State of Texas Archives: on Immigration


Allen West: Texas's sovereignty threatened by Mexico

Echoing a developing theme in the gubernatorial race thus far, West said, "Because the sovereignty of Texas has been threatened when you have 1,200 miles that you share with a foreign nation that is really destabilized and controlled by a criminal terrorist organization in the cartels, we've got to do better and take responsibility as Texas and not wait and make ourselves dependent upon the federal government, and especially this administration."
Source: The Texan on 2022 Texas Gubernatorial race Jul 4, 2021

Chad Prather: Support border wall, ICE; no sanctuary cities in Texas

Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website Prather2022.com Jun 1, 2021

Don Huffines: Finish building the wall; completely shut down the border

If the federal government won't secure our border, Texas needs a governor who will do it on his own. The border is wide open. Our nation is being invaded, and Texas is at the heart of this unprecedented crisis. We will finish building the wall, starting with construction in the places where there are surges in crossings. We will completely shut down the border until the crisis is solved and eliminate taxpayer-funded subsidies to illegal aliens. I am not afraid to take on the federal government.
Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website DonHuffines.com May 30, 2021

Greg Abbott: Texas must fortify its efforts to secure our border

Public safety also extends to our border. Because of the federal government's open border policies, Texas must fortify its efforts to secure our border. We already have planes in the air, boots on the ground, boats on the water, and cruisers on the roads. We must expand our efforts to crack down on human trafficking and drug smuggling in Texas.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Texas legislature Feb 2, 2021

MJ Hegar: Don't waste billions on ineffective border wall

Q: Support expanded border walls?

MJ Hegar: No. Secure border with effective procedures and technologies, not waste billions on an ineffective wall that robs from the military budget while "seizing land from Texans/"

John Cornyn: Yes. Securing border must be "a top priority." Approved of Trump's diverting military construction funds for a border wall.

Source: CampusElect survey of 2020 Texas Senate race Sep 30, 2020

Ronny Jackson: US needs border wall to protect us from illegal immigrants

I will work hard for immigration reform that limits the number of immigrants and refugees that can legally enter our country.˙Only those that are vetted, screened, and go through the legal process should be allowed to enter. I support the border wall. The men and women of Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement need the wall to protect us from criminals, gang members, drug smugglers, and human traffickers that cross our border every day.
Source: 2020 TX-13 House campaign website RonnyJacksonForTexas13.com Jul 27, 2020

MJ Hegar: Consider abolishing ICE; prefer better leadership & policies

Hegar said she would "consider" abolishing ICE, but that she would rather focus on having "the right leadership in place passing down the right policies."
Source: The Texan on 2020 Texas Senate race Jun 8, 2020

MJ Hegar: Asylum seekers should not be treated as criminals

We need to bring some common sense to the issue. That means starting with permanently ending child separation, ensuring asylum seekers are not treated as criminals and their claims are properly processed, securing the border with effective procedures and technologies instead of wasting billions on an ineffective wall that would require robbing our military construction budget while seizing land from Texans, and building a path to citizenship for undocumented residents.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website MJforTexas.com Jan 20, 2020

Sema Hernandez: Remain in Mexico Policy unlawful in US and international law

I will introduce and/or co-sponsor legislation that will provide permanent resident status to all DACA and TPS registrants, as well as for their family members. The Remain in Mexico Policy (MPP), which currently is employed by Donald Trump and ICE to deny or delay asylum to refugees, is unlawful under both US and international law. I will introduce legislation to remove the 50,000 annual cap on refugees which currently exists under the Refugee Act of 1980. I will introduce legislation to abolish ICE and restore immigration enforcement to the Department of Justice. I further commit to repealing the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996, which is responsible for the incarceration and separation of many immigrant families, including long-time green card holders, asylum seekers and DACA recipients, many without due process.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Legalize status of DREAMers, other hardworking immigrants

Cristina supports extending citizenship to DREAMers, who are Americans in every way except on paper. In addition to the DREAMers, we need to legalize the status of the millions of hardworking and honest immigrants that have been part of our communities for years. We need an immigration system that allows future generations to come here safely and legally, that fills our labor needs, and that empowers all immigrants to live their full humanity as families and human beings.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Must address humanitarian crisis at the border

Our immigration system is broken. This presidential administration has thrown our immigration policies into total chaos -- to the point where we are violating international human rights laws.

Children do not belong in cages, families must stay together, and we must immediately address the humanitarian crisis going on at the border. Our border needs more resources, like judges who can expedite hearings for asylum seekers.

Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

MJ Hegar: Support DACA recipients, they represent the best of us

Hegar said when it comes to immigration there's a lot that needs to be done. She said she supports comprehensive immigration reform, fully funding immigration courts and supporting DACA recipients. "I believe that the people who are DACA recipients represent the best of us," Hegar said. "We need to support DACA recipients and make sure they know the only country they've ever known is not going to be taken away from them."
Source: KXAN Austin NBC-TV on 2020 Texas Senate race Nov 17, 2019

Royce West: We've got to find a way to keep DREAMers in the country

When it comes to the border, West said Texas needs more judges with more resources so Texas can adjudicate the asylum claims. DACA went before the Supreme Court and West said a legislative solution may be the answer if the president is not going to do anything by executive order. "Those kids that are involved in the DACA program are kids that have done everything that they need to do here in this country," West said. "And we've got to find a way to make certain that they stay in this country."
Source: KXAN-TV NBC on 2020 Texas Senate race Nov 17, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Fight for the rights of immigrant families

Tzintzun Ramirez, who is of Hispanic and Irish descent, has spent most of her career in organizing, advocacy and activism.

As a response to Trump's election in 2016, Tzintzun Ramirez started the advocacy group Jolt with a mission of growing the Latino electorate in Texas. She said she has also fought for the rights of immigrant families and affordable college tuition.

Source: Dallas Morning News on 2020 Texas Senate race Aug 12, 2019

Royce West: Putting kids in cages makes "my blood boil"

Q: What about putting kids in cages?

A: Every time I think about it my blood boils. My eyes get red. America? I think about the internment camps in World War II, where the Japanese were sent to internment camps. I think about the Nazis in terms of the concentration camps. America? We can do better than that.

Q. Should the act of crossing the border be decriminalized?

A: At this point I believe it should not be, we should continue to make it a crime. But I'm open for a discussion.

Source: The Dallas Morning News on 2020 Texas Senate race Jul 28, 2019

Van Taylor: Break immigration issue into little pieces to find solutions

I think there are three different problems. You have people who are here illegally, you have border security, and you have what to do about legal immigration. And I think that you need to break those problems up into little pieces, and even maybe break those three bigger problems down into even smaller pieces, and then just come up with different answers and start just putting points on the board.
Source: Texas Scorecard on 2018 Congress TX-3 election Dec 21, 2018

Ted Cruz: Enforce the law but also keep families together

Q: Trump's past policy of family separation at the border is one area where you broke with the administration.

CRUZ: Well listen, this is something we should all come together on. When it comes to family separation, everyone should agree. The right place for kids to be is with their parents.

Q: Will you say, "Mr. President, this isn't the right policy"?

CRUZ: I've been very clear to the president. We need to enforce the law but we should also keep families together.

Source: ABC This Week on 2018 Texas Senate race Oct 21, 2018

Beto O`Rourke: DREAMers are as American as my kids

Q: Support path to citizenship for "DACA" recipients or "Dreamers," who grew up in US after coming as children?

Ted Cruz (R): No. End DACA. No path to citizenship to Dreamers or anyone else who violates immigration laws.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Protect Dreamers. "As American as my kids. & have done everything we've asked of them." Supports earned path to citizenship for millions here illegally.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Lupe Valdez: Wants immigration reform that gives a pathway to citizenship

As the state with the most diverse population and the 2nd longest border in the country, we should be leading the way on how to keep criminal elements out of country while also treating our immigrant communities with dignity and respect. We need to enact comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and stop attacks on our DREAMers and end cruel policies that target Texans based on ethnicity and citizenship status, which only make us less safe.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website LupeValdez.com Oct 9, 2018

Ted Cruz: No path to citizenship to DREAMers or anyone else

Q: Support path to citizenship for "DACA" recipients or "Dreamers," who grew up in US after coming as children?

Ted Cruz (R): No. End DACA. No path to citizenship to Dreamers or anyone else who violates immigration laws.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Protect Dreamers. "As American as my kids. & have done everything we've asked of them." Supports earned path to citizenship for millions here illegally.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Andrew White: Weak borders are "Open for Business" for criminals

I believe in a secure border. I also believe in effective policies for legal immigration. I know there's a way to be rigorous and compassionate. I understand the challenges of this issue. Our weak borders have read like a 1,254-mile-long "Open for Business" sign to millions of undocumented immigrants and the criminals who take advantage of them. For the sake of all of us who believe in law and safety, we must be strong on border security. We must also be compassionate.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website AndrewWhite.com Feb 22, 2018

Andrew White: Sanctuary City laws force police to do border patrol work

Local police fight crime, not illegal immigration. Border patrol agents fight illegal immigration. That's how law enforcement works. Let's be clear. The Sanctuary Cities law means that when Hispanic or Latino-Americans get pulled over in a state that's nearly 39% Hispanic or Latino, they'll be asked to show their papers more often than ever. But, when people who look like me get pulled over, they probably won't even be asked. That's discrimination. Pure and simple. And that's not right.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website AndrewWhite.com Feb 22, 2018

Greg Abbott: Require local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status and blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; signed by Governor Greg Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 May 7, 2017

Don Huffines: Require local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status & blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome:˙Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; State Sen. Huffines co-sponsored bill and voted YES; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; signed by Governor Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 May 3, 2017

Royce West: Oppose local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status and blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; Sen. West voted NO; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; signed by Governor Greg Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 May 3, 2017

Sylvia Garcia: Oppose local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status and blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; Sen. Garcia voted NO; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; signed by Governor Greg Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 May 3, 2017

Van Taylor: Require local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status and blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; Sen. Taylor voted YES; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; signed by Governor Greg Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 May 3, 2017

Lance Gooden: Require local cooperation enforcing immigration laws

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping ban on "sanctuary cities" into law on Sunday, giving police officers new authority to question a detained person's immigration status and blocking local entities from passing laws that would prohibit these questions from officers. "The reason why so many people come to America is because we are the nation of laws," he said, seconds after dotting his signature on Senate Bill 4 on Facebook Live. "Texas is doing its part to keep it that way."

Excerpt from Sen. Sylvia Garcia statement: "I am afraid that this legislation will lead to harassment and profiling of Latinos. The last thing I want is 'walking while brown' to become reasonable suspicion. And, frankly, it doesn't matter how much this legislation's supporters promise that this will not happen. It will happen."

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 20-11-0 on May/3/17; passed House 94-53-1 on Apr/27/17; Rep. Gooden voted YES; signed by Governor Greg Abbott May/7/17.

Source: Houston Chronicle on Texas legislative voting record SB4 Apr 27, 2017

Greg Abbott: Enforce against sanctuary cities or more Texans will die

It is our burden to deal with the consequences of the federal government not securing the border. Texas can't change federal immigration laws. What Texas can do is to enforce existing law. There are consequences--deadly consequences--to not enforcing the law.

Juan Rios is a criminal alien who had been arrested in Texas multiple times and deported three times. Last September, he went on a crime spree across Texas, killing two people & kidnapping another. It's a tragedy repeated too often in Texas. It is time for Texas to take a stand.

Some law enforcement officials in Texas are openly refusing to enforce existing law. That is unacceptable. Elected officials don't get to pick and choose which laws they obey. To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed. This is the session we will ban sanctuary cities. I'm declaring this an emergency item.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Texas Legislature Jan 31, 2017

Jodey Arrington: Mandatory jail for illegals who return after deportation

Stop Illegal Immigration and Secure Our Borders: The federal government hasn't just failed to secure our borders under the Obama Administration, they have actively encouraged more illegal immigration by not enforcing existing laws and enacting unconstitutional policies to prevent deportation and the prosecution of illegal immigrants accused of crimes. The lack of political courage to tackle this issue is shameful for such a great nation.

I will use every resource and tool necessary, including the deployment of our military, to secure the border. I will ensure that all of our laws are enforced and put an end to Sanctuary Cities. And I will strongly support Kate's Law to enforce mandatory minimum jail time for illegal immigrants who come back to America after being deported. You break our laws; you go to prison. Finally, I will cut off tax payer -funded services that incentivize the very behavior our immigration laws are trying to prevent.

Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website JodeyArrington.com Nov 8, 2016

Vicente Gonzalez: Common-sense compassionate reform like DACA

Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website VicenteGonzalez.com Nov 8, 2016

Ben Carson: Stop illegal immigration, then have a fair path to residency

After we stop illegal immigration, we need to be reasonable. I would give a six-month period to register as a guest worker. They have to pay a back-tax penalty, have to pay taxes going forward, but they don't have to live underground. They do not become American citizens, they do not vote. If they want to become an American citizen, they go through exactly the same process that anybody else goes through. I think that's fair.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Donald Trump: Let the good ones come back in; that's not amnesty

CRUZ: The people that get forgotten in this debate over immigration are the hardworking men and women of this country, millions of Americans who are losing their jobs. We have always welcomed legal immigrants, but I think it is a mistake to forgive those who break the law to allow them to become U.S. citizens, and that's why I've led the fight against granting citizenship to those here illegally.

TRUMP: We have at least 11 million people that came in illegally. They will go out. Some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally. It may not be a quick process, but I think that's fair. They're going to get in line with other people.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Marco Rubio: 45% of the problem is visa over-stays

When I'm president, before we do anything on immigration, we are going to secure the border. And, that's not just the physical border with Mexico, it's visa overstays. That's 45 percent of the problem. That's why we need e-verify, and entry-exit tracking system, and so-forth. Until that happens, we're not doing anything else. Then we'll see what the American people are willing to support.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Marco Rubio: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is unconstitutional

Q: DACA is a program that has protected young people, brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants.

RUBIO: DACA is an executive order that is unconstitutional. I will cancel it on my first day in office, which means people who currently hold those permits will not be allowed to renew them, and new people will not be allowed to apply for them. I am sympathetic to the plight of someone who came here when they were 2 years old, but you can't solve it doing something that is unconstitutional.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Ted Cruz: Children deported with parents can come back, if citizens

Q: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals--DACA--is a program that has protected young people, brought to the U.S. by undocumented immigrants.

RUBIO: DACA is an executive order that is unconstitutional. I will cancel it on my first day in office, which means people who currently hold those permits will not be allowed to renew them, and new people will not be allowed to apply for them. I am sympathetic to the plight of someone who came here when they were 2 years old, but you can't solve it doing something that is unconstitutional.

CRUZ: Existing law provides that those who are deported cannot come back here legally. U.S. citizens can come back. That's existing law.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Greg Abbott: 500 new state troopers plus Texas Rangers at the border

The first step in securing our border is enforcing the rule of law. The last lawsuit that I filed as Attorney General was a lawsuit to stop President Obama's lawless executive action. I'm happy to report that late last night a federal judge halted the President's executive action plan.

In Texas, we will not sit idly by while the President ignores the law and fails to secure the border. That's why I have a comprehensive border security plan, to more than double current spending on border security. It adds 500 new state troopers, more Texas Rangers who can focus on corruption, more funding for local law enforcement and more technology to stop transnational criminal activity that threatens every community in Texas.

But the reality is that DPS cannot recruit, train and deploy 500 new troopers overnight. It takes time to ramp up. That's why this morning, I ordered the Texas National Guard to remain deployed on the border until my security plan is implemented.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

John Cornyn: First step is securing our porous border with Mexico

Senator Cornyn believes the immigration debate is about the values that we hold dearest as Texans and as Americans. That includes respect for the rule of law, and Senator Cornyn believes the first step in reforming our broken immigration system is securing our porous border with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security estimates it apprehends only half of those crossing the border illegally, and other estimates indicate that the reality is far less. Operational border security must be a part of any immigration reform.

But while immigration reform begins at the border, it does not end there. Forty percent of those here illegally first arrived with a lawful visa but never left when it expired. Senator Cornyn believes a biometric entry-exit system should be implemented, and Texas employers must have a rock-solid way of verifying the status of workers they hire.

Source: Vote-USA.org on 2014 Texas Senate incumbents Oct 25, 2014

Emily Sanchez: Supports illegal immigrants earning citizenship

Q: Do you support or oppose illegal immigrants earning citizenship?

A: Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Brian Babin: We must secure the borders

Immigration: We must secure the borders and oppose amnesty programs. Immigration reform must be an orderly, controlled policy that benefits U.S. citizens and our country and does not reward illegal entry.
Source: 2014 Texas 36th House campaign website BabinForCongress.com Aug 31, 2014

David Alameel: Supports the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform

Alameel supports the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform that is both humane and respectful of our laws. We can't let a problem become a tragedy, especially for the hundreds of thousands of children born or raised in America who live in a twilight zone of uncertainty for themselves and their families. We need:
Source: 2014 Texas Senate campaign website May 15, 2014

Steve Stockman: Opposes comprehensive immigration bill, and no negotiation

Cornyn and Stockman both oppose the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill, which would have granted undocumented immigrants the chance to earn US citizenship. Cornyn ticked off some Tea Party conservatives by expressing willingness to negotiate over the Senate's immigration bill. He offered an amendment in June that would have blocked immigrants from earning citizenship if stricter border security requirements were not met. But the plan was defeated and Cornyn voted against the Senate bill.

Cornyn's immigration plan was derided by some Tea Party conservative groups, like Heritage Action, which said it would "serve as political cover for those senators seeking to justify their support for amnesty." Like Heritage Action, Stockman opposes granting legal status to undocumented immigrants at all costs. He spearheaded a (successful) effort to convince Speaker John Boehner to resist negotiating over the Senate's immigration bill altogether.

Source: Fusion.net editorial on 2014 Texas Senate race Dec 10, 2013

Paul Sadler: Path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

Ted Cruz: No path to citizenship for 1.65 million illegals in Texas

When discussing what to do about the 1.65 million illegal immigrants living in Texas, Cruz weaved into the Second Amendment, alleging his opponent didn't support gun rights. "What does this have to do with the question?" Sadler asked before fiercely denying his opponent's allegation. Cruz again said he didn't support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants living in America, while Sadler said the opposite, as expected.
Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

David Dewhurst: Limit police power to ask detainees about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Ted Cruz: Give police more power to ask about immigration status

Cruz accused Dewhurst of using his position as head of the Texas Senate to kill a bill last year that would have given police more power to ask anyone they detain about their citizenship status--a charge Dewhurst denied.

Both agreed that the US has failed to secure its border with Mexico, and said they oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants and the Obama administration's new directive allowing many young illegal immigrants brought to the US as children to be exempted from deportation.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debates Jun 22, 2012

Paul Sadler: Pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants

Moderators asked the candidates about keeping student loan rates low, abortion rights, raising social security taxes, increasing taxes on the wealthy and a pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. The four Republicans opposed all of those things, while the Democrats support them.

"What you have in government is a problem, and that problem has a solution," Sadler said. "And that solution can from the most conservative member and it can come from the most liberal member."

Source: Associated Press in CBS DFW on 2012 Texas Senate debate May 4, 2012

Tom Leppert: No border wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 20, 2012

David Dewhurst: Boots on the ground, plus a wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 19, 2012

Ted Cruz: Boots on the ground, plus a wall

Border wall: James and Leppert oppose a wall, Dewhurst and Cruz tout "boots on the ground" and a wall in some places.
Source: BurntOrangeReport.com on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 18, 2012

David Dewhurst: No amnesty & no tuition for illegals; go home and re-apply

Leppert: A flat tax is an opportunity to expand the base. The tax code has more words than the Holy Bible.

Cruz on flat tax proposal: There is a permanent elite in Washington in both parties protecting tax code.

James says he supports a flat tax "at the lowest possible rate."

Dewhurst: "I am in favor of a fairer tax, a flatter tax."

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Mar 30, 2012

Ted Cruz: Triple the size of the Border Patrol

Cruz on immigration: Wants to triple size of Border Patrol. Says Dewhurst supported in-state tuition for kids of illegal immigrants.

Dewhurst: I have always been against an amnesty program. "If they want to be a citizen, they ought to go home and reapply."

Dewhurst says he was against tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Mar 29, 2012

David Dewhurst: Triple the size of the Border Patrol

The federal government has shamefully failed to uphold its responsibility. David will work with law enforcement to secure our border and triple the size of the Border Patrol in order to keep Americans safe.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Mar 28, 2012

Elizabeth Ames Jones: Greater emphasis on interdiction and deportation

The border with Mexico requires more boots on the ground, with the latest tools available to ensure a border that becomes more secure, not less. Greater emphasis on interdiction and deportation activities in the interior of our country is also a critical piece of true immigration reform. It is time for Washington to direct more revenue to securing our border...one of the legitimate responsibilities of the Federal Government.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.jonesfortexas.com Jul 17, 2011

Annise Parker: Report illegals to ICE, but don't look for illegals

One can imagine that the City of Houston's policy on illegal immigration--that its police officers don't ask about residents' citizenship unless they're arrested for a crime--will be an issue in the governor's race. Some think Houston is a sanctuary city, while others--including the region's top immigration enforcement official--reject that.

Mayor Annise Parker has a clear opinion on the "sanctuary city" charge: "Houston is not a sanctuary city. If you break a law in Houston, we will arrest you, we will take you to jail, and, if you're in this country illegally, we will turn you over to the appropriate federal agency, generally ICE. We will do it day and day after day, and we have been doing it for a very long time. What we don't do is divert our police officers to stop people on the street and inquire about immigration status. That's a waste of resources."

Source: Matt Stiles in Texas Tribune, "Sanctuary City" Mar 29, 2010

John Cornyn: More secure documents needed to enforce immigration laws

Noriega and Cornyn sparred over immigration. Both hedged when the debate moderator asked them what they would do if they found out members of a work crew at their homes were in the country illegally. Noriega and Cornyn both said the U.S. immigration system is broken.

Eventually, both said they wouldn’t stand for having undocumented workers at their homes.

“I don’t work for Immigration,” Noriega said, but when pressed said an undocumented worker would need to be deported. After the debate he said, “If it came to my attention that someone was in violation of the law, yes, I would report them.”

Cornyn said more secure documents are needed so immigration laws can be enforced. When asked again after the debate about the hypothetical scenario, he said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to hire people who are not legally here in the United States and I would look for somebody else to legally do that work.”

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Rick Noriega: Immigration system is broken; deport undocumented workers

Noriega and Cornyn sparred over immigration. Both hedged when the debate moderator asked them what they would do if they found out members of a work crew at their homes were in the country illegally. Noriega and Cornyn both said the U.S. immigration system is broken.

Eventually, both said they wouldn’t stand for having undocumented workers at their homes.

“I don’t work for Immigration,” Noriega said, but when pressed said an undocumented worker would need to be deported. After the debate he said, “If it came to my attention that someone was in violation of the law, yes, I would report them.”

Cornyn said more secure documents are needed so immigration laws can be enforced. When asked again after the debate about the hypothetical scenario, he said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to hire people who are not legally here in the United States and I would look for somebody else to legally do that work.”

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Jon Roland: Secure border from illegal entry

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Barack Obama: Encourage every student to learn a second language

Q: Is there any down side to the US becoming a bilingual nation?

A: It is important that everyone learns English and that we have that process of binding ourselves together as a country. Every student should be learning a second language, because when you start getting into a debate about bilingual education, for example, now, I want to make sure that children who are coming out of Spanish-speaking households had the opportunity to learn and are not falling behind. If bilingual education helps them do that, I want to give them the opportunity. But I also want to make sure that English-speaking children are getting foreign languages because this world is becoming more interdependent and part of the process of America’s continued leadership in the world is going to be our capacity to communicate across boundaries, across borders, and that’s something frankly where we’ve fallen behind. Foreign languages is one of those areas that I think has been neglected. I want to put more resources into it.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Need to look at different aspects of immigration reform

We need stronger border security. We are cracking down on employers that are taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can’t complain if they’re not paid a minimum wage and not getting overtime. Worker safety laws are not being observed. We have to make sure that doesn’t lead to people with Spanish surnames being discriminated against. We have to require that undocumented workers go to the back of the line, so that they are not getting citizenship before those who have applied legally.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Have border patrolled, surveillance, and deploy technology

Q: Do you think your vote on the border fence or the implementation of it was wrong?

A: The key is to consult with local communities, whether it’s on the commercial interests or the environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier. The Bush administration is not real good at listening. I will reverse that policy. There may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. Having border patrolled, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that’s going to be the better approach.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Increasing the legal fees on immigrants is not helping

It is important that we fix the legal immigration system, because right now we’ve got a backlog that means years for people to apply legally. What’s worse is, we keep on increasing the fees, so that if you’ve got a hard working immigrant family, they’ve got to hire a lawyer; they’ve got to pay thousands of dollars in fees. They just can’t afford it. It’s discriminatory against people who have good character, but don’t have the money. We’ve got to fix that. We have to improve our relationship with Mexico and work with the Mexican government so that their economy is producing jobs on that side of the border. The problem is that we have had an administration that came in promising all sorts of leadership on creating a US-Mexican relationship. Bush dropped the ball. He has been so obsessed with Iraq that we have not seen the kinds of outreach and cooperative work that would ensure that the Mexican economy is working not just for the very wealthy in Mexico, but for all people.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Deporting 12 million people is ridiculous and impractical

The American people want fairness, want justice. They recognize that the idea that you’re going to deport 12 million people is ridiculous, that we’re not going to be devoting all our law enforcement resources to sending people back. But what they do also want is some order to the process. We’re not going to be able to do these things in isolation. We’re not going to be able to deal with the 12 million people who are living in the shadows and give them a way of getting out of the shadows if we don’t also deal with the problem of this constant influx of undocumented workers. That’s why comprehensive reform is so important. Something that we can do immediately that is very important is to pass the Dream Act, which allows children who through no fault of their own are here but have essentially grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education. I do not want two classes of citizens in this country. I want everybody to prosper. That’s going to be a top priority.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: No official English, but keep common unifying language

Q: Is there any downside to the US becoming a bilingual nation?

A: It’s important for as many Americans as possible to do what I have never been able to do, and that is learn another language and try to be bilingual because that connects us to the rest of the world. It is important that English remain our common unifying language because that brings our country together in a way that we have seen generations of immigrants coming to our shores be able to be part of the American experience and pursue the American dream. I have been adamantly against the efforts by some to make English the official language. That I do not believe is appropriate, and I have voted against it and spoken against it. I represent New York. We have 170 languages in NYC alone. I do not think we should be, in any way, discriminating against people who do not speak English, who use facilities like hospitals or have to go to court to enforce their rights. But English does remain an important part of the American experience.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Introduce a path to earn citizenship in the first 100 days

I, as president, would work with our neighbors to the south, to help them create more jobs for their own people. We need to bring the immigrants out of the shadows, give them the conditions that we expect them to meet, paying a fine for coming here illegally, trying to pay back taxes, over time, and learning English. If they had committed a crime, then they should be deported. But for everyone else, there must be a path to legalization. I would introduce that in the first 100 days of my presidency.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Consider halting certain raids on illegal immigrant families

Q: Federal raids by immigration enforcement officials have generated a great deal of anxiety and have divided the families of some of the 3 million US-born children who have at least one undocumented parent. Would you consider stopping these raids?

A: I would consider that, except in egregious situations where it would be appropriate to take the actions you’re referring to. But when we see what’s been happening, with babies being left with no one to take care of them, children coming home from school, no responsible adult left, that is not the America that I know. That is against American values. It is a stark admission of failure by the federal government. I signed onto the first comprehensive bill back in 2004. I’ve been advocating for it: tougher, more secure borders, but let’s do it the right way, cracking down on employers, who exploit undocumented workers and drive down wages for everyone else.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Border fence that cuts off a college campus is absurd

Q: As president, would you commit tonight that you would finish the fence and speed up the construction?

A: Both Obama and I voted for that as part of the immigration debate. There is a smart way to protect our borders, and there is a dumb way to protect our borders. What I learned is that the University of Texas at Brownsville would have part of its campus cut off. This is the kind of absurdity that we’re getting from this administration. I’ve been fighting with them about the northern border. Their imposition of passports and other kinds of burdens are separating people from families, interfering with business and commerce, the movement of goods and people. So what I’ve said is that I would say, wait a minute, we need to review this. There may be places where a physical barrier is appropriate. When both of us voted for this, we were voting for the possibility that where it was appropriate and made sense, it would be considered.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Deploy technology & personnel, not a border fence

Q: Do you think your vote on the border fence or the implementation of it was wrong?

A: There’s a lot we’ve learned about technology and smart fencing. There is technology that can be used instead of a physical barrier. It requires us having enough personnel along the border so that people can be supervising a certain limited amount of space and can be responsive in the event of people attempting to cross illegally. The way that the Bush administration is going about this, filing eminent domain actions against landowners and municipalities, makes no sense. After a careful review, listening to the people who live along the border, there may be limited places where it would work. But let’s deploy more technology and personnel, instead of the physical barrier. That will work better and will give us an opportunity to secure our borders without interfering with family relations, business relations, recreation and so much else that makes living along the border wonderful.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Rick Perry: $100 million investment in a more secure border

I am proposing a $100 million investment in a more secure border. There is no such thing as homeland security without border security. It is not hyperbole to say terrorists view our international border with Mexico as a prime point of entry--that is the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community.

While the vast majority of people who come here illegally are economic migrants simply seeking a better life, the small percentage seeking to cause us harm don't dress differently. Nor do they put out press advisories in advance of their arrival. They don't want us to know they are here until they have done mortal damage to our people.

I support strategic fencing in urban areas along the border. But I also believe, like border sheriffs, that the best solution involves added manpower, not unmanned walls.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Immigration.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Immigration:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 14, 2021