The immigration issue has been getting a lot of attention, but very little information has been published on the actual voting records of members of Congress, so we thought we would provide some information. Here are some of the votes cast by Nevadans in Congress on immigration issues. Because of their different terms of service, they did not all vote on the same bills or resolutions.
U.S. Rep. James Gibbons
• Gibbons voted on Feb. 10, 2005 for U.S. House Resolution 418 empowering the federal government to set minimum requirements for state driver licenses, requiring states to share personal driver license information, requiring that the three-mile gap in the Mexico/U.S. border fence be completed, allowing the U.S. Homeland Security Department to deport illegal aliens and giving the department authority to override state and federal laws, and making religious and political asylum more difficult to achieve
• Gibbons voted on May 18, 2004 for HR 3722 requiring hospitals to obtain and provide personal information on the illegal aliens to whom they provide emergency treatment, withholding federal reimbursement to hospitals that fail to provide the information, and making some employers responsible for these medical costs.
• Gibbons voted on May 21, 2001 for HR 1885 extending for four months a law that allowed some immigrants to stay in the United States while pursuing legal residency.
• Gibbons voted on Sept. 24, 1998 for HR 3736 increasing the number of temporary visas for skilled immigrants (by 120,000 over three years) and penalizing employers who replace U.S. workers with immigrants.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid
• Reid voted on Oct. 3, 2000 for Senate Bill 2045 to lift the cap on temporary worker visas to 195,000 and direct the additional fees from those visas to scholarships for low-income students.
• Reid voted on July 23, 1998 for Amendment 3258, amending SB 2260 to create farm worker registries, provide access to that registry to agricultural firms seeking temporary workers, and to recommend allowing more farm workers into the United States.
• Reid voted on May 18, 1998 for SB 1723 capping the number of available temporary visas at 95,000 in the fiscal year, placing health care professionals in a different temporary visa category with its own cap of 10,000 a year, penalizing employers who use temporary visa immigrants to replace laid-off U.S. workers, empowering the U.S. Labor Department to undertake investigations of employers without complaints, increasing the number of temporary visas for skilled immigrants, increasing fines on employers who employ illegal aliens, and providing legal whistleblower protection for illegal aliens who inform on employers.
U.S. Sen. John Ensign
• Ensign, as a member of the House, voted on Sep 25, 1996 for a conference version of House Resolution 2202, increasing penalties for fraudulent documents and increasing the number of border guards.
• Ensign, again as a member of the House, voted on Sept. 24, 1998 for HR 3736 increasing the number of temporary visas for skilled immigrants (by 120,000 over three years) and penalizing employers who replace U.S. workers with immigrants.