Clyburn's Voting Record on Illegal Immigration

Illegal Immigration & Border Security

For the past two centuries, millions of legal immigrants have come to the United States in search of freedom. As the world's "melting pot", we welcome legal immigrants with open arms, but we should not encourage criminal immigration by protecting those individuals who break our laws. 

Recent estimates put the number of illegal immigrants currently in the United States at 10.3 million.Between 2000 and 2004 the number of unauthorized immigrants entering the U.S. was higher than the number of those entering the country legally.(Pew Hispanic Center) 

While it is understandable that people from around the world want to make a better life for themselves and their families in America, we must ensure that those entering our country do so legally.Illegal immigration threatens our national security and is taking a toll on our communities, our school districts, and our health care systems.This is a problem Congress cannot ignore.



        Rep. Clyburn voted to make it easier for illegal immigrants to avoid getting caught crossing the border by voting against an amendment to prohibit sharing with Mexico the location of volunteer border patrol groups stationed along the U.S.-Mexican border.  (Vote #224, 6/6/06)


  • Rep. Clyburn opposed enforcing existing law that requires local law enforcement personnel to report illegal immigrants to federal immigration authorities.  (Vote #223, 6/6/06)

  • Rep. Clyburn voted to extend temporary protected status (TPS) to hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States even though the reason for the initial TPS is no longer a concern.  TPS was given to residents of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua following natural disasters in 1998 and 2001.  The countries have since rebuilt and recovered from the devastating effects of the hurricanes and earthquakes, yet their citizens residing in the United States continue to enjoy TPS and do not have to apply for legal residency as other would-be immigrants from around the world are required to do.  (Vote #222, 5/25/06)


    Rep. Clyburn voted against an amendment reaffirming existing law against allowing immigrants to obtain food stamps on the taxpayerís dollar.  (Vote #189, 5/23/06)


    Rep. Clyburn voted against national security by opposing an amendment to allow military personnel to assist the Department of Homeland Security with border security in times of a threat to national security.  (Vote #141, 5/11/06)


    The very fabric of this country is that the United States is a nation of immigrants.  American society values generations of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds that have contributed to the freedoms that foster the economic strength and global leadership enjoyed today.  Yet, the terrorist attacks on September 11, and the influx of unauthorized immigrants in even remote communities have led to calls for Congress to examine the obvious vulnerabilities in the existing system.   

    The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 requires employers to ensure the legal presence of all employees prior to hiring, strengthens and coordinates border security operations in order to prevent would-be terrorists from sneaking into the United States, and boosts penalties for individuals found guilty of smuggling illegal immigrants across the border.   

    Rep. Clyburn joined 163 Democrats in opposing the immigration reform legislation that is a priority for Americans across the country.  (Vote 661, 12/16/05)


    Rep. Clyburn opposed an amendment offered to the immigration reform bill to eliminate the unfair visa lottery program.  (Vote 653, 12/16/05)


    Opposed an amendment to the immigration reform measure making clear that state and local law enforcement officials have the authority to enforce immigration laws.  The amendment also provides federally funded training and access to information on illegal criminal aliens for state and local officials.  (Vote 656, 12/16/05)


    • In response to the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission in 2004, Republicans in the House moved legislation to prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driverís licenses or official ID cards; ensure terrorists do not threaten our national security by entering the U.S. through loopholes in our asylum and deportation laws; and strengthen border control activities by completing the San Diego border fence.  It seems as though Rep. Clyburn would prefer to allow these national security vulnerabilities to go unchecked.  Rep. Clyburn joined Democrat Leadership in opposing the REAL ID Act. (Vote 31, 2/10/05)


    • In the face of increasing numbers of illegal immigrants crossing our borders, many state and local police departments and correctional facilities cannot financially bear the burden of arresting and detaining them.  The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) helps offset those costs.  Unfortunately, Rep. Clyburn voted against increasing funds for this program.  (Vote 250, 6/14/05)


    • Rep. Clyburnís position on border control policy was made crystal clear with a vote in favor of stripping provisions in the REAL ID Act which allow the construction of the San Diego border fence to move forward without further delay.  (Vote 29, 2/10/05)


    • Rep. Clyburn voted against increasing penalties for certain crimes committed by illegal aliens and against tracking immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center Database. (Vote 165, 5/11/05)


    • Once again, House Democrats tried to stand in the way of controlling unnecessary federal spending and making wise use of limited resources when they supported an amendment to limit the ability of the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to manage detention facilities.  Rep. Clyburn was among the many Democrats to vote to prohibit ICE from restructuring detention facilities according to evolving need. (Vote 178, 5/17/05)


    • Every day, press reports from across the nation speak of illegal immigrants being discovered during the routine law enforcement duties of state and local police departments, like traffic stops.  Yet, unless the unauthorized immigrants are guilty of a crime other than lacking official immigration papers, they are usually sent on their way.  An amendment was offered to the Fiscal Year 2006 Department of Homeland Security Authorization bill to clarify that state and local law enforcement personnel can detain illegal aliens.  Unfortunately, Rep. Clyburn voted against it. (Vote 185, 5/18/05)


    • Rep. Clyburn opposed enforcing existing law that requires local law enforcement personnel to report illegal immigrants to federal immigration authorities.

              Vote 267, 6/16/2005          Vote 262, 6/16/2005

    • Rep. Clyburn voted against enforcing existing law that requires U.S. sponsors to take financial responsibility for the immigrants they have sponsored.  The amendment would require sponsors of legal immigrants receiving assistance through the Food Stamp Program to reimburse the federal government for those benefits. (Vote 237, 6/8/05)


    • Despite studies showing there are currently more illegal immigrants entering the United States than there are legal immigrants, Rep. Clyburn and 169 Democrats voted to prevent the Department of Defense from helping protect our borders even if the Department of Homeland Security decides that is the right course of action to ensure our national security.  (Vote 214, 5/25/05)


    • Rep. Clyburn opposed expedited construction along the U.S.-Mexico border to fill two gaps in the barrier. (Vote 519, 10/8/04)

    • Rep. Clyburn believes that it is fine for the Treasury Secretary to use federal dollars and develop regulations permitting ďmatricula consularĒ ID cards as an acceptable form of identification at financial institutions. (Vote 452, 9/14/04)

    • The United States and Mexico are seeking a totalization agreement. A totalization agreement coordinates Social Security with the comparable program in another nation. The purpose is to end dual taxation and protect the benefits of workers. Some Members of Congress want to preempt and avert the agreement due to concerns with illegal aliens. Rep. Clyburn was NOT one of those members and voted against blocking certain funds for the administration of the agreement with Mexico. (Vote 439, 9/9/04)

    • Rep. Clyburn voted against a bill authorizing funding for the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Vote 373, 7/14/04) $21 billion in funding was authorized for FY2005 and FY2006. This move renews the two bureaus, which are vital to homeland security efforts.

    • Voted against an amendment emphasizing that none of the funds provided to the Food Stamp program can be used in contravention of existing immigration law in regard to applicants and their sponsors. (Vote 367, 7/13/04)

    • Voted against adding $1 million for enforcement of part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. (Vote 341, 7/8/04) This part of the bill forbids localities from preventing their police officers from reporting immigration information to the federal government. The offset would come from Department of Justice salaries and expenses.

    • Voted against forbidding homeland security funds to local and state governments, which restrict citizenship and immigration information to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs. (Vote 270, 6/18/04)

    • Voted to block funding for outsourcing of some services by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Vote 269, 6/18/04)

    • Voted against a bill requiring hospitals to report information on potential illegal aliens before being reimbursed for treatment. (Vote 182, 5/18/04)

    • The United States has a pilot program, essentially an employment verification system, in place that businesses can use to determine legal status of workers. Instead of extending this program, Rep. Clyburn and 166 other Democrats opposed such an extension. (Vote 570, 10/28/03) Clyburn should be giving businesses the proper tools to verify immigration status.

    • Rep. Clyburn opposed authorizing the Department of State to issue regulations in regards to the issuance of consular identification cards. (Vote 367, 7/15/03) These cards provide identification for foreign nationals in the United States, and new rules would help this nation get a better handle on immigration and security.

    • Voted against prohibiting funding to local and state governments, which restrict citizenship and immigration status information to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs. (Vote 309, 6/24/03)

    • Securing our borders is more important than ever, so Republicans put forth a measure authorizing the Secretary of Defense to use members of the armed forces in conjunction with border security activities. Rep. Clyburn opposed the measure. (Vote 206, 5/21/03)

    • Protecting the nationís borders has become increasingly important since the Sept. 11 attacks. A measure passed the House, which would authorize $9.1 billion through FY2004 for the activities of the U.S. Customs Service. Among other things, these funds would go to pay officers bonuses for working overtime and beef up anti-terrorist and anti-drug equipment along the borders. Rep. Clyburn voted against authorizing these funds. (Vote 193, 5/22/02)

    • Rep. Clyburn Clyburn voted against making military personnel available to border patrols in order to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.
              Vote 154, 5/10/2002          Vote 356, 9/25/2001          Vote 197, 5/18/2000          Vote 186, 6/10/1999          Vote 439, 9/16/1998          Vote 368, 9/5/1997

    • Rep. Clyburn was among a number of Democrats who voted for legislation prohibiting the use of funds to deport aliens for conviction of a crime. (Vote 242, 7/18/01)

    • Rep. Clyburn voted against revamping immigration laws including restrictions on access to benefits, penalties for false use of government documents, and an increase in border controls. (Vote 89, 3/21/96)

    • Illegal aliens can come to this country, give birth, and then exploit loopholes in our laws. Meanwhile, Rep. Clyburn does not mind if these loopholes are exploited and voted to allow illegal immigrants to apply for such benefits as food stamps and Medicaid on behalf of their U.S.-born children. (Vote 74, 3/20/96)

    • Voted against requiring public medical facilities to provide immigration officials with information about the adult illegal aliens they treat. (Vote 73, 3/20/96)

    • Voted against allowing states to decide whether they can afford to provide educational benefits to illegal aliens. (Vote 75, 3/20/96)


    • Voted against a bill to require National Competitiveness Funds to go only to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or legal residents. (Vote 171, 5/19/93)

    • Voted against banning immigration of HIV-infected individuals into the United States. (Vote 70, 3/11/93)


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