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Holding Congress accountable: 102 members of the current Congress were in office 20 years ago, and 63 voted for the disastrous IRCA amnesty of 1986. Many are still pushing more amnesty schemes.

Twenty years ago, after years of heated wrangling over immigration, Congress passed--and President Reagan signed--the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The most intensely debated feature of that new legislation was an amnesty for illegal aliens who met various qualifications. At the time, the amnesty advocates in Congress, the media, and the militant migrant lobby placed the number of aliens who would qualify for the amnesty at around 1 million. They were wrong! One million is a huge number of individuals to screen and process. But the actual number of illegals who applied was more than three times that number: 3.1 million. And most of them--2.7 million--were rushed through and given a free pass on the road to citizenship.

That, however, is not the end of the story. The amnesty proponents had insisted that it would be impossible to enforce our borders and try to deport the many who had come here illegally. The only workable solution, they argued, would be to allow the aliens who were already here to stay here, and then commit sufficient resources to enforce our borders so that we wouldn't have more waves of illegal immigrants overwhelming our borders. With these promises to finally enforce our borders, enough members of Congress were convinced to hold their noses and vote for the bill, despite the amnesty provision.

Betrayal After Betrayal

However, after swamping the country with 2.7 million amnestied aliens, Congress reneged on its promise to enforce our borders. After 20 years, our borders are in more desperate shape than ever. Our Border Patrol is still hopelessly undermanned and underfunded. But to make matters even worse, the same amnesty proponents have come back repeatedly since 1986 and enacted additional amnesties--all the while refusing to enforce our borders, as they repeatedly have promised to do. Numbers USA (a liberal organization with which we would disagree on many environmental and social policies) has counted six amnesties that have been enacted since the 1986 IRCA.

Now, the amnesty proponents are back again, demanding an even larger amnesty for untold millions and, in addition, a "guest worker" program that will translate into an ongoing, continuous amnesty for millions more. The American people must send an unmistakable, roaring message to Congress: "No more amnesty! Protect our borders!"

Overdue Accounting

It's time to hold members of Congress accountable. One hundred and two members of the current House and Senate were serving in Congress in 1986 and voted on the IRCA bill. Their votes are shown. It is very rare that a vote cast so many years ago can be used to impact politicians today. But this is an issue that is galvanizing American voters as few others have.

Our vote table also includes the House vote on H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. That proposed legislation does not contain any amnesty or "guest worker" provisions, but does provide many needed enforcement provisions that the amnesty lobby is trying to stop, once again. Votes in favor of H.R. 4437 are votes in favor of real immigration reform and genuine border security.
Table Key:

Y--Voted in favor of legislation
N--Voted against legislation
?--No recorded vote
*--Member of the House in 1986

Red district number--Member
served in differenct state district in 1986

State Senator

Alabama Shelby * (R) N
Alaska Stevens (R) Y
Arizona McCain * (R) N
California Boxer * (D) N
Connecticut Dodd (D) Y
Delaware Biden (D) Y
 Carper * (D) Y
Florida Nelson, Bill * (D) Y
Hawaii Aaaka * (D) N
 Inouye (D) N
Idaho Craig * (R) N
Illinois Durbin * (D) Y
Indiana Lugar (R) Y
Iowa Grassley (R) Y
 Harkin (D) Y
Kansas Roberts * (R) N
Kentucky McConnell (R) Y
Maine Snowe * (R) Y
Maryland Mikulski * (D) Y
 Sarbanes (D) Y
Massachusetts Kennedy, E. (D) N
 Kerry (D) Y
Michigan Levin, C. (D) Y
 Cochran (R) N
Mississippi Lott * (R) Y
Montana Baucus, M. (D) Y
Nevada Reid, H. * (D) N
New Jersey Lautenberg (D) Y
New Mexico Bingaman (D) Y
 Domenici (R) N
New York Schumer * (D) Y
North Dakota Dorgan * (D) Y
Ohio DeWine * (R) Y
Oregon Wyden * (D) Y
Pennsylvania Specter (R) Y
Utah Hatch (R) N
Vermont Jeffords * (I) Y
 Leahy (D) ?
Virginia Warner (R) Y
West Virginia Byrd (D) Y
 Rockefeller (D) Y

House Vote Scores for H.R. 4437 and IRCA

State and Representative H.R. 1986
District 4437 IRCA

Alaska Young, D. (R) ?

Arizona 8 Kolbe (R) ? N N

California 3 Lungren (R) Y Y Y
 7 Miller, George (D) N Y Y
 12 Lantos (D) N Y Y
 13 Stark (D) N Y Y
 22 Thomas, B. (R) N Y Y
 26 Dreier (R) Y N N
 28 Berman (D) N Y Y
 30 Waxman (D) N Y Y
 41 Lewis, Jerry (R) Y Y Y
 52 Hunter (R) Y N N
 9 Bilirakis (R) Y N N
 10 Young, C.W. (R) ? N N

Florida 14 Mack (R) Y N N
 22 Shaw (R) Y Y Y

Hawaii 1 Abercrombie (D) N Y Y
 6 Hyde (R) ? N N

Illinois 17 Evans (D) N N N
 1 Visclosky (D) Y N N

Indiana 5 Burton, (R) Y N N

Iowa 2 Leach (R) N Y Y

Maryland 5 Hoyer (D) N Y Y
 4 Frank, B. (D) N Y Y

Massachusetts 7 Markey (D) N Y Y
 5 Kildee (D) N Y Y
 12 Levin, S. (D) N Y Y

Michigan 14 Conyers (D) N ? ?
 Dingell (D) N Y Y

Missouri 4 Skelton (D) Y N N
 3 Saxton (R) Y N N

New Jersey 4 Smith, C. (R) N Y Y
 5 Ackerman (D) N Y Y
 10 Towns (D) N N N

New York 11 Owens (D) N Y Y
 24 Boehlert (R) Y Y Y
 3 Jones, W. (R) Y N N

North Carolina 6 Coble (R) Y N N
 4 Oxley (R) Y Y Y

Ohio 9 Kaptur (D) N N N
 16 Regula (R) Y N N

Pennsylvania 11 Kanjorski (D) Y Y Y

South Carolina 5 Spratt (D) N Y Y
 2 Duncan (R) Y N N
 5 Cooper(D) N Y Y

Tennessee 6 Gordon (D) Y N N
 9 Ford (D) N Y Y
 4 Hall, R. (R) Y N N
 6 Barton (R) ? N N

Texas 22 DeLay (R) Y N N
 27 Ortiz (D) N Y Y
 9 Boucher(D) Y Y Y

Virginia 10 Wolf (R) Y Y Y

Washington 6 Dicks (D) N Y Y
 1 Mollohan (D) N Y Y

West Virginia 3 Rahall (D) N Y Y
 5 Sensenbrenner (R) Y N N

Wisconsin 6 Petri (R) Y N N
 7 Obey (D) N Y Y
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Title Annotation:IMMIGRATION
Author:Jasper, William F.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2006
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