Mark Pryor on Immigration

Last Updated : Nov 15, 2012

Summary

Senator Pryor supports amnesty for illegal aliens. He has voted for and co-sponsored the DREAM Act on numerous occasions, supported some but all comprehensive reform packages, and supported the AgJOBS legislation.

AgJOBS

In 2005 Senator Pryor supported the AgJOBS program and released a spanish only press release stating that he support the legislaiton's goal of legal status for migrant workers. He noted that Arkansas depended on those workers.

Comprehensive Reform

In 2006, Senator Pryor supported the Senate passage of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation. He stated that the bill showed a spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship. He added that it secured our borders and allowed hard working immigrants who want to become citizens to fully participate in our economy.

In 2007, Senator Pryor opposed the proposed comprehesive immigration reform legislation. He stated that the current immigration system is broken and called for increased border control. He called for a comprehensive approach with strong enforcement mechanisms.

SAVE Act

In 2007, Senator Pryor introduced the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act (SAVE Act). He stated that the legislation would strengthen border security by increasing border patrol agents by 8,000 over 5 years,  expand and mandate use of the E-verify program, and enable law enforcement, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to enforce existing federal laws.

 

AgJOBS Program

In April of 2005, Senator Pryor issued a press statement in spanish noting his support for the AgJOBS program to provide legal citizenship to migrant agricultural workers. He stated that Arkansas agriculture depends on these workers and he expresses frustration that the Senate was not able to come to an agreement to pass this legislation.

 

Support for Comprehensive Reform

In May of 2006, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his support for the passage of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation. He applauded the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship in which the Senate passed the legislation. He stated that it secured our borders, and allowed hard working immigrants to fully participate in our economy.

 

Immigration Position

In June of 2007, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his view on what should be done about illegal immigration. He called upon the Bush administration to act to enforce stronger border control, and restore the rule of law. He stated that the proposed comprehensive immigration reform bill failed the test of restoring the rule of law.

 

SAVE Act

In November of 2007, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his introduction of the SAVE Act. He stated that the American public must have confidence that our immigration system works and that means enforcing the laws we already have on the books. The plan included increased number of border patrol agents, mandating E-Verify, and enabling law enforcement to enforce existing law.

 

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. Mark Pryor voted to table the amendment, and therefore supported the sanctuary city policy.

Mark Pryor voted to table the amendment, and therefore supported 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. Mark Pryor voted against the DREAM Act.

Mark Pryor 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. Mark Pryor voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Mark Pryor 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. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Mark Pryor 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. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-109; Bill Number-S 2075; DREAM Act of 2005 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to permit States to determine State residency for higher education purposes and to authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term United States residents and who entered the United States as children, and for other purposes.

Session-109; Bill Number-S Res 551; Social Security and Illegal Immigrants - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that illegal immigrants should not receive Social Security benefits and that this prohibition should be strictly enforced.

Session-108; Bill Number-S 1545; Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2003 - Cosponsor

Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who: (1) entered the United States prior to his or her sixteenth birthday, and has been present in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding enactment of this Act; (2) is a person of good moral character; (3) is not inadmissible or deportable under specified criminal, security, smuggling, or illegal entrant or immigration violator grounds, with certain age-related exceptions; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education, or has earned a U.S. high school or equivalent diploma; and (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. Authorizes waiver of certain grounds of deportability or ineligibility for humanitarian, family or public interest reasons. Prohibits removal of an alien whose conditional status application is pending. Sets forth continuous presence provisions.

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