Bill Nelson on Immigration

Last Updated : Oct 25, 2012

Summary

Senator Nelson supports amnesty through a number of provisions. He supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform law in 2006 and stated that granting legal status to those already present solved the problem of those residing in the country illegally and disobeying the law. Senator Nelson has also voted for and co-sponsored the DREAM Act on multiple occassions. When addressing the overall topic of immigration, Sentor Nelson often states that the current situation is equivalent to amnesty since the laws are not enforced and often cites the need for the increased labor that illegal immigration provides.

Beds for Illegal Aliens

In 2006, Senator Nelson proposed an amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide funding for additional beds. These beds would then be used to house illegal aliens captured coming into the US. This was done to help end the practice of "catch and release" which consisted of border patrol arresting illegal aliens and then releasing them back into America because they did not have the beds to house them.

Comprehensive Reform

In 2006, Senator Nelson supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform plan, stating that it would make our country safer, while still meeting the needs of a national economy that depends on new workers. In supporting the reform legislation, Senator Nelson stated that the current situation was amnesty. He noted that the Mazzoli-Simposn law that passed in the 1980s is not being enforced by the Government, that is not obeyed by the people nor the employers of this country and which, in effect, grants amnesty to 12 million people who are illegally in this country and that the whole point of the Senate bill is to remove this amnesty under the present condition and return those who are going to be here working in a legal status.

 

Intention to Propose Amendment

In April of 2006, Senator Nelson spoke on the Senate floor about the amendment he was preparing to introduce that would address the problem of a lack of beds for illegal aliens that is causing them to be released.

 

Additional Beds

In May of 2006, Senator Nelson sponsored an amendment to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 to provide thousands of additional beds to house illegal aliens so that they are not simply released.

 

Support for Comprehensive Reform

In May of 2006, Senator Nelson released a statement noting his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Package.  

 

Current Situation is Amnesty

In June of 2006, Senator Nelson responded to claims that the proposed legislaiton was amnesty by stating that the present situation was already amnesty.

 

The Need for More Labor

In September of 2006, Senator Nelson was discussing the Secure Fence Act and spoke on the Sente floor about the need for more labor in Florida.

 

Mazzoli-Simpson

In June of 2007, Senator Nelson spoke on the Senat floor on the topic of immigration. He spoke about the the amnesty granted in 1986 and that the measures put in place to enforce immigration law were not enforced.

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. Bill Nelson voted to table the amendment, and therefore supported the sanctuary city policy.

Bill Nelson 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. Bill Nelson voted in favor of the DREAM Act.

Bill Nelson voted in favor of 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. Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Bill Nelson voted in favor of 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. Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Bill Nelson 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. Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

Bill Nelson voted in favor of the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 729; Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 or the DREAM Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. 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 before his or her 16th 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 grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education or has earned a high school or equivalent diploma; (5) from the age of 16 and older, has never been under a final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; and (6) was under age 35 on the date of this Act's enactment. Sets forth the conditions for conditional permanent resident status, including: (1) termination of status for violation of this Act; and (2) removal of conditional status to permanent status. Authorizes an alien who has satisfied the appropriate requirements prior to enactment of this Act to petition the Secretary for conditional permanent resident status. Provides for: (1) exclusive jurisdiction; (2) penalties for false application statements; (3) confidentiality; (4) fee prohibitions; (5) higher education assistance; and (6) a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report respecting the number of aliens adjusted under this Act.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 774; DREAM Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. 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 before 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 grounds of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (4) at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education, or has earned a 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.

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-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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