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Mike Lee on Immigration

 

 


Secure border will take years or decades to achieve

Sen. LEE: The sponsors of the comprehensive immigration bill had the best of intentions. But the best intentions aren't enough when you're dealing with a 1,200-page bill. It will take many, many years, if not decades to fully implement all these border security measures.

GRAHAM: We practically militarized the border. I have been hearing for years, "let's secure our border, let's regain our sovereignty." We have secured our border in a way I could not have imagined five years ago. This whole border security amendment, I think, is the most aggressive attempt to control the southern border and regain our sovereignty. This bill reduces our deficit by $890 billion. It is good for our economy. This bill is good for our national security. No one can get a green card until border security measures are up and running, until E-Verify is up and running controlling a job in America.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interview: Senators Lee and Graham , Jun 23, 2013

Comprehensive reform leaves 6 million illegals in US

Sen. LEE: They promised us that under this comprehensive immigration bill, illegal immigration would be a thing of the past. It won't: 10 years from now, we'll still have 6 million to 8 million illegal immigrants in this country.

GRAHAM: As to the 11 million [illegal immigrants here now], they will have an earned, hard pathway to citizenship. They have to get in the back of the line before they can become citizens. They can't cut in line. They have to pass two English proficiency exams. I reject the idea of becoming the Mideast or Europe where you have 11 million people with a legal status who can't be part of America. America is different than the Mideast and Europe. E pluribus unum, out of many, one. This is tough practical solution for our national security, for our economy and tough, practical solution to 11 million. And most importantly, if we do the bill, amnesty is the status quo. If we do this bill, there will be no third wave of illegal immigration.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2013 interview: Senators Lee and Graham , Jun 23, 2013

I will make the "gang of eight" into a "gang of nine"

Q: When John Kerry left the Senate in January. you wrote a letter to the governor of Massachusetts in which you asked him to appoint you to the Senate on an interim basis. On immigration reform, you wrote, "I support the positions that President Obama has taken on these issues."

GOMEZ: I am for the immigration reform bill. That's the "gang of eight" [who support bipartisan comprehensive reform]. I want to make it a "gang of nine." I hope Senator Warren joins me and makes it a "gang of ten."

Source: Fox News Sunday on 2013 Massachusetts Senate debate , Jun 23, 2013

Enforce job laws and illegal immigrants will go home

On the immigration front, Bradley endorsed rounding up all immigrants here illegally and sending them home. Lee opposed that, but called for tougher enforcement of immigration laws to pressure them to go home.

"If we enforce laws more faithfully," Lee said, "jobs will dry up and they will go home."

Granato called for compassion and development of comprehensive immigration reform. "I do not believe in ripping families apart," he said. "We need to have compassion as we fix this."

Lee and Bradley also opposed the DREAM Act, which would allow children brought to America by undocumented immigrant parents to qualify for legal residency if they attend and complete college. "I don't believe we should be offering any benefit to people who come here in violation of our laws," Lee said.

Granato countered that the legislation would help children who have known no country except the United States. "I am fully in favor of the DREAM Act," he said.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune coverage of 2010 Utah Senate debate , Sep 17, 2010

Repeal 14th amendment; no "anchor babies"

Sam Granato said he would strongly oppose any effort to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which grants citizenship to all individuals born on US soil. "We need to fix our broken immigration system, but carelessly repealing important portions of our Constitution is not the way to do it. We need to enact comprehensive, common sense immigration reform on the federal level that addresses the real issues at the core of this problem--insufficient border security, a legal immigration process strangled by bureaucratic red tape, and the complicated task of resolving the legal status of those already here. These are the pressing issues Congress should be focusing on, not knee-jerk reactions that don't actually solve the problem," Granato said.

Granato's statement comes on the heels of numerous comments by his opponent, Mike Lee, over the past several months indicating his support for repealing the 14th Amendment to prevent the citizenship of what he calls "anchor babies."

Source: Campaign press release, "14th Amendment" , Aug 13, 2010

No guest workers; no amnesty

[The federal government should] make clear that illegal aliens will not receive amnesty in any form, and must return to their own countries before applying for a visa; illegal aliens should receive no benefit from having entered the United States illegally, and should not be granted guest-worker visas or the opportunity to "purchase" lawful immigration status.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.mikelee2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Secure the southern border with infrastructure investment

The Constitution makes clear that the federal government is responsible for making and enforcing laws governing immigration. The federal government has dropped the ball in this area, allowing--and in some instances even encouraging--tens of millions of people to enter our borders illegally. Congress needs to fix this problem by:
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.mikelee2010.com, "Issues" , Jul 19, 2010

Endorsed by the ALI, indicating a strongly anti-amnesty stance.

Lee is endorsed by by ALIPAC, Americans for Legal Immigration

ALIPAC supporters have a diverse range of opinions, yet we are united in the belief that more should be done to reduce illegal immigration. ALIPAC supports those that legally immigrate, but we DO NOT support any amnesty, visa expansion, or "Guest Worker" program designed to reward illegal aliens or legalize their presence in the US. We support a peaceful, non racist, rule of law approach to resolving illegal immigration. America is a land of generous and caring people, but our hospitality and values are being strained and abused by those who are willing to break the law and take our jobs and our tax dollars. America's illegal alien population will begin to shrink instead of grow if we support candidates that will reflect the will of the vast majority of American citizens.

    FOUR POINT PLATFORM: "Simply enforce our existing immigration laws!"
  1. Secure Our Borders
  2. Crack down on employers that intentionally hire illegals
  3. Remove incentives and rewards to illegals such as licenses, welfare, and other taxpayer benefits
  4. Enforce our existing laws and deport illegal aliens when convicted of crimes or detected during routine law enforcement activities.
Source: ALI website 10-ALI on Nov 2, 2010

Supports additional border infrastructure.

Lee supports the CC survey question on Border Infrastructure

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Increase Border Security Including Additional Infrastructures' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives, but now we need you

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 16_CC12 on Nov 8, 2016

ICE performs vital functions that protect American families.

Lee signed Press release from 19 Senators on Resolution to Support ICE

Nineteen U.S. Senators introduced a resolution denouncing the radical calls for the dissolution of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE performs vital functions that protect American families. Last year, agents worked tirelessly around the clock to rescue 1,422 victims of human trafficking. More than 900 of those victims were children. ICE agents also removed a million pounds of narcotics and more than 4,800 gang members from the streets of this country. Those numbers are just a small fraction of the nearly 127,000 arrests made by ICE agents last year against people who came here and committed violent crimes against law-abiding Americans. Those criminals were responsible for more than 50,000 assaults, 2,000 kidnappings and 1,800 homicides.

"I am deeply troubled by the Democrats' reckless calls to abolish ICE. Eliminating ICE shows a blatant disregard for the welfare of the American people and our nation's immigration laws," said Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA). "With the ever present threat of MS-13 and international terrorism, along with an opioid crisis being fought at our border, abolishing ICE is unthinkable. ICE officers are in the trenches fighting those threats and protecting American families from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that endanger our families. ICE deserves our gratitude and respect, not scorn and ridicule."

"Washington Democrats wanting to abolish ICE, our country's immigration law enforcement agency, are essentially demanding open borders," said Sen. Cassidy (R-LA). "Assaults on ICE officers nearly tripled in 2017, so instead of attacking them, we should support them as they work to secure our borders, stop the flow of deadly drugs, break up violent gangs like MS-13, rescue human trafficking victims, and keep our communities safe."

Source: Press release from 19 Senators on Resolution to Support ICE 18LTR-ICE on Jul 12, 2018

Terminate national emergency at the Southern border.

Lee voted YEA Joint Resolution on Proclamation 9844

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 is hereby terminated.

Proclamation 9844 issued by the president on Feb. 15, 2019: Declares a state of national emergency at the southern border to address the issues of illegal immigration and criminal trafficking into the US: "The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency. The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch's exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. Because of the gravity of the current emergency situation, it is necessary for the Armed Forces to provide additional support to address the crisis."

Opposing the Proclamation (supporting the Resolution), ACLU press release, 2/15/2019 The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."

Legislative outcome Passed House 245-182-5 roll #94 on Feb. 26; pass Senate 59-41 roll #49 on March 14; Vetoed by Pres. Trump; veto override failed, 248-181-3 (2/3 required), roll #127 on March 26

Source: Supreme Court case 19-HJR46 argued on Feb 26, 2019

Sponsored bill to increase high-skill and family visa caps.

Lee sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

Legislative SummaryThis bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

Explanation from the Countable.US: Under the current immigration system, immigrants from any one country can claim no more than 7% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards issued annually to foreign nationals working in the U.S. This significantly disadvantages immigrants from larger countries that more immigrants come from.

For example, China (population 1.3 billion) and India have large backlogs of workers wishing to immigrate to and work in the U.S., but they have the name visa caps as countries such as Iceland or Estonia (population 1.3 million), which have both much smaller populations and far fewer citizens seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

The net effect of this is that immigrants from India and China can face decades-long waits, averaging 2-3 times the wait times for immigrants from other countries, for green cards, and many have to return home because they can't get permanent residency; meanwhile, countries such as Iceland and Estonia never come close to reaching their visa limit caps.

Legislative outcome Roll call 437 in House on 7/10/2019 passed 365-65-2; referred to Committee in Senate 7/9/2019; no action as of 1/1/2020.

Source: S.386/H.R.1044 19-HR1044 on Feb 7, 2019

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