In 90 votes and co-sponsorships during 12 years in Congress (2003-12), Indiana Gov. Mike Pence earned a Career B+ Grade from NumbersUSA.
That means he usually voted against increases in immigration that would drive American wages down through a looser labor market and that would force more rapid population growth on local communities.
He nearly always voted for extra controls to reduce illegal immigration.
And he made several attempts to reduce overall legal immigration.
Except for one category (H-1B visas), the record shows Pence was a stalwart in the battle for immigration policies that serve the interests of our national community.
IMMIGRATION REDUCTION, E-VERIFY, BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP
Pence was a minor player in the effort to end chain migration. But he was continuously involved in trying to eliminate the visa lottery.
He was a consistent supporter of mandating E-Verify to keep tourists and illegal migrants out of U.S. jobs.
Pence showed leadership throughout his time in the U.S. House of Representatives in trying to halt the practice of automatic citizenship for births to tourists and illegal migrants.
SOLID ANTI-AMNESTY, EXCEPT . . .
Pence's congressional record is much better than many of us remember because we tend to think first of something that was not a congressional action and, thus, doesn't show up in our NumbersUSA scoring -- the infamous Pence "touch-back amnesty." During the George Bush amnesty frenzy of 2006 and 2007, Pence floated the idea of what he thought would be a giant compromise breakthrough in which all illegal aliens would be invited to return to their home countries with most of them rewarded with an opportunity to immediately return to the United States with lifetime work permits and the chance to be a U.S. citizen.
The public blowback was immediate and fierce. Pence never submitted legislation, but the negative reaction from grassroots Republicans was so great it knocked him from a national pedestal of previous adulation. He may have learned something from the experience, as he compiled a strong Career A-Grade anti-amnesty record, including a 2010 vote against the Dream Act amnesty.
As governor, he said a bit ambiguously in 2014:
"I just always believe that we should not reward people with citizenship whose first act in this country was a violation of the law, and I continue to hold that view. But there's plenty of room here for compassion and there's plenty of room here for crafting a solution that will deal with this in the long term."
Pence has been outspoken in his condemnation of Pres. Obama's executive amnesties and praised the Supreme Court ruling that resulted in the blocking of those amnesties. Indiana was one of the 26 states that had brought the lawsuit.
EARLY SUPPORT FOR FOREIGN TECH WORKERS
Pence's Career immigration report card shows him with an A+ in four categories, an A in four categories and an A-minus in the "Challenge Status Quo" category (a much better grade than most get in that category).
But in the category of "reduce unnecessary worker visas," Pence's six actions earned him an F-minus grade. His support for big expansions in the H-1B visas for high tech workers are causing watchdogs among American tech workers to be wary of Trump's vice-presidential choice. One positive sign is that Pence stopped promoting H-1B visas during his final four years in Congress. However, we have yet to find a statement from Pence indicating he understands the reality of the tech job market or how immigration policy should relate to the fact that nearly 60 million working-age Americans don't work.
REFUGEES AND INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT
As governor, Pence ordered state agencies to suspend the relocation of any more Syrian refugees to Indiana until he received assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been taken.
He was active throughout his congressional career in fighting fraud in the asylum program.
Pence took 21 actions in Congress to deny rewards for illegal immigration, and 25 actions to strengthen border security.
His boldest work may have been in the area of interior enforcement. His 35 actions were especially strong in the area of assisting local governments in immigration enforcement.
Read Pence's full immigration record for yourself at https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/952/gradescoresheet/.
ROY BECK is President & Founder of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 11:35am EDT