Jim DeMint on Immigration

Last Updated : Dec 14, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint is a strong and consistent supporter of enforcing valid US immigration laws. He opposes amnesty for illegal aliens, and is a vocal advocate for the completion of a border fence on the US - Mexico border. He has often stated that American citizenship is not something that should be given away.

In 2006, Senator DeMint opposed attempts to pass amnesty for illegal aliens through a "comprehensive" immigration package. He noted 10 key reasons why he opposed the legislation which included social security benefits for illegal aliens, greater worker protection for illegal aliens than American workers, and the requirement that the states pay for illegal immigrant health care.

Senator DeMint has vocalized his support for a border fence numerous times and has offered the Secure Fence Act to provide funding for the construction of the fence in an acceptable amount of time. He has stated that Americans understand that a secure border is the first step in any immigration policy. He opposed statements made by Secretary Napolitano that a virtual fence was sufficient.

Senator DeMint also strongly opposed attempts in 2007 to grant amnesty to illegal aliens through another "comprehensive immigration reform" plan. In opposing the bill, Senator DeMint listed the legislation's faulty enforcement provisions, it's lack of measures to encourage assimilation, and it's mere promise of future security in exchange for amnesty. He specifically pointed out the numerous problems with the Z visas that allowed even those who broke laws outside of federal immigration laws to stay in the US. Senator DeMint attempted to introduce an amendment to protect US tax payers from paying for health care for illegal aliens, but the measure failed. In the end, Senator DeMint celebrated the failure of the legislation and stated that the American people simply don't trust the Congress to deal with immigration. When the Congress tried to bring the bill back up, Senator DeMint gave a one minute speech where he said "What part of No don't you understand."

Senator DeMint also opposed efforts to grant amnesty for portions of the population through a bill titled the "DREAM Act". This legislation would have granted citizenship and education benefits to illegal aliens who were in the country prior to a given age and finished high school.

When the state of Arizona attempted to enforce valid US immigration laws, Senator DeMint supported those actions. When the Obama administration filed a lawsuit against the state, Senator DeMint objected to the lawsuit.

 

Press Statements - Comprehensive Reform

In April of 2006, Senator DeMint released two press statement noting that he was voting against the Senate versions of what he called the "Senate Amnesty Bill". In the first statement, he noted that the amnesty legislation would reduce security. In the second, Senator DeMint noted that he opposed the overall amnesty plan and explained why this legislation was indeed amnesty. Senator DeMint noted that under these deals, illegal aliens would receive social security benefits and that the legislation would only encourage more amnesty in the future. He also released a press statement noting his opposition to the possibility that illegal labor would go towards social security benefits.

In May of 2006, Senator DeMint released another statement noting the top ten reasons to opposed the legislation.

  1. Rewards Illegal Behavior with Clear Path to Citizenship and Voting Rights – Amnesty
  2. Creates Temporary Worker Program That is Neither Temporary Nor Work-Based
  3. Unprecedented Wave of Immigrants - 66 Million Over 20 Years
  4. Insufficient Border Security
  5. Terrorist Loophole Disarms Law Enforcement
  6. Social Security Benefits, Tax Credits for Illegal Work
  7. Costs Over $50 Billion A Year to Federal Government; States Foot The Bill for Immigrant Health Care
  8. Hurts Small Business
  9. Gives Some Immigrant Workers Greater Job Protection Than American Workers
  10. Weak Assimilation/English Requirements

 

Press Statement - Secure Fence Act

In October of 2006, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his support for the recently signed Secure Fence Act.

 

Opposition to the 2007 Comprehensive Reform

In early May of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement detailing what he believed should be the core principles of immigration reform.

A week later, Senator DeMint released another press statement detailing his trepidation at a possible reform plan and the possible implications of such legislation.

Near the end of May, 2007 Senator DeMint released a press statement noting and amendment that he had introduced to remove the amnesty portion of the immigration reform bill from the comprehensive reform plan.

In June of 2007, Senator DeMint introduced an amendment to require that illegal immigrants maintain a certain level of private health insurance as a condition of receiving a Z visa. 

Later that month, Senator DeMint introduced an amendment to force the border security provisions of the immigration reform bill to be put into place prior to the enactment of the amnesty provisions. Eventually, Senator DeMint released a press statement clarifying his position and noting that he supported border security and saw no reason that amnesty needed to be granted to obtain that security.

In June of 2007, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting his opposition to the reform bill and his intent to vote against it's passage. At the end of June, when the bill was defeated, Senator DeMint released another statement calling the bill's defeat a victory for the American people.

Finally, in June of 2007 Senator DeMint spoke on the Senate floor about the unethical procedures that were attempted to bring the immigration bill back to the floor and pass the legislation before it had been written.

 

 

Opposition to the DREAM Act

In October of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition the DREAM Act and his support for the Senate vote which rejected the legislation. He referred to the bill as an amnesty bill.

 

Floor Speech - What Part of No

In June of 2008, Senator DeMint gave a one minute speech where he spoke about the volumes of calls being made to the House and Senate to stop the progress of the immigration bill which granted amnesty to illegal aliens. In that speech, Senator DeMint bluntly asked "What part of No don't we understand".

 

Stopping the Federal Lawsuit Against Arizona

In July of 2010, Senator DeMint issued a press statement noting an amendment to stop the Arizona law suit.

  

2010 Re-Election Website Statements

 

 

The Border Fence

In March of 2008, Senator DeMint released a press statement to note legislation that he had recently introduced to finish the border fence for the southern border.

That same month, Senator DeMint spoke on the Senate floor concerning the Complete the Fence Act. He stated that the very first act is to control the border.

Senator DeMint also released a video noting the need to finish the border and the need to address the immigration issue with real laws and real enforcement.

In May of 2010, Senator DeMint issued an op-ed in Human Events titled "Finish the Border Fence Now." In that op-ed, Senator DeMint asserts that Director Janet Napolitano is wrong to state that a virtual fence is sufficient to enforce immigration laws. He notes that President Obama lied about the Arizona immigration law.

In May of 2010, Senator DeMint issued a press statement to note his intention to force a vote on a supplemental bill to finish the border fence in the next year.

 

Press Statement - English

In May of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting legislation that he had cosponsored the National Language Act of 2009 to enforce the english language. The legislation notes that there is no entitlement to receive documentation in any language other than english. 

 

 2010 Campaign Videos

In 2010, Senator DeMint made a number of videos to explain his positions on several issues. For immigration, Senator DeMint states that we must reject amnesty, secure the border, and ensure that illegal immigrants return home before any type of legal status can be granted.

 

Official 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. Jim DeMint voted against removing the amendment, and therefore opposed the sanctuary city policy.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against the DREAM Act.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

Jim DeMint voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 95; A bill to prohibit appropriated funds from being used in contravention of section 642(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 - Cosponsor

Prohibits appropriated funds for the community oriented policing services program from being used in contravention of section 642(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which provides that a federal, state, or local government entity or official may not prohibit or restrict any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding an individual's citizenship or immigration status.

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 Res 371; Drivers Licenses - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of the Senate that states should not issue driver's licenses or other photo identification to aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States.

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.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1335; S.I. Hayakawa Official English Language Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.

User Comments