorists from slipping into our country unnoticed," said Congressman Ruppersberger. [46]
  • This Representative's motto is "if you've made it in illegally you're safe." [47]

Barbara Mikulski

Barbara Ann Mikulski, a Democrat, has been a United States Senator representing Maryland since 1987. She is the most senior female U.S. Senator. [48]

  • Mock Interview with Barbara Mikulski on Immigration [49]
Mock Interview of Sen. Barbara Mikulski on Immigration

Immigration voting summary

  • Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted NO on eliminating the "Y" non-immigrant guest worker program. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sept 2006)
  • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006)
  • Voted NO on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted NO on visas for skilled workers. (May 1998)
  • Voted NO on limit welfare for immigrants. (Jun 1997) [50]
  • Sen. Mikulski cosponsored S. 2284, the Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2006, to amend the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 to extend for three years an exemption for any H-2B alien who has been counted against the 66,000-visa cap during any of the three previous three fiscal years. H-2B visas are issued to "temporary" or "seasonal" low-skill workers. S. 2284 would have ultimately harmed American workers by creating exemptions which potentially could triple the number of H-2B workers in the U.S. at any given time.[51]

Mikulski says:

  • "America is not a melting pot. It is a sizzling cauldron." [52]
  • "Everything in Washington does not need to be a political hot potato. This bill shows that together, we can do better. We have worked on a bipartisan basis to deliver comprehensive immigration reform," said Senator Mikulski. "I support this bill because it not only protects our borders with strong security and enforcement provisions, but it also protects American workers. It rewards those who play by the rules, while making sure immigrants are treated with dignity." [53]
  • "I promised small businesses they could count on me to keep fighting until we had a solution and they had the seasonal workers they needed to stay in business. My promises made are promises kept," said Senator Mikulski. "Without these seasonal workers, many businesses would be forced to limit services, lay off permanent U.S. workers or, worse yet, close their doors." [54]
  • "There are over 40,000 non-U.S. citizens serving in the military today. Many are on the front lines in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world, fighting terrorists," said Senator Mikulski. "They are focused on fighting the enemy. They shouldn't also have to fight the bureaucracy just to become a citizen of the country they are fighting for. If you are willing to fight and die for America, you should be able to become an American." [55]