Kay Bailey Hutchison on Immigration

Last Updated : Nov 03, 2010


Throughout her official website, in numerous opinion pieces and press statements, Senator Hutchison has stated that she is opposed to amnesty for illegal aliens. However, this is not true. Senator Hutchison supports amnesty for illegal aliens and benefits for the children of illegal aliens.  

Throughout the debate for comprehensive immigration reform, Senator Hutchison stated that while she supported the measures to secure the border, she opposed the legislation because it granted amnesty to illegal aliens. However, as a compromise, Senator Hutchison proposed an amendment that would grant citizenship to illegal aliens if they simply returned to their country of origin and applied there. After this application, they were free to return to the US and await the granting of their citizenship under a Visa. Her amendment even allowed parents to make the journey back home separately so that their lives in the US were not disrupted. She stated that this was not amnesty.

In addition to this, Senator Hutchison voiced support for the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act was part of the 2007 comprehensive reform package, and grants amnesty to illegal aliens who were in the US and graduated from a US school. It allows those children to also receive in state tuition. Senator Hutchison voted to bring the bill up for debate and allow it to be voted on in the Senate. This is a vote in favor of the legislation. However, Senator Hutchison said the following about the bill: I support the goal of encouraging college education for children whose parents brought them into America illegally, but it is unfair to reward the children of undocumented workers and favor them over the children of legal residents. She stated that she hoped to fix this issue in debate.

Recently, Senator Hutchison has voiced a great deal of support for border security, calling for the use of UAVs and other devices to secure the border.


Amnesty and Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In May of 2007, a group of bipartisan Senators agreed on a bill that they called a "Comprehensive Reform Package." The bill granted amnesty to all illegal aliens and called the process to grant that amnesty a "pathway to citizenship." The group called for border security and increased border fences. Senator Hutchison was one of those Senators who supported the plan. She stated that the bill was "better than the law we have today."

That same month, Senator Hutchison wrote a capital comment article noting that there were too many flaws in the legislation for her to support it.

In June of 2007, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor and spoke about her opposition to the comprehensive reform due to it's inclusion of an amnesty provision. She then sets out an amendment that she states would eliminate this amnesty from the bill. However, the process she describes is simply a cover for amnesty and only requires that the mother and father of a household return home and apply for citizenship. The parents can do this separately while the remainder of the family stays in the US. After submitting the application for US citizenship, the parents can simply return to the US and await their citizenship.

In July of 2007, Senator Hutchison wrote a capital comment article where she again argued for amnesty for illegal aliens, as long as those illegal aliens were not terrorists and had not broken laws in addition to federal immigration laws, driving laws, and possible social security fraud to obtain work.


Support for Border Security and Comprehensive Reform

Later in that month, Senator Hutchison spoke on the Senate floor about the need for more involvement of sheriffs in border states concerning the fence. She noted her support for the Comprehensive Reform Plan in Congress.



In October of 2007, Senator Hutchison released a press statement in reference to her vote on the DREAM Act.


Border Security Legislation

In January of 2009, Senator Hutchison introduced legislation to provide additional funding to help local law enforcement officials fight the violence along the US / Mexico border. In an accompanying press statement, Senator Hutchison noted the reasons why the increased funding is needed.


Support for the use of UAVs on the Border

In May of 2010, Senator Hutchison released a press statement noting her support for a recent decision to allow UAVs to be used to help secure the border.


Statements on official website


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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against removing the amendment, and therefore opposed the sanctuary city policy.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against removing the amendment, and therefore opposed the sanctuary city policy.


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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the DREAM Act.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act.

Kay Bailey Hutchison 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. Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.

Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the Immigration Reform Act of 2006.


Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 205; Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Directs the Attorney General to: (1) to expand resources for the Project Gunrunner initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to identify, investigate, and prosecute firearms trafficking across the U.S.- Mexico border; and (2) provide ATF agents, equipment, and training to assist Mexican law enforcement officers in combating firearms trafficking and other criminal enterprises.

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