Bernard Sanders on Immigration

Last Updated : Nov 14, 2011

Immigration

In May of 2007, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting his overall views on immigration and his views on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform package being considered by the Senate.

 

Anti-Layoff Amendment

In early June of 2007, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting a recent amendment to prevent US companies from laying off US workers and hiring foreign workers. He notes his opposition to the overall spirit of the legislation that US workers are too lazy to do manual labor and not intelligent enough to do skilled labor.

 

Immigration Bill Hurts Workers

In late June of 2008, Senator Sanders issued a press statement again noting that the Comprehensive immigration reform legislation hurts US workers.

 

Defeat of Immigration Bill

In late June of 2008, Senator Sanders issued a press statement noting the failure of the comprehensive reform bill to pass the senate and his support for its defeat.

 

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. Bernard Sanders voted to table the amendment, and therefore supported the sanctuary city policy.

Bernard Sanders 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. Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the DREAM Act.

Bernard Sanders 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. Bernard Sanders voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill.

Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006

The Border Tunnel Prevention Act sought to impose a 20 year prison term on anyone building a tunnel to bring drugs or people across the border, and a 10 year term on anyone allowing a tunnel to be built on their property. The act passed almost unanimously in the House in roll call 469, but never came up for a vote in the Senate. Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006.

Bernard Sanders voted in favor of the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2006.

Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006

In 2006, an effort was made to pass legislation (HR 6095) to give state and local law enforcement \"the inherent authority to investigate, identify, arrest, detain, or transfer to federal custody aliens in the United States\". The legislation also cracked down on smugglers of illegal immigrants. While the legislation passed the house on roll call 468 with bipartisan support, it was tabled in the Senate and never came to a vote. Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation and therefore opposed enforcing immigration law.

Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation and therefore opposed enforcing immigration law.

Secure Fence Act of 2006

Another piece of immigration law which actually passed in 2006 was called the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (HR 6061). The legislation was a series of requirements to monitor the border with both manpower and electronic surveillance. The legislation passed the house in roll call 446 with bi-partisan support. Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation to secure the border.

Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation to secure the border.

Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005

In 2005, the House passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The act was an attempt to create a more secure border. The act passed the House in a 239-182 vote, but was not voted on in the Senate. Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation.

Bernard Sanders voted against this legislation.

Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments

The Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments was an attempt to amend the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 to impose conditions on Federal reimbursement of emergency health services furnished to undocumented aliens. The attempt failed in a 331-88 vote. Bernard Sanders voted against the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments.

Bernard Sanders voted against the Undocumented Alien Emergency Medical Assistance Amendments.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 424; Uniting American Families Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to include a "permanent partner" within the scope of such Act. Defines a "permanent partner" as an individual 18 or older who: (1) is in a committed, intimate relationship with another individual 18 or older in which both individuals intend a lifelong commitment; (2) is financially interdependent with the other individual; (3) is not married to, or in a permanent partnership with, any other individual other than the individual; (4) is unable to contract with the other individual a marriage cognizable under this Act; and (5) is not a first, second, or third degree blood relation of the other individual. Defines a "permanent partnership" as the relationship existing between two permanent partners.

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.

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