Joe Barton on Immigration
Congressman Barton states that he opposes amnesty, and that he favors an enforcement first policy. He has voted in favor of laws to secure the border, but voted against some laws to strengthen enforcement within the nation.
Official Website Statements
Controlling our borders is the responsibility and duty of the federal government. As Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” I am proud of the record our country has for welcoming legal immigrants who want to become Americans and contribute to society while pursuing their own American Dream. I am, however, convinced that we must work to end illegal immigration and not reward those who have broken our immigration laws. I am against amnesty. Rewarding those who break our laws only encourages further willful violations of our immigration policies.
I have received hundreds of letters and emails on this subject and would like to share with you some of my thoughts on the matter.
Strong Principles of Sound Immigration Legislation:
- Border security must be first priority. Any reform must be led by the principle of “enforcement first.” New Border Patrol agents and technologies should join the effort, curbing the flow of illegal immigration and providing a situation where policy can be effectively enacted. I also support the construction of fences at high-incident areas along the border, providing a supporting infrastructure to both manpower and technology.
- We must not allow amnesty. I do not support amnesty. Citizenship is a privilege, as are the entitlements that come with it. We should not reward individuals who have broken our laws. Federal support, instead, should be for those who follow the legal route to obtain American citizenship.
- We need increased immigration enforcement and stiffer penalties for violators of law. We must focus on improving the enforcement of current law and empowering officials to do more where needed.
- We expect newcomers to obey the law and assimilate into American society by learning English. I support English as the official language of our country and believe all Americans should be proficient in the language spoken by our founding fathers.
- We must be aware of employment needs of the business community. Many industries tie their costs directly to the readily-available workforce provided by new immigrants. With effective systems, American employers can and should help support the nation’s initiative to curb the flow of illegal immigration.
Working Towards a Solution:
It is time to secure our borders and find a permanent solution to the problem of illegal immigration. To address these matters, I became a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus. This group was established to provide a forum in Congress for addressing the positive and negative consequences of proposed immigration policies.
As your Representative, I will work to ensure that we gain control of our borders and begin serious enforcement of our current immigration laws.
Campaign Website Statements
Border security is a crucial aspect of the new global war on terror. Right now people in the world who seek to do us harm are trying to exploit our every weakness and challenge the protection of our borders. I support a reasonable immigration policy which allows us to determine who is coming into our country, and for what purpose. We must remember that our country was founded on the principles of opportunity and freedom; that is, the freedom to create opportunities for a better life. However, those individuals who come here illegally should not be allowed to remain. I do not believe that amnesty in any fashion is an appropriate way to turn the tide of illegal immigration. We must have a system that rewards the legal immigration of those who wish to become productive members of our communities.
Removing Funds for Lawsuits
In May of 2012, the House voted on an amendment put forth by Congresswoman Black of Tennessee. The Amendment was to prohibit the use of funds to be used by the Attorney General to originate or join in any lawsuit that sought to overturn, enjoin, or invalidate Immigration Enforcement Laws in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. The amendment passed 238-173 with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it. Joe Barton voted in favor of the amendment.
Joe Barton voted in favor of the amendment.
Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006
The Border Tunnel Prevention Act sought to impose a 20 year prison term on anyone building a tunnel to bring drugs or people across the border, and a 10 year term on anyone allowing a tunnel to be built on their property. The act passed almost unanimously in the House in roll call 469, but never came up for a vote in the Senate. Joe Barton voted in favor of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006.
Joe Barton voted in favor of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006.
Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006
In 2006, an effort was made to pass legislation (HR 6095) to give state and local law enforcement \"the inherent authority to investigate, identify, arrest, detain, or transfer to federal custody aliens in the United States\". The legislation also cracked down on smugglers of illegal immigrants. While the legislation passed the house on roll call 468 with bipartisan support, it was tabled in the Senate and never came to a vote. Joe Barton voted in favor of this legislation to enforce immigration laws in the US.
Joe Barton voted in favor of this legislation to enforce immigration laws in the US.
Secure Fence Act of 2006
Another piece of immigration law which actually passed in 2006 was called the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (HR 6061). The legislation was a series of requirements to monitor the border with both manpower and electronic surveillance. The legislation passed the house in roll call 446 with bi-partisan support. Joe Barton voted in favor of this legislation to secure the border.
Joe Barton voted in favor of this legislation to secure the border.
Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005
In 2005, the House passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The act was an attempt to create a more secure border. The act passed the House in a 239-182 vote, but was not voted on in the Senate. Joe Barton cast a "No Vote"
Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments
The Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments was an attempt to amend the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 to impose conditions on Federal reimbursement of emergency health services furnished to undocumented aliens. The attempt failed in a 331-88 vote. Joe Barton voted against the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments.
Joe Barton voted against the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments.
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
Makes English the official language of the United States. Requires, subject to exceptions and rules of construction, that: (1) official functions of the United States be conducted in English; and (2) all naturalization ceremonies be conducted in English. Establishes a uniform English language rule for naturalization. Makes English language requirements and workplace policies, whether in the public or private sector, presumptively consistent with the laws of the United States.
To enhance national security by restricting access of illegal aliens to driver's licenses and State-issued identification documents.
To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress' powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Administration should rigorously enforce the laws of the United States to substantially reduce illegal immigration and greatly improve border security.
To strengthen enforcement of immigration laws, and gain operational control over the borders of the United States, and for other purposes.