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Mike Conaway on Immigration

Republican Representative (TX-11)

 


Voted NO on building a fence along the Mexican border.

Within 18 months, achieves operational control over U.S. land and maritime borders, including:
  1. systematic border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology; and
  2. physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry
Defines "operational control" as the prevention of all unlawful U.S. entries, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, narcotics, and other contraband.

Proponents support voting YES because:

It is obvious there is no more defining issue in our Nation today than stopping illegal immigration. The most basic obligation of any government is to secure the Nation's borders. One issue in which there appears to be a consensus between the Senate and the House is on the issue of building a secure fence. So rather than wait until comprehensive legislation is enacted, we should move forward on targeted legislation which is effective and meaningful. The legislation today provides over 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing, and for the rest of the border provides a virtual fence, via integrated surveillance technology.

Opponents support voting NO because:

Just to build the fence is going to cost us at least $7 billion. Where is the money coming from to pay for it? How much is it going to cost to maintain this 700-mile fence? Who is going to do it? This bill contains no funding.

This bill also ignores real enforcement measures, like hiring more Border Patrol personnel, and instead builds a Berlin Wall on our southern border. So long as employers need workers in this country, and while our immigration systems impede rather than facilitate timely access of willing workers to those opportunities, undocumented immigration will never be controlled.

Walls, barriers, and military patrols will only force those immigrants to utilize ever more dangerous routes and increase the number of people who die in search of an opportunity to feed and clothe their families.

Reference: Secure Fence Act; Bill H R 6061 ; vote number 2006-446 on Sep 14, 2006

Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project.

Voting YES on this amendment supports the Minuteman Project, a group of volunteers who have taken on surveillance of the Mexican border for illegal immigrants. The amendment states that US funds will not be used to tell the Mexican government about the whereabouts of the Minuteman Project volunteers. Proponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are volunteer citizens doing what the federal government SHOULD be doing, but has failed to do. Opponents of the Minuteman Project say that they are vigilantes at best and anti-Mexican racists at worst. The amendment states:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to provide a foreign government information relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona, unless required by international treaty.
Reference: Department of Homeland Security appropriations; Bill HR 5441 Amendment 968 ; vote number 2006-224 on Jun 6, 2006

Rated 83% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance.

Conaway scores 83% by USBC on immigration issues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 USBC scores as follows:

About USBC (from their website, www.usbc.org):

U.S. Border Control, founded in 1988, is a non-profit, tax-exempt, citizen's lobby. USBC is dedicated to ending illegal immigration by securing our nation's borders and reforming our immigration policies. USBC [works with] Congressmen to stop amnesty; seal our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration; and, preserve our nation's language, culture and American way of life for future generations.

Our organization accepts no financial support from any branch of government. All our support comes from concerned citizens who appreciate the work we are doing to seal our borders against drugs, disease, illegal migration and terrorism and wish to preserve our nation's language, culture and heritage for the next generations.

Source: USBC website 06n-USBC on Dec 31, 2006

End Birthright Citizenship; no more anchor babies.

Conaway signed H.R.1868

    Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to consider a person born in the United States "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States for citizenship at birth purposes if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is:
  1. a U.S. citizen or national;
  2. a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States; or
  3. an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Acknowledge the right of birthright citizenship established by section 1 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, regarding a person born in the United States.

The amendment made by subsection (a)(3) shall not be construed to affect the citizenship or nationality status of any person born before the date of the enactment of this Act.

[OnTheIssues note: This bill would change the existing interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which currently defines as a US citizen any person born within US territory. This bill intends to remove the right of illegal aliens to gain US citizenship by bearing children while in the country illegally; the issue is known by bill supporters as "anchor babies"]

Source: Birthright Citizenship Act 09-HR1868 on Apr 2, 2009

Redefine "birthright citizenship" to exclude illegal aliens.

Conaway co-sponsored Birthright Citizenship Act

Congressional Summary: Acknowledging the right of birthright citizenship established by section 1 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to consider a person born in the United States "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States for citizenship at birth purposes if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is:

  1. a U.S. citizen or national;
  2. a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States; or
  3. an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Constitutional Authority Statement: Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following: Section 5 of the Amendment XIV to the Constitution and Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution.

OnTheIssues Explanation:The relevant part of this law is what is NOT in the list above: illegal aliens or undocumented workers. Those groups are this bill's target: it addresses the issue of "anchor babies," wherein non-citizen mothers cross the US border and give birth in the US and thereby establish citizenship for their newborn. If passed, this bill will likely face a Supreme Court challenge on its constitutionality, since the 14th Amendment defines citizens as "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." That clause was written after the Civil War to establish citizenship for former slaves; this bill reinterprets that clause to mean that not everyone born in the US automatically becomes a citizen. The cited authorization of the 14th Amendment is "Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

Source: H.R.140 11-HR140 on Jan 5, 2011

No birthright citizenship unless one parent is an American.

Conaway co-sponsored Birthright Citizenship Act

Congressional Summary:
Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to consider a person born in the United States "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States for citizenship at birth purposes if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is:

  1. a U.S. citizen or national,
  2. a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States, or
  3. an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Explanation from OpenCongress.org:
This bill would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Current U.S. law automatically recognizes any person born on American soil as a natural born citizen. Under the bill, only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen, a legal permanent resident, or an undocumented immigrant serving in the military would be considered citizens.
Source: H.R.140 13-HR0140 on Jan 3, 2013

Stop releasing low-risk illegal immigrants.

Conaway signed Letter to DHS on illegal immigrant release

Letter from office of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ-5) signed by 37 Members of Congress

Dear Secretary Napolitano,

We are deeply concerned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using sequestration as a vehicle to further the Administration's disregard for enforcing our immigration laws. Specifically, we are troubled by recent reports that DHS has released hundreds of illegal immigrants, rather than finding cost savings elsewhere in the agency.

Your agency's decision to release "low-risk" illegal immigrants back into the public under the guise of saving money is unprecedented and dangerous. The inability of DHS to prioritize resources for potential cuts suggests this decision was either politically motivated to further the Administration's amnesty goals or, at best, demonstrates agency incompetence.

Given the public safety and national security concerns this decision raises, we respectfully request you halt any further action to release detained illegal immigrants. Also, please respond to the following questions, regarding individuals already released, pending release, or anticipated to be released:

Source: Letter from 37 Members of Congress 14_Lt_Imm on Mar 1, 2013

Voted YES to ban DREAMer immigrants from military service.

Conaway voted YEA Gosar Anti-DACA Amendment to H.R. 5293

Congressional Summary: The House voted on an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. The amendment would prohibit funds from being used to extend the expiration of, or reissue a new expiration date to, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program.

Recommendation by Heritage Foundation to vote YES:(6/16/2016): The MAVNI program is a pilot program authorizing "military services to recruit certain legal immigrants whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest." However, a DoD memo has made it clear that DACA/DAPA recipients are eligible under this program, essentially opening up a pathway to amnesty for illegal aliens who enlist. By ensuring that this guidance ends, DOD will no longer be able to enlist illegal immigrants through MAVNI.

Recommendation by the ACLU to vote NO: (6/28/2011): The DREAM Act promotes fundamental fairness for young people by allowing access to affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities, regardless of immigration status, and would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act could result in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue from tapping the potential of DREAM-eligible students and future service personnel. Since September 11, 2001, more than 69,000 immigrants have earned citizenship while serving, and more than 125 who entered military service after that date have made the ultimate sacrifice in war by giving their lives for this nation.

Legislative outcome: Failed House 210 to 211 (no Senate vote)

Source: Supreme Court case 16-H5293 argued on Jun 16, 2016

2017-18 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Immigration: Mike Conaway on other issues:
TX Gubernatorial:
Andrew White
Annise Parker
David Dewhurst
George P. Bush
Greg Abbott
Julian Castro
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Lupe Valdez
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Rick Perry
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Steve Stockman
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Page last updated: Jan 01, 2019