GOP Record On Immigration Suggests Sen. Reid Is Right

August 11, 2010 3:55 pm ET

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is attacking Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying, "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican," but Sen. Reid's comments make a lot of sense when you consider the record. Republicans have said and done plenty to alienate Hispanic voters in recent years. By condemning efforts to fix our immigration system as "amnesty," by killing comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate in 2006 and 2007, by writing laws that encourage law enforcement to target Hispanics, and by spreading misinformation about the impact of illegal immigration on our economy and society, the GOP has earned the distrust of Hispanic voters.

The GOP's Pattern Of Ugly Rhetoric Around Immigration

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) Compared Immigrants To Grasshoppers. In a floor speech on April 29, Rep. Poe said:

Rep. Poe: Now it seems to me that if we are so advanced with technology and manpower and competence that we can capture illegal grasshoppers from Brazil, in the holds of ships that are in a little small place in Port Arthur, Texas on the Sabine River.  Sabin River, madam speaker, is the river that separates Texas from Louisiana.  If we're able to do that as a country, how come we can't capture the thousands of people that cross the border everyday on the southern border of the United States?  You know they're a little bigger than grasshoppers and they should be able to be captured easier.

[Rep. Poe Floor Speech, 4/29/10, via]

Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA): Law Enforcement Will Identify Illegal Immigrants By "The Kind Of Dress You Wear...Right Down To The Shoes." In an April 21 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball, Rep. Bilbray had the following exchange with host Chris Matthews:

Chris Matthews: what, like what?  Give me a non-ethnic aspect that would tell you to pick up somebody.

Rep. Bilbray:  They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there's different type of attire, there's different type of ...right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes.  But mostly by behavior it's mostly behavior, just as the law enforcement people here in Washington, DC does it based on certain criminal activity there is behavior things that professionals are trained in across the board and this group shouldn't be exempt from those observations as much as anybody else.

[Hardball4/21/10 via]

Rep. Steve King (R-IA): Law Enforcement Should Identify Illegal Immigrants Based On "Shoes," "Grooming," Accents, or "A Sixth Sense." In a June 14 floor speech, Iowa Congressman Steve King said: "It's just a common sense thing. Law enforcement needs to use common sense indicators. Those common sense indicators are all kinds of things, from what kind of clothes people wear - my suit in my case - what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accident [sic] they have, um, the, the type of grooming they might have, there're, there're all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it's just a sixth sense and they can't put their finger on it. But these law enforcement officers, if they were going to be discriminating against people on the sole basis of race, singling people out, that'd be going on already." [Rep. King Floor Speech, 6/15/10, emphasis added]

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX): "DREAM Act Is A Nightmare For The American People." In a May op-ed in The Hill, Rep. Smith wrote: "Second, the DREAM Act will grant amnesty to illegal immigrants no matter how old they are now as long as they claim to have come to the U.S. before age 16, been here for five years and graduated from high school. As we witnessed in the aftermath of the 1986 amnesty, thousands of illegal immigrants will resort to fraud to gain citizenship.  The DREAM Act does nothing to prevent this from happening again... The true size of the amnesty could number in the millions.  Citizenship is the greatest honor our country can bestow and should not be given away lightly.  Amnesty - through the DREAM Act or otherwise - is an affront to citizens and legal immigrants who have played by the rules. The DREAM Act is a nightmare for the American people." [The Hill, 5/31/10]

Iowa Republican Candidate: "Why Can't I Microchip An Illegal?" According to the Gazette Online: "Speaking at a Tama County Republican forum Monday, six candidates for the GOP nomination to face seven -term Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell opposed amnesty for illegal aliens and called for tougher enforcement of border security. 'I think we should catch 'em, we should document 'em, make sure we know where they are and where they are going,' said Pat Bertroche, an Urbandale physician. 'I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I micro-chip an illegal?'" [, 4/27/10, emphasis added]

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ): Only Benefits Of Illegal Immigration Are "Cheap Labor" And "Cheap Votes." In a July appearance on CNN, Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth had the following exchange with Rick Sanchez:

SANCHEZ: Do you think they make any contributions to life in America?

HAYWORTH: Well, I think that legal immigrants do-

SANCHEZ: No, illegal, illegal, illegal.

HAYWORTH: No I think if we embrace, Rick, which you seem willing to do, embrace the myth of the noble migrant, to use the term, fails to take into account those who have come here. For example, infamously within the last year, the so-called-


SANCHEZ: Are you ready? Do you know of any benefits that have been provided to Americans by illegal immigrants? Any?

HAYWORTH: A steady stream of cheap labor for the right and, in some cases, cheap votes for the left.

[, 7/29/10, emphasis added]

Tom Tancredo Supportive Of Arizona's New Law That Bans Schools From Teaching "Multiculturalists' Crap." During an interview on Colorado's KHOW, host Peter Boyle, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) talked about the issue of immigration. Tancredo began talking about a series of new laws "nobody's talked about," including one that "says no more of this multiculturalists' crap in our schools. You're not gonna teach that junk, you're gonna put America in a good light, in a true light. It is astounding, these people have the guts to do it, it should be something that every single legislator in this state [Colorado] looks at and says, you know, good idea." [KHOW, 6/18/10, emphasis added]

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) Agreed With Constituents Who Called Immigration "An Invasion" And Wanted To "Round Them All Up."  During a tele-townhall with constituents, Rep. Foxx agreed with anti-immigrant comments made by callers.

"My problem is with immigration," said a caller named Dana. "Except I wouldn't even call it immigration, I'd call it an invasion."

Dana went on to say that the present situation qualifies as such because people are coming here from other countries and simply taking advantage of U.S. social programs and taking jobs from Americans.

"I agree with you," Foxx said.


A caller named Lessie said she is troubled by "seeing all these illegals streaming into the country" from "Mexico" and "Afghanistan." She wondered "how many of them are terrorists."

Lessie said a solution would be to use a "drag net and round them all up."

Foxx told Lessie the sentiments she expressed are "very much in the majority."

[Foxx Tele-Townhall transcript via, 6/9/10]

Sen. McCain Justifies Racial Profiling Because Of "The Drivers Of Cars With Illegals In It That Are Intentionally Causing Accidents On The Freeway."  During an appearance on the O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had the following exchange:

O'Reilly: ...Now, next week, the governor is going to sign, we believe, a very stringent state law that gives the police in Arizona very, very broad authority to question people. And a lot of people say it's going to be racial profiling. You're going to look for Hispanics, question them, to see if they're here legally or not. And it's just not fair. And you say why?

McCain: I say that the federal responsibilities have not been fulfilled. Therefore, the states are acting -- the state of Arizona is acting and doing what they feel they need to do in light of the fact that the federal government is not fulfilling its fundamental responsibility to secure our borders. Our borders must be secure.

O'Reilly: But what about the racial profiling? You know that's going to happen has to happen.

McCain: I hope -- I would be very sorry that if some of that happens. And I regret it, but I also regret the -- really, it's not just the murder of Robert Krantz. It's the people whose homes and property are being violated. It's the drive-by that -- the drivers of cars with illegals in it that are intentionally causing accidents on the freeway. Look, our border is not secured. Our citizens are not safe.

[O'Reilly Factor transcript via Lexis, 4/19/10, emphasis added]

AZ Gov. Brewer Said Most Illegal Immigrants End Up As Drug Mules. According to the Associated Press: "Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants entering Arizona are being used to transport drugs across the border, an assertion that critics slammed as exaggerated and racist. Brewer said the motivation of 'a lot' of the illegal immigrants is to enter the United States to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug 'mules.' 'I believe today, under the circumstances that we're facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in,' Brewer said. 'There's strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel,' she said." [Associated Press via MSNBC, 6/26/10, emphasis added]

Republican-Led Crackdown On Immigrants In Arizona Encourages Police To Profile Hispanics

AZ Bill "Requires Police" To Determine A "Person's Immigration Status."  The Los Angeles Timesreported that the newly passed Arizona immigration "bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a 'reasonable suspicion' that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status." The legislation passed 35 to 21. [Los Angeles Times4/14/10, emphasis added]

Those "Unable To Produce Documents Showing They Are Allowed To Be In The United States Could Be Arrested, Jailed For Up To Six Months And Fined $2,500."  According to the Seattle Times, under the Arizona immigration bill "the police would be authorized to arrest immigrants unable to show documents allowing them to be in the country and the legislation would leave drivers open to sanctions, in some cases for knowingly transporting an illegal immigrant, even a relative. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the United States could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. Currently, officers can inquire about someone's immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. The bill would allow officers to avoid the immigration issue if it would be impractical or hinder another investigation." [Seattle Times4/14/10, emphasis added]

AZ Bill "Makes It Illegal For Anyone To Transport An Illegal Immigrant, Even A Family Member." ABC News reported that the Arizona immigration "measure allows police to detain people on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants, outlaws citizens from employing day laborers, and makes it illegal for anyone to transport an illegal immigrant, even a family member, anywhere in the state." [ABC News, 3/26/10, emphasis added]

The bill passed along party lines.

SB 1070 Passed AZ Senate With A Party Line Vote.  According to the Washington Independent: "The Arizona Senate just passed the controversial Senate bill 1070 ('Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act'), one of the toughest immigration bills in the country, by a vote of 17-11. All Republicans voted for passage, while all Democrats present were opposed." [Washington Independent, 4/19/10]

All 35 AZ Legislature Republicans Voted For SB 1070; 21 Democrats Voted Against.  According to Time Magazine: "All 35 Republicans in the lower Arizona house voted for [SB 1070], while 21 Democrats voted against it. The bill passed the state senate earlier." [Time4/16/10]

Republicans modified the bill after outcry about racial profiling, but the changes actually expand profiling opportunities.

AZ Gov. Brewer Signed Follow-On Legislation To "Quell Concerns" About Racial Profiling. According to the Associated Press: "Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed a follow-on bill approved by Arizona legislators that makes revisions to the state's sweeping law against illegal immigration. She said the changes should quell concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling. The law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally, and it makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally." [AP via New York Times4/30/10]

American Immigration Lawyers Association Leader: 'Reasonable Suspicion' In AZ Law "Effectively Requires" Racial Profiling. According to AILA President-elect David Leopold, writing for The Wonk Room:

Frankly, [the law's co-author Kris] Kobach is intellectually dishonest to claim that "reasonable suspicion" will not turn Arizona into a "show me your papers" state by effectively forcing the police to use racial profiling. What Kobach fails to point out is that law enforcement may question anyone under the Arizona law whom they suspect is an undocumented immigrant once they have made "lawful contact." Arizona law does not define what "lawful contact" means and, therefore, the phrase is open to very broad interpretation by the police. It does suggest some limit, but that limit is well short of the "reasonable suspicion" standard (articulable facts, along with rational inferences that arise from those facts) set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio. Why else would the drafters of the Arizona legislation have felt the need to use the term "legal contact" and as a pre-requisite to "reasonable suspicion" rather than "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity? For example, if someone approaches a police officer on the street, there is "legal contact". If the person then speaks English with an accent or "looks Latino" that might raise "reasonable suspicion" that the person is not documented. While "reasonable suspicion" under Terry v. Ohio is based on criminal activity, "reasonable suspicion" under S.B. 1070 is based on a subjective notion of a person's status. The Arizona law not only doesn't prohibit racial profiling, it effectively requires it.

[The Wonk Room, 4/29/10, emphasis added]

Co-Author Of AZ Immigration Law: "We Need To...Allow Police To Use Violations Of Property Codes (e.g. Cars On Blocks In The Yard)...To Initiate Queries." According to The Wonk Room:

Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute - the group which credits itself with writing the bill - to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as "cars on blocks in the yard" as an excuse to "initiate queries" in light of the "lawful contact" deletion:


More importantly, Kobach is basically admitting to Pearce that by allowing police to use the violation of "any county or municipal ordinance" as a basis for inquiring about a person's immigration status, the bill will still cast a wide enough net to help offset the effect of omitting the "lawful contact" language which would've allowed police to ask just about anyone they encounter about their immigration status.

[Wonk Room, 4/30/10]

For more on Kris Kobach's anti-immigrant exploits around the country, go HERE.

Arizona Republicans Portray Illegal Immigration As An "Invasion"

AZ Sen. Pearce: "I Will Not Back Off Until We Solve The Problem Of This Illegal Invasion... Invaders, That's What They Are."  According to NPR, Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce said: "I will not back off until we solve the problem of this illegal invasion...Invaders, that's what they are. Invaders on the American sovereignty and it can't be tolerated." [NPR, 3/12/08]

Pearce Supported Legislation That "Restricted Illegal Immigrants' Access To State Services" And "May Introduce Legislation To Challenge The 14th Amendment To The Constitution."  NPR reported: "As the chairman of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee, [Sen. Russell Pearce] is in a choice position to try to push through the laws that he sees fit. He co-wrote Prop 200, which restricted illegal immigrants' access to state services and sponsored Arizona's employer sanction law, which suspends or revokes business licenses if employers knowingly hire illegal immigrants. He also says he may introduce legislation to challenge the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, meaning a child born in the U.S. would no longer automatically become a citizen." [NPR, 3/12/08]

Pearce: Arizonans' Problems With Immigrants Is "Because The Culture Is Different."  NPR reported: "Pearce claims illegal immigrants are responsible for much of Arizona's crime and he admits to feeling uncomfortable with the way society is changing in Arizona. He attributes it partly to Mexicans' and Central Americans' 'way of doing business.' 'Drive around parts of Phoenix. I get calls all the time and it's not that they're Hispanic, it's because the culture is different. The gangs are bigger. There's more violence, kidnappings are way up,' he says." [NPR, 3/12/08]

AZ Rep. Kavanagh: "Illegal Immigration Brings Crime, Kidnapping, Drugs."  The Los Angeles Times reported that Arizona Republican Rep. John Kavanagh said of the immigration bill: "Illegal immigration brings crime, kidnapping, drugs -- drains our government services...Nobody can stand on the sidelines and not take part in this battle." [Los Angeles Times4/14/10]

AZ Rep. Kavanagh: "Illegal Immigrants" Will Become "Larger, Stronger, And More Destructive" As The Economy Rebounds.  From Phoenix KPHO: "'We've moved forward with a comprehensive immigration enforcement bill that addresses the concerns of our communities, constituents and colleagues,' said Rep. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills. Arizona's struggling economy has driven many illegal immigrants from the state. But as the economy rebounds, 'so too will the illegal immigrants -- larger, stronger and more destructive than they were several years ago,' Kavanagh said." [, 4/13/10]

Arizona Republicans Also Passed A Law Banning "Raza Studies" Curriculum In School

New AZ Law Targets Latino Curriculum; Non-Compliant Districts Could Lose 10% Of State Funds. The Los Angeles Times reported:

A bill that aims to ban ethnic studies in Arizona schools was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer, cheering critics who called such classes divisive and alarming others who said it's yet another law targeting Latinos in the state...

HB 2281 bans schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals. The bill also bans classes that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The bill was written to target the Chicano, or Mexican American, studies program in the Tucson school system, said state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Horne.

School districts that don't comply with the new law could have as much as 10% of their state funds withheld each month. Districts have the right to appeal the mandate, which goes into effect Dec. 31.

[Los Angeles Times5/12/10]

AZ Ethnic Studies Law Focuses On "Raza Studies In The Tucson Unified School District."  From Oregon State University: "Susan Meyers, assistant professor and director of writing in the English department at OSU, and Rick Orozco, an assistant professor in the College of Education at OSU, both earned their Ph.D.s at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. and are intimately familiar with the program that spurred the new law in Arizona. The bill, HB 2281, prevents '. . . courses or classes that either: 1) are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, or 2) advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.' The types of courses that this bill targets are known as ethnic studies courses, a field of study that is commonly offered on many university campuses, including OSU, as well as on increasing numbers of high school campuses. Meyers and Orozco said this specific bill started as a reaction to the Mexican-American Studies Department, also known informally as Raza Studies, in the Tucson Unified School District." [, 5/12/10]

Republicans Are Introducing Arizona-Style Laws In Other States

AZ Approach To Immigration Enforcement Gaining Steam In Other States. According to FOX News: "While Arizona faces the scorn of the White House and local governments across the country for its immigration law, lawmakers in several states are looking to follow the Grand Canyon State's lead. Lawmakers and politicians in Texas, Rhode Island, Utah and Georgia are among those who, in the month since Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law, have announced plans to introduce similar legislation... Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, an anti-illegal immigration group, has tracked 17 states to date where lawmakers are pushing for Arizona-style enforcement bills."  [, 5/21/10, emphasis added]


"Most Aggressive Anti-Illegal Immigration Senator" Set To Introduce Arizona-Type Bill In Nebraska.  The Associated Press reported:

The uproar over a new, immigration-related law in Arizona could resound in Nebraska next year.

State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont said he plans to introduce a similar bill in the Nebraska Legislature the next session, which begins in January. Arizona's bill requires police enforcing another law to verify a person's immigration status if there's "reasonable" suspicion the person is in the U.S. illegally.

While supporters say it's a fair way to curb illegal immigration, opponents say it can't be enforced without racial profiling, mainly against Hispanics.

"I don't want to be profiling," said Janssen, who added that crafting such a law so it can be enforced without racial profiling is one of the "hardest hurdles." Janssen spoke to The Associated Press late Monday.

Janssen, who some consider to be the most aggressive anti-illegal-immigration senator in the Legislature, has already drafted a bill he says is almost exactly the same as the Arizona law. But he may change it based on experiences Arizona has with its new law to try to protect it from some of the same legal challenges that law faces, namely those involving possible racial profiling.

[Associated Press via Journal Star, 5/18/10]


Georgia GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Promise To Mimic AZ Law. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "It was a debate to see who might represent Georgia as the state's next governor. But there sure was a lot of talk about Arizona Saturday night as the top four GOP candidates for governor squared off in Gwinnett County in a tea party-tinged debate. At the top of the agenda was immigration and Arizona's recent legislation that cracks down on illegal immigrants. Each candidate - Nathan Deal, Eric Johnson, Karen Handel and John Oxendine - supported what Arizona did and said that if elected, they would follow suit." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/22/10]


MN Version Of SB 1070 Introduced.  The ColorLines blog wrote:

Yesterday, Republican Representative Steve Drazkowski introduced HF 3830, a bill that mirrors Arizona's recently signed law, SB 1070, that criminalizes undocumented immigrants in the state and empowers law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of people while enforcing other local and state laws.

A synopsis of the bill, from the Minnesota clerk's office:

H. F. 3830, A bill for an act relating to public safety; illegal immigration; requiring law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws; establishing eligibility criteria for federal and state public benefits; requiring possession of alien identification cards; prohibiting the transporting and smuggling of illegal immigrants; prohibiting illegal immigrants from working or soliciting work in the state; prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens; creating the Minnesota Illegal Immigration Enforcement Team; requiring the attorney general to represent the state against any challenges to this act; amending Minnesota Statutes 2009 Supplement, section 629.34, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law as Minnesota Statutes, chapter 299P.

The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Public Safety Policy and Oversight.

The bill was co-signed by five other members of the House. This, despite the fact that other parts of Minnesota turned out big on May Day in strong support of immigrants rights.

[, 5/6/10]


OK Rep. Randy Terrill And Other OK Lawmakers Seek To Pass An Immigration Law That Is Arizona "Plus." According to the Tulsa World: "House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said Thursday that he isn't interested in taking up immigration this session, but [State Rep. Randy] Terrill said he, Rep. Rex Duncan, R-Sand Springs; Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City; and Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore; are still trying to introduce a version of the Arizona law along with what he called three 'plus' features...The new Arizona statutes broaden law officers' authority to detain suspected illegal immigrants. The 'plus' features contemplated by Terrill and the others involve possession of firearms, seizure and forfeiture of property involved in illegal immigration, and expansion of state racketeering laws to include activities associated with illegal immigration." [Tulsa World, 5/6/10]

Terrill Wrote Bills That Ended "Spanish-Language Drivers' Tests" And Charged $5 For "Overseas Money Wire Transfer."  The Wall Street Journal reported: "Last year, Mr. Terrill successfully introduced several narrower measures, including one that halted Spanish-language drivers' tests and another that imposed a $5 fee on every overseas money wire transfer. 'My idea is to slowly but surely roll down the welcome mat for illegals,' Mr. Terrill said during an interview at the state capitol. Latin Americans, he said, won't acculturate as did previous waves of U.S. immigrants." [Wall Street Journal, 5/10/10, emphasis added]

North Carolina

North Carolina Began Work On Their Own Version Of Arizona's SB 1070. According to the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), "North Carolina now becomes the 18th state that ALIPAC has documented moving forward with a version of Arizona's controversial, yet popular immigration law. NC's Senate Joint Resolution (SJ 1349), filed by NC State Senator Don East (R-Surry), and would allow a version of Arizona's immigration bill (SB 1070) to be filed during the short session of the NC Legislature this year. This resolution has 12 sponsors already and room for more lawmakers to add their names." [, 5/26/10]

  • ALIPAC President And North Carolina Native: "Illegal Aliens...Go Home." According to the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), "'I am proud to announce that North Carolina's lawmakers are rising to support Arizona and 17 other states for the Rule of Law and immigration enforcement,' said William Gheen, a North Carolina native and President of the nation's 3rd largest immigration enforcement group (ALIPAC). 'We need to send a clear message to Washington to secure our borders and a clear message to illegal aliens to go home.'" [, 5/26/10]


Texas Republicans Call For Law Barring "Illegal Immigrants From 'Intentionally Or Knowingly' Living In Texas."  According to the Associated Press:

Fired-up Republican activists in no mood for compromises threw out their party chairwoman Saturday, then bucked Texas Gov. Rick Perry by pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration similar to Arizona's new law...

The immigration proposal, a hard-line approach that Perry has said isn't right for Texas, was one of several initiatives debated as delegates wrapped up the two-day convention. The Republican Party platform is a blueprint of the policies that GOP activists want elected officials to pursue.

Delegates voted to include a plank advocating for a state law that would bar illegal immigrants from "intentionally or knowingly" living in Texas. Similar to Arizona's strict law that has sparked nationwide debate, the proposal would require local police to verify U.S. residency when making arrests.

Perry has said the Arizona law, if adopted in Texas, would unduly burden police.

[Associated Press via Fox News, 6/13/10]

The GOP Killed Comprehensive Immigration Reform In 2007...

Republicans Voted Against Cloture Three Times. On the first two cloture motions, all Republican senators voted "no" (except Sen. John McCain, who failed to vote). On the final motion, seven Republicans voted in favor of cloture, and Sen. Tom Coburn failed to vote. [Senate Roll Call Votes, 6/7/07 via]

Republicans Supported An Amendment That Made English The National Language. In 2007, the Senate voted on an amendment submitted by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) that would "amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes." The amendment passed 64-33. Every Republican senator voted for the amendment except Sen. Pete Domenici (NM). [S.Amdt. 1151 to S.Amdt. 1150 to S. 1348, Vote#198, 6/6/07]

Read our full fact check of the GOP's 2007 immigration reform votes HERE.

...After Supporting Reform In 2006

The Senate Passed The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2006 With 23 Republican Votes. In 2006, the Senate voted on bill S. 2611, or the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006," which would "provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes." The bill passed by a vote of 62-36.  [S. 2611, Vote#157, 5/25/06]

Republicans Passed An Amendment That Declared "English As The National Language Of The United States." In 2006, the Senate voted on an amendment submitted by Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) that would "amend title 4 United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the United States and to promote the patriotic integration of prospective US citizens." The amendment passed 62-35.  52 Republicans voted for the amendment. [S.Amdt. 4064 to S. 2611, Vote#131, 5/18/06]

Republicans Rejected An Amendment That Would Have Protected American Workers And Guest Laborers. In 2006, the Senate voted to table an amendment submitted by Senator Kennedy (D-MA) that would "enhance the enforcement of labor protections for United States workers and guest workers." The motion to table passed 57-40. Every Republican opposed the amendment except Sen. Mike Enzi, who failed to vote. [S.Amdt. 4106 to S. 2611, Vote#141, 5/23/06]

Read our full fact check of the GOP's 2006 immigration reform votes HERE.

Republicans Insist That Comprehensive Immigration Reform Is Just "Amnesty"

"Amnesty" Is A Loaded Word Used To Delegitimize Reform. The Los Angeles Daily News reported in 2005: "Opponents say giving legal status to those who came illegally amount to that most provoking buzzword of all: 'amnesty.' George Lakoff, a Democratic political consultant and linguist at the University of California at Berkeley, said anti-immigration groups so far appear to be winning the language war, and the word 'amnesty' is their most powerful rhetorical weapon. 'Amnesty' assumes that there's been a serious crime. I mean, you don't have amnesty for shoplifters,' Lakoff said. 'It's seen as an attack on the country.'" [Daily News, 11/21/05, via Nexis]

Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC): Obama Promoting "Amnesty" For Illegal Immigrants "Because The Democrats Want More Votes." In a July 4 appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. DeMint said: "Major, we need to be clear here what the president's talking about. When he says comprehensive reform, what he's talking about is amnesty and voting rights for those who came here illegally. I don't think we can reform our immigration policy by rewarding those who came here illegally. [...] The president is playing politics because the Democrats want more votes. They want more union members. Uh, and this is pretty clear by who's organizing the whole effort to promote amnesty among those who came here illegally." [Fox News Sunday, 7/4/10, emphasis added]

Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ): Reformers Use Code Words But It's All Really "Amnesty." In a May 30 appearance on Meet the Press, Arizona Republican J.D. Hayworth said: "First of all, Americans understand that 'comprehensive immigration reform' is a poll-tested phrase that essentially means 'amnesty.' People want to see the laws enforced." [Meet the Press, 5/30/10]

AZ Sen. Russell Pearce: "They Want Amnesty." In a May 26 appearance on MSNBC, Arizona Republican Russell Pearce had the following exchange with Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza:

Martinez: We want a legal system that works. And we are working towards that legal system.  

Pearce: This codifies, 1070 codifies...No, they want amnesty, they want amnesty... 

Martinez: Absolutely not. 

Pearce: ...they don't want a legal system that works, they don't want the laws enforced at all. They've been opposed to any effort to enforce our laws since day one, I've battled with them forever. This is not about racism. It's about the rule of law and the United States.

[MSNBC, 5/26/10 via, emphasis added]

Read our full report on The Myths & Facts Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

No Wonder Latino Voters Do Not Support Republicans

NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo Poll: 22 Percent Of Latinos View GOP Favorably. According to MSNBC: "70 percent of whites support the [Arizona immigration] law, versus just 31 percent of Latinos. In fact, 58 percent of Latinos say they strongly oppose it... What's more, 37 percent of whites view the Republican Party favorably, while just 22 percent of Latinos have a favorable impression of the GOP... In addition, Latinos under the age of 40 have a stronger attachment to President Obama (73 percent of them approve of his job) and a stronger dislike of Arizona's law (75 percent of them oppose it) than older Latinos do. And Latinos young and old think Democrats would do a better job than Republicans in protecting the interests of minorities (58-11 percent), in representing the opportunity to move up the economic ladder (46-20 percent), in dealing with immigration (37-12 percent) and in promoting strong moral values (33-23 percent)." [, 5/26/10, emphasis added]