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Peter Welch on Immigration

Democrat

 


Path for earned citizenship plus guest worker program

Peter believes we need an immigration policy that addresses the security and economic challenges illegal immigration presents. He believes we must secure our borders, enforce the law with a common sense program that provides for a path for earned citizenship, and assure we have a guest worker program to meet the needs of labor shortages, such as on Vermont’s dairy farms.
Source: 2006 House campaign website, welchforcongress.com, “Issues” , Nov 7, 2006

Voted to legalize DREAMer immigrants via military service.

Welch voted NAY 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: Congressional vote 16-H5293 on Jun 16, 2016

Provide lawyers and evidence for children being deported.

Welch co-sponsored H.R.4646/S.2540

This bill authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appoint or provide counsel at government expense to aliens in removal proceedings.

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall provide an alien in removal proceedings with all relevant documents in its possession, unless the alien has knowingly waived the right to such documents.
  • DOJ may appoint or provide counsel to aliens in any INA proceeding.
  • DHS shall ensure that aliens have access to counsel inside all immigration detention and border facilities.
  • DOJ shall appoint counsel, at government expense if necessary, for an unaccompanied alien child or a particularly vulnerable individual.
  • DHS shall establish a pilot program to increase the court appearance rates of unaccompanied alien children and particularly vulnerable individuals by contracting with nongovernmental, community-based organizations to provide such aliens with case management services.
    Source: Fair Day in Court for Kids Act 16-HR4646 on Feb 26, 2016

    Increase both high-skill and family-based visa caps.

    Welch co-sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

    Legislative Summary:This bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China. The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY2020-FY2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85% shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

    Explanation from the Countable.US: Under the current immigration system, immigrants from any one country can claim no more than 7% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards issued annually to foreign nationals working in the U.S. This significantly disadvantages immigrants from larger countries that more immigrants come from.

    For example, China (population 1.3 billion) and India have large backlogs of workers wishing to immigrate to and work in the U.S., but they have the name visa caps as countries such as Iceland or Estonia (population 1.3 million), which have both much smaller populations and far fewer citizens seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

    The net effect of this is that immigrants from India and China can face decades-long waits, averaging 2-3 times the wait times for immigrants from other countries, for green cards, and many have to return home because they can't get permanent residency; meanwhile, countries such as Iceland and Estonia never come close to reaching their visa limit caps.

    Legislative outcome Roll call 437 in House on 7/10/2019 passed 365-65-2; referred to Committee in Senate 7/9/2019; no action as of 1/1/2020.

    Source: S.386/H.R.1044 19-HR1044 on Feb 7, 2019

    Sponsored bill to disallow religion-based immigration ban.

    Welch co-sponsored NO BAN Act

    The National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act (NO BAN Act) imposes limitations on the President's authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the US. It also prohibits religious discrimination in various immigration-related decisions, such as issuing a visa. The President may temporarily restrict the entry of any class of aliens after determining that the restriction would address specific and credible facts that threaten U.S. interests such as security or public safety.

    GovTrack.us analysis (4/21/21): President Donald Trump instituted a travel ban on eight countries: Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. The Supreme Court upheld the travel ban 5-4 in the 2018 decision Trump v. Hawaii. Trump's travel ban was popularly nicknamed "the Muslim ban" by its Democratic critics since most of the countries it applied to were majority Muslim, and because Trump as a 2016 candidate had indeed proposed a Muslim ban. Regardless, President Joe Biden rescinded the policy on his first day in office. Currently, federal law bans any person from being discriminated against when entering the U.S. on the basis of five characteristics: race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence. The NO BAN Act would add another category: religion.

    Rep. Tom McClintock in OPPOSITION: President Trump invoked this authority against countries that were hotbeds of international terrorism and that were not cooperating with the US in providing basic information about travelers coming from these countries. The left called it a 'Muslim ban.' What nonsense. Without this authority, the president would have been powerless to take simple, prudent precautions against terrorists and criminals from entering the US.

    Legislative Outcome: Passed House 218-208-3 on April 21, 2021, rollcall #127; introduced in Senate with 42 co-sponsors but no further Senate action during 2021.

    Source: H.R.1333/S.1891 21-HR1333 on Feb 25, 2021

    2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Immigration: Peter Welch on other issues:
    VT Gubernatorial:
    Christine Hallquist
    David Zuckerman
    Keith Stern
    Matt Dunne
    Phil Scott
    Rebecca Holcombe
    Shap Smith
    Sue Minter
    VT Senatorial:
    Al Giordano
    Bernie Sanders
    Brooke Paige
    John MacGovern
    Lawrence Zupan
    Patrick Leahy
    Scott Milne
    Republican Freshman class of 2021:
    AL-1: Jerry Carl(R)
    AL-2: Barry Moore(R)
    CA-8: Jay Obernolte(R)
    CA-50: Darrell Issa(R)
    CO-3: Lauren Boebert(R)
    FL-3: Kat Cammack(R)
    FL-15: Scott Franklin(R)
    FL-19: Byron Donalds(R)
    GA-9: Andrew Clyde(R)
    GA-14: Marjorie Taylor Greene(R)
    IA-2: Mariannette Miller-Meeks(R)
    IA-4: Randy Feenstra(R)
    IL-15: Mary Miller(R)
    IN-5: Victoria Spartz(R)
    KS-1: Tracey Mann(R)
    KS-2: Jake LaTurner(R)
    LA-5: Luke Letlow(R)
    MI-3: Peter Meijer(R)
    MI-10: Lisa McClain(R)
    MT-0: Matt Rosendale(R)
    NC-11: Madison Cawthorn(R)
    NM-3: Teresa Leger Fernandez(D)
    NY-2: Andrew Garbarino(R)
    NY-22: Claudia Tenney(R)
    OR-2: Cliff Bentz(R)
    PR-0: Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon(R)
    TN-1: Diana Harshbarger(R)
    TX-4: Pat Fallon(R)
    TX-11: August Pfluger(R)
    TX-13: Ronny Jackson(R)
    TX-17: Pete Sessions(R)
    TX-22: Troy Nehls(R)
    TX-23: Tony Gonzales(R)
    TX-24: Beth Van Duyne(R)
    UT-1: Blake Moore(R)
    VA-5: Bob Good(R)
    WI-5: Scott Fitzgerald(R)
    Incoming Democratic Freshman class of 2021:
    CA-53: Sara Jacobs(D)
    GA-5: Nikema Williams(D)
    GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux(D)
    HI-2: Kai Kahele(D)
    IL-3: Marie Newman(D)
    IN-1: Frank Mrvan(D)
    MA-4: Jake Auchincloss(D)
    MO-1: Cori Bush(D)
    NC-2: Deborah Ross(D)
    NC-6: Kathy Manning(D)
    NY-15: Ritchie Torres(D)
    NY-16: Jamaal Bowman(D)
    NY-17: Mondaire Jones(D)
    WA-10: Marilyn Strickland(D)

    Republican takeovers as of 2021:
    CA-21: David Valadao(R) defeated T.J. Cox(D)
    CA-39: Young Kim(R) defeated Gil Cisneros(D)
    CA-48: Michelle Steel(R) defeated Harley Rouda(D)
    FL-26: Carlos Gimenez(R) defeated Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
    FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar(R) defeated Donna Shalala(D)
    IA-1: Ashley Hinson(R) defeated Abby Finkenauer(D)
    MN-7: Michelle Fischbach(R) defeated Collin Peterson(D)
    NM-2: Yvette Herrell(R) defeated Xochitl Small(D)
    NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis(R) defeated Max Rose(D)
    OK-5: Stephanie Bice(R) defeated Kendra Horn(D)
    SC-1: Nancy Mace(R) defeated Joe Cunningham(D)
    UT-4: Burgess Owens(R) defeated Ben McAdams(D)

    Special Elections 2021-2022:
    CA-22: replacing Devin Nunes (R, SPEL summer 2022)
    FL-20: replacing Alcee Hastings (D, SPEL Jan. 2022)
    LA-2: Troy Carter (R, April 2021)
    LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
    NM-1: Melanie Stansbury (D, June 2021)
    OH-11: Shontel Brown (D, Nov. 2021)
    OH-15: Mike Carey (R, Nov. 2021)
    TX-6: Jake Ellzey (R, July 2021)
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    Page last updated: Feb 11, 2022