Ray LaHood on Immigration
Republican Representative (IL-18)
Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border.
Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.
- systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
- physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Proponents support voting YES because:
It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of
two-layered reinforced fencing, and for the rest of the border provides a virtual fence, via integrated surveillance technology.
Opponents support voting NO because:
Just to build the fence is going to cost us at least $7 billion. Where is the money coming from to pay for it? How much is it going to cost to maintain this 700-mile fence? Who is going to do it? This bill contains no funding.
This bill also ignores real enforcement measures, like hiring more Border Patrol personnel, and instead builds a Berlin Wall on our southern border. So long as employers need workers in this country, and while our immigration systems impede rather than facilitate timely access of willing workers to those opportunities, undocumented immigration will never be controlled.
Walls, barriers, and military patrols will only force those immigrants to utilize ever more dangerous routes and increase the number of people who die in search of an opportunity to feed and clothe their families.
Reference: Secure Fence Act;
Bill H R 6061
; vote number 2006-446
on Sep 14, 2006
Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project.
Voting YES on this amendment supports the Minuteman Project, a group of volunteers who have taken on surveillance of the Mexican border for illegal immigrants. The amendment states that US funds will not be used to tell the Mexican government about the whereabouts of the Minuteman Project volunteers. Proponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are volunteer citizens doing what the federal government SHOULD be doing, but has failed to do. Opponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are vigilantes at best and anti-Mexican racists at worst. The amendment states:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a foreign government information relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, unless required by international treaty.
The amendment's sponsor said on its behalf:
Reference: Department of Homeland Security appropriations;
Bill HR 5441 Amendment 968
; vote number 2006-224
on Jun 6, 2006
- What this amendment does is it clarifies Congress' position on a Border Patrol
practice or a practice of the US Government that tips off illegal immigrants as to where citizen patrols may be located.
- As a response to the lawlessness along the Mexican border, a group has sprung up called the Minutemen Project, and the Minutemen Project is definitely not politically correct in Washington DC. However, they filled a void which the government was unable to fill.
- There are over 7,000 volunteers in the Minutemen organization, and their help has been productive and good.
- What my amendment does is simply says that the U.S. Government cannot tip off the Mexican officials as to where these folks are located. Plain and simple, nothing fancy about it. I am sure the Border Patrol will say, oh, no, we are not doing that, and yet one of the Web pages of the Secretary of Mexico had the information very explicit, and we just do not believe that is a good practice.
Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment.
Vote to pass the bill that would require hospitals to gather and report information on possible illegal aliens before hospitals can be reimbursed for treating them. The bill would also make employers liable for the reimbursements if an undocumented employee seeks medical attention, unless the employer meets particular conditions for exemption. The bill would specify that hospitals aren't required to provide care to undocumented aliens if they can be transported to their home country without a significant chance of worsening their condition.
Reference: Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments;
Bill HR 3722
; vote number 2004-182
on May 20, 2004
Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules.
Vote on motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill that would extend by four months a law allowing some immigrants to remain in the country while pursuing legal residency.
Reference: Motion sponsoerd by Gekas, R-PA;
; vote number 2001-127
on May 21, 2001
Voted YES on more immigrant visas for skilled workers.
Vote to pass a bill to increase the number of temporary visas granted to highly skilled workers from 65,000 to 115,000 by the year 2000.
Reference: Bill introduced by Smith, R-TX.;
Bill HR 3736
; vote number 1998-460
on Sep 24, 1998
English immersion over bilingual education.
LaHood adopted the Republican Main Street Partnership agenda item:
[The Republican Main Street Partnership supports giving priority to] examining new ways to increase the English fluency of limited English proficient students. Currently, priority is given to instruction programs that provide for bilingual education, which combines proficiency in the studentís native language with English instruction. Recently, however, education research has suggested that English immersion -- not bilingual instruction -- may be the most effective way to help students become proficient in English. Native language requirements in current law must change to reflect this reality and new instruction methods must be pursued with an eye toward regular evaluation and improved English language acquisition.
Source: 2001 GOP Main Street Partnership Action Agenda for Education 01-RMSP1 on Jul 2, 2001
Rated 0% by FAIR, indicating a voting record loosening immigration.
LaHood scores 0% by FAIR on immigration issues
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, non-profit, public interest membership organization of concerned citizens united by their belief in the need for immigration reform. Founded in 1979, FAIR believes that the U.S. can and must have an immigration policy that is non-discriminatory and designed to serve the environmental, economic, and social needs of our country.
FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest—more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.
With more than 70,000 members nationwide, FAIR is a non-partisan group whose membership runs the gamut from liberal to conservative.
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: FAIR website 03n-FAIR on Dec 31, 2003
Comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty.
LaHood co-sponsored for comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. McCAIN: This bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation is designed to fix our Nation's broken immigration system. While in previous years we worked independently on immigration reform legislation, we are coming together today to introduce what we believe is groundbreaking, comprehensive legislation. Over a year ago, the President laid out a framework for what comprehensive immigration reform should look like. We have used the President's framework to craft this package.
The simple fact is that America's immigration system is broken. Recent vigilante activities along the southwestern border have shown that the current situation is not sustainable. Americans are frustrated with our lack of border security and our inability to control illegal immigration.
Make no mistake, this is not an amnesty bill. We are not here to reward law-breakers, and any accusations to the contrary are patently untrue. This bill recognizes
the problems inherent in the current system and provides a logical and effective means to address these problems. It would be impossible to identify and round up all 10 to 11 million of the current undocumented, and if we did, it would ground our Nation's economy to a halt. These millions of people are working. Aliens will not come forward to simply "report and deport." We have a national interest in identifying these individuals, incentivizing them to come forward out of the shadows, go through security background checks, pay back taxes, pay penalties for breaking the law, learn to speak English, and regularize their status. Anyone who thinks this goal can be achieved without providing an eventual path to a permanent legal status is not serious about solving this problem.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on the Judiciary; never came to a vote. [The famous McCain-Kennedy legislation which DID come to a vote was the 2007 version of this bill].
Source: Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S.1033/H.R.2330) 05-S1033 on May 12, 2005
Rated 58% by USBC, indicating a mixed record on open borders.
LaHood scores 58% by USBC on immigration issues
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 USBC scores as follows:
About USBC (from their website, www.usbc.org):
- 0%-30%: open-border stance (approx. 197 members)
- 30%-70%: mixed record on open borders (approx. 70 members)
- 70%-100%: sealed-border stance (approx. 202 members)
U.S. Border Control, founded in 1988, is a non-profit, tax-exempt, citizen's lobby. USBC is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation's borders and reforming our immigration policies. USBC [works with] Congressmen to stop amnesty; seal our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration; and, preserve our nation's language, culture and American way of life for future generations.
Our organization accepts no financial support from any branch of government. All our support comes from concerned citizens who appreciate the work we are doing to seal our borders against drugs, disease, illegal migration and terrorism and wish to preserve our nation's language, culture and heritage for the next generations.
Source: USBC website 06n-USBC on Dec 31, 2006
Declare English as the official language of the US.
LaHood co-sponsored declaring English as the official language of the US
This bill declares English as the official language of the United States, establishes a uniform English language rule for naturalization.
Source: English Language Unity Act (H.R.997) 2007-HR997 on Feb 12, 2007
- The United States is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and continues to benefit from this rich diversity.
- Throughout the history of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been the
- Federal Representatives of shall have an obligation to enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government.
- The official functions of the Government of the United States shall be conducted in English.
- All citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the laws of the US.
- All naturalization ceremonies shall be conducted in English.
Declared English the official language of the US.
LaHood co-sponsored declaring English the official language of the US
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
Amends Federal law to declare English to be the official language of the US Government.
- Representatives of the Federal Government have an affirmative obligation to preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the Federal Government.
- Requires such representatives to conduct official business in English.
- Prohibits anyone from being denied Government services because he or she communicates in English.
- Requires that all officials conduct all naturalization ceremonies entirely in English.
- Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the preservation or use of Native Alaskan or Native American languages.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL:
The Congress finds and declares the following:
Source: English Language Empowerment Act (H.R.123) 99-HR0123 on Jan 6, 1999
- The US is comprised of individuals and groups from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.
- The US has benefited and continues to benefit from this rich diversity.
- The common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been a common language.
- The Federal Government should maintain a language common to all people.
- English has historically been the common language and the language of opportunity in the US.
- The purpose of this title is to help immigrants better assimilate and take full advantage of opportunities in the US.
- By learning the English language, immigrants will be empowered with the language skills and literacy necessary to become responsible citizens and productive workers in the US.
- The use of a single common language in conducting official business of the Federal Government will promote efficiency and fairness.
- English should be recognized in law as the language of official business of the Federal Government.
- Any monetary savings derived from the enactment of this title should be used for the teaching of the English language to non-English-speaking immigrants.