State of Texas Archives: on Immigration


Steve Stockman: Opposes comprehensive immigration bill, and no negotiation

Cornyn and Stockman both oppose the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill, which would have granted undocumented immigrants the chance to earn US citizenship. Cornyn ticked off some Tea Party conservatives by expressing willingness to negotiate over the Senate's immigration bill. He offered an amendment in June that would have blocked immigrants from earning citizenship if stricter border security requirements were not met. But the plan was defeated and Cornyn voted against the Senate bill.

Cornyn's immigration plan was derided by some Tea Party conservative groups, like Heritage Action, which said it would "serve as political cover for those senators seeking to justify their support for amnesty." Like Heritage Action, Stockman opposes granting legal status to undocumented immigrants at all costs. He spearheaded a (successful) effort to convince Speaker John Boehner to resist negotiating over the Senate's immigration bill altogether.

Source: Fusion.net editorial on 2014 Texas Senate race Dec 10, 2013

Paul Sadler: Path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

Ted Cruz: No path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

David Dewhurst: Limit police power to ask detainees about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Ted Cruz: Give police more power to ask about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Paul Sadler: Pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants

Moderators asked the candidates about keeping student loan rates low, abortion rights, raising social security taxes, increasing taxes on the wealthy and a pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. The four Republicans opposed all of those things, while the Democrats support them.

"What you have in government is a problem, and that problem has a solution," Sadler said. "And that solution can from the most conservative member and it can come from the most liberal member."

Source: Associated Press in CBS DFW on 2012 Texas Senate debate May 4, 2012

Tom Leppert: No border wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 20, 2012

David Dewhurst: Boots on the ground, plus a wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 19, 2012

Ted Cruz: Boots on the ground, plus a wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 18, 2012

David Dewhurst: No amnesty & no tuition for illegals; go home and re-apply

Leppert: A flat tax is an opportunity to expand the base. The tax code has more words than the Holy Bible.

Cruz on flat tax proposal: There is a permanent elite in Washington in both parties protecting tax code.

James says he supports a flat tax "at the lowest possible rate."

Dewhurst: "I am in favor of a fairer tax, a flatter tax."

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Mar 30, 2012

Ted Cruz: Triple the size of the Border Patrol

Cruz on immigration: Wants to triple size of Border Patrol. Says Dewhurst supported in-state tuition for kids of illegal immigrants.

Dewhurst: I have always been against an amnesty program. "If they want to be a citizen, they ought to go home and reapply."

Dewhurst says he was against tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Mar 29, 2012

David Dewhurst: Triple the size of the Border Patrol

The federal government has shamefully failed to uphold its responsibility. David will work with law enforcement to secure our border and triple the size of the Border Patrol in order to keep Americans safe.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Mar 28, 2012

Elizabeth Ames Jones: Greater emphasis on interdiction and deportation

The border with Mexico requires more boots on the ground, with the latest tools available to ensure a border that becomes more secure, not less. Greater emphasis on interdiction and deportation activities in the interior of our country is also a critical piece of true immigration reform. It is time for Washington to direct more revenue to securing our border...one of the legitimate responsibilities of the Federal Government.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.jonesfortexas.com Jul 17, 2011

Annise Parker: Report illegals to ICE, but don't look for illegals

One can imagine that the City of Houston's policy on illegal immigration--that its police officers don't ask about residents' citizenship unless they're arrested for a crime--will be an issue in the governor's race. Some think Houston is a sanctuary city, while others--including the region's top immigration enforcement official--reject that.

Mayor Annise Parker has a clear opinion on the "sanctuary city" charge: "Houston is not a sanctuary city. If you break a law in Houston, we will arrest you, we will take you to jail, and, if you're in this country illegally, we will turn you over to the appropriate federal agency, generally ICE. We will do it day and day after day, and we have been doing it for a very long time. What we don't do is divert our police officers to stop people on the street and inquire about immigration status. That's a waste of resources."

Source: Matt Stiles in Texas Tribune, "Sanctuary City" Mar 29, 2010

John Cornyn: More secure documents needed to enforce immigration laws

Noriega and Cornyn sparred over immigration. Both hedged when the debate moderator asked them what they would do if they found out members of a work crew at their homes were in the country illegally. Noriega and Cornyn both said the U.S. immigration system is broken.

Eventually, both said they wouldn’t stand for having undocumented workers at their homes.

“I don’t work for Immigration,” Noriega said, but when pressed said an undocumented worker would need to be deported. After the debate he said, “If it came to my attention that someone was in violation of the law, yes, I would report them.”

Cornyn said more secure documents are needed so immigration laws can be enforced. When asked again after the debate about the hypothetical scenario, he said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to hire people who are not legally here in the United States and I would look for somebody else to legally do that work.”

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Rick Noriega: Immigration system is broken; deport undocumented workers

Noriega and Cornyn sparred over immigration. Both hedged when the debate moderator asked them what they would do if they found out members of a work crew at their homes were in the country illegally. Noriega and Cornyn both said the U.S. immigration system is broken.

Eventually, both said they wouldn’t stand for having undocumented workers at their homes.

“I don’t work for Immigration,” Noriega said, but when pressed said an undocumented worker would need to be deported. After the debate he said, “If it came to my attention that someone was in violation of the law, yes, I would report them.”

Cornyn said more secure documents are needed so immigration laws can be enforced. When asked again after the debate about the hypothetical scenario, he said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to hire people who are not legally here in the United States and I would look for somebody else to legally do that work.”

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Jon Roland: Secure border from illegal entry

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Barack Obama: Encourage every student to learn a second language

Q: Is there any down side to the US becoming a bilingual nation?

A: It is important that everyone learns English and that we have that process of binding ourselves together as a country. Every student should be learning a second language, because when you start getting into a debate about bilingual education, for example, now, I want to make sure that children who are coming out of Spanish-speaking households had the opportunity to learn and are not falling behind. If bilingual education helps them do that, I want to give them the opportunity. But I also want to make sure that English-speaking children are getting foreign languages because this world is becoming more interdependent and part of the process of America’s continued leadership in the world is going to be our capacity to communicate across boundaries, across borders, and that’s something frankly where we’ve fallen behind. Foreign languages is one of those areas that I think has been neglected. I want to put more resources into it.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Need to look at different aspects of immigration reform

We need stronger border security. We are cracking down on employers that are taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can’t complain if they’re not paid a minimum wage and not getting overtime. Worker safety laws are not being observed. We have to make sure that doesn’t lead to people with Spanish surnames being discriminated against. We have to require that undocumented workers go to the back of the line, so that they are not getting citizenship before those who have applied legally.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Have border patrolled, surveillance, and deploy technology

Q: Do you think your vote on the border fence or the implementation of it was wrong?

A: The key is to consult with local communities, whether it’s on the commercial interests or the environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier. The Bush administration is not real good at listening. I will reverse that policy. There may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. Having border patrolled, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that’s going to be the better approach.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Increasing the legal fees on immigrants is not helping

It is important that we fix the legal immigration system, because right now we’ve got a backlog that means years for people to apply legally. What’s worse is, we keep on increasing the fees, so that if you’ve got a hard working immigrant family, they’ve got to hire a lawyer; they’ve got to pay thousands of dollars in fees. They just can’t afford it. It’s discriminatory against people who have good character, but don’t have the money. We’ve got to fix that. We have to improve our relationship with Mexico and work with the Mexican government so that their economy is producing jobs on that side of the border. The problem is that we have had an administration that came in promising all sorts of leadership on creating a US-Mexican relationship. Bush dropped the ball. He has been so obsessed with Iraq that we have not seen the kinds of outreach and cooperative work that would ensure that the Mexican economy is working not just for the very wealthy in Mexico, but for all people.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Deporting 12 million people is ridiculous and impractical

The American people want fairness, want justice. They recognize that the idea that you’re going to deport 12 million people is ridiculous, that we’re not going to be devoting all our law enforcement resources to sending people back. But what they do also want is some order to the process. We’re not going to be able to do these things in isolation. We’re not going to be able to deal with the 12 million people who are living in the shadows and give them a way of getting out of the shadows if we don’t also deal with the problem of this constant influx of undocumented workers. That’s why comprehensive reform is so important. Something that we can do immediately that is very important is to pass the Dream Act, which allows children who through no fault of their own are here but have essentially grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education. I do not want two classes of citizens in this country. I want everybody to prosper. That’s going to be a top priority.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: No official English, but keep common unifying language

Q: Is there any downside to the US becoming a bilingual nation?

A: It’s important for as many Americans as possible to do what I have never been able to do, and that is learn another language and try to be bilingual because that connects us to the rest of the world. It is important that English remain our common unifying language because that brings our country together in a way that we have seen generations of immigrants coming to our shores be able to be part of the American experience and pursue the American dream. I have been adamantly against the efforts by some to make English the official language. That I do not believe is appropriate, and I have voted against it and spoken against it. I represent New York. We have 170 languages in NYC alone. I do not think we should be, in any way, discriminating against people who do not speak English, who use facilities like hospitals or have to go to court to enforce their rights. But English does remain an important part of the American experience.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Introduce a path to earn citizenship in the first 100 days

I, as president, would work with our neighbors to the south, to help them create more jobs for their own people. We need to bring the immigrants out of the shadows, give them the conditions that we expect them to meet, paying a fine for coming here illegally, trying to pay back taxes, over time, and learning English. If they had committed a crime, then they should be deported. But for everyone else, there must be a path to legalization. I would introduce that in the first 100 days of my presidency.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Consider halting certain raids on illegal immigrant families

Q: Federal raids by immigration enforcement officials have generated a great deal of anxiety and have divided the families of some of the 3 million US-born children who have at least one undocumented parent. Would you consider stopping these raids?

A: I would consider that, except in egregious situations where it would be appropriate to take the actions you’re referring to. But when we see what’s been happening, with babies being left with no one to take care of them, children coming home from school, no responsible adult left, that is not the America that I know. That is against American values. It is a stark admission of failure by the federal government. I signed onto the first comprehensive bill back in 2004. I’ve been advocating for it: tougher, more secure borders, but let’s do it the right way, cracking down on employers, who exploit undocumented workers and drive down wages for everyone else.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Border fence that cuts off a college campus is absurd

Q: As president, would you commit tonight that you would finish the fence and speed up the construction?

A: Both Obama and I voted for that as part of the immigration debate. There is a smart way to protect our borders, and there is a dumb way to protect our borders. What I learned is that the University of Texas at Brownsville would have part of its campus cut off. This is the kind of absurdity that we’re getting from this administration. I’ve been fighting with them about the northern border. Their imposition of passports and other kinds of burdens are separating people from families, interfering with business and commerce, the movement of goods and people. So what I’ve said is that I would say, wait a minute, we need to review this. There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate. When both of us voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Deploy technology & personnel, not a border fence

Q: Do you think your vote on the border fence or the implementation of it was wrong?

A: There’s a lot we’ve learned about technology and smart fencing. There is technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier. It requires us having enough personnel along the border so that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and can be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross illegally. The way that the Bush administration is going about this, filing eminent domain actions against landowners and municipalities, makes no sense. After a careful review, listening to the people who live along the border, there may be limited places where it would work. But let’s deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier. That will work better and will give us an opportunity to secure our borders without interfering with family relations, business relations, recreation and so much else that makes living along the border wonderful.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Rick Perry: $100 million investment in a more secure border

I am proposing a $100 million investment in a more secure border. There is no such thing as homeland security without border security. It is not hyperbole to say terrorists view our international border with Mexico as a prime point of entry--that is the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community.

While the vast majority of people who come here illegally are economic migrants simply seeking a better life, the small percentage seeking to cause us harm don't dress differently. Nor do they put out press advisories in advance of their arrival. They don't want us to know they are here until they have done mortal damage to our people.

I support strategic fencing in urban areas along the border. But I also believe, like border sheriffs, that the best solution involves added manpower, not unmanned walls.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Jimmy Carter: Provide education for undocumented worker-children

Q. What about the recent Federal ruling affecting all school districts in regard to the enrollment of alien children?

A: As you know, the other border States at this time provide education for the undocumented alien children, undocumented worker-children. The [Texas] State government has maintained that impact aid should be given to the Texas schools. This is not legal and will not be done, because impact aid is designed for communities that have extra costs in their school sy because of military bases and other Federal installations, and not because the State government happens to disagree with the Federal Government on an issue.

So the responsibility as presently expressed by the Supreme Court is that educatio provided for the undocumented worker-children. The other States are complying with this ruling, and I feel sure that Texas will do the same since the courts have ruled

Source: Remarks at a Townhall Meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas (APP) Sep 15, 1980

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
  Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 29, 2014