Richard Shelby on Immigration

Last Updated : Jul 07, 2010

Summary

Senator Shelby believes that US immigration law is valid and should be enforced.  He is opposed to amnesty for illegal aliens, and stated that the "comprehensive reform" package amounts to amnesty.  While in office, he has consistently voted against these comprehensive reform efforts and against other legislation, such as the DREAM Act, which grant citizenship to specific portions of the illegal alien population.

 

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is Amnesty

In May of 2007, Senator Shelby appeared on NPR and had the following exchange with Steve Inskeep:

 

Flood of illegal immigrants

In a January 12, 2006 press release Senator Shelby's office released a statement which repeated a Montgomery Advertiser news article.  In the article, Senator Shelby notes his opposition to illegal immigration and the need to enforce the law.

 

Official Website Statements

 

2010 Re-Election Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Funding for Sanctuary Cities

Sactuary cities are those that allow illegal immigrants to reside within their borders with the understanding that the local government with not seek to determine immigration status or enforce the federal mandates concerning immigration. Senator Vitter put forth an amendment to create a reserve fund to hold money that would normally go to these sanctuary cities. On March 13, 2008, a motion was put forth to "table" or remove the amendment from consideration. Virtually all Democrats, and about 1/4 of the Republicans in office agreed to remove the amendment from consideration in a 58-40 vote. Richard Shelby voted against removing the amendment, and therefore opposed the sanctuary city policy.

Richard Shelby voted against removing the amendment, and therefore opposed the sanctuary city policy.

The DREAM Act

When the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill failed to pass, several members of congress attempted to achieve the same goal by passing the individual pieces of legislation that comprised the Reform Package. The DREAM Act was one such piece of legislation that grants citizenship to those that came to this country prior to the age of 16. Although the Bill got some support from both Democrats and Republicans, it too failed to pass the Senate in a 52-44 vote. Richard Shelby voted against the DREAM Act.

Richard Shelby voted against the DREAM Act.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In June of 2007, Congress attempted to pass the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. The bill iteself was a series of smaller pieces of legislation which established the requisites for people living in the US illegally to obtain amnesty. The bill also sought to grant other rights to illegal immigrants prior to and after they become citizens. Despite a massive Public Relations campaign to promote the legislation, the bill got no Republican support and roughly 2/3 of the support of the Democrats. The bill was rejected in the Senate in a 61-34 vote. Richard Shelby voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Richard Shelby voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

The Secure Fence Act

The Secure Fence Act passed the Senate in 2006, and required the director of homeland security to take operational control over certain areas along the border in an effort to cut down on both violence and illegal immigration. The enjoyed broad support and passed the Senate in an 80-19 vote. Richard Shelby voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Richard Shelby voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Immigration Reform Act of 2006

In 2006, the Senate attempted to pass an immigration reform bill. S 2611 passed the Senate in a 62-36 vote with the support of about 40% of the Republicans and all but 4 Democrats. Richard Shelby voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

Richard Shelby voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 992; National Language Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Requires: (1) English to be the national language of the federal government; and (2) the federal government to preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language. Provides that no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the federal government act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English, unless specifically provided by statute.Makes the English language version of a government form issued in a language other than English the sole authority for legal purposes.Declares that this Act does not prohibit the use of a language other than English.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 2715; National Language Act of 2008 - Cosponsor

Requires: (1) English to be the national language of the federal government; and (2) the federal government to preserve and enhance the role of English as the national language.Provides that no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the federal government act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English, unless specifically provided by statute.Makes the English language version of a government form issued in a language other than English the sole authority for legal purposes.Declares that this Act does not prohibit the use of a language other than English.

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