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Rep. Louie Gohmert
Voting Record
Updated June 24, 2018

This document is a record and analysis of all of Rep. Gohmert's immigration related congressional votes, cosponsorships and other immigration actions during his career in Congress.

Career Record

Usually supports less immigration, less population growth, less foreign labor.

Rep. Gohmert's voting history is divided into five areas:

Chain Migration & Visa Lottery

Chain Migration & Visa Lottery

Cosponsoring bill to end chain migration in 2009 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of the Nuclear Family Priority Act, H.R. 878. The current annual limits on greencards are 65,000 adult brothers and sisters, 23,400 married sons and daughters and 23,400 unmarried adult sons and daughters. H.R. 878 would eliminate all three categories and not provide an increase in any other category, thereby directly decreasing overall immigration by 111,800 per year (1.118 million a decade). This would indirectly reduce the numbers by even more over time as there would be fewer recent immigrants who are the ones most likely to bring people into the country as spouses or parents of U.S. citizens.

Cosponsoring bill to end chain migration in 2007 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of the Nuclear Family Priority Act, H.R. 938. Introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), H.R. 938 would effectively end the system of \"chain migration\" that has largely been responsible for immigration numbers skyrocketing from less than 300,000 in 1965 to around a million today. This system of \"chain migration\" allows for current immigrants to bring in their adult relatives and then each of those relatives can send for their and their spouse\'s adult relatives, creating a never-ending and ever-growing chain. The bi-partisan Barbara Jordan Commission recommended doing away with the adult relative categories (begun only in the 1950s) in order to lessen wage depression among lower-paid American workers. H.R. 938 would implement this Jordan Commission recommendation by restricting allocation of family-sponsored immigrant visas so that only spouses or children of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) alien could obtain such visas. Furthermore, it would reduce the number of family-sponsored immigrant visas available per fiscal year to 88,000 minus the number of aliens who were paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons in the second preceding fiscal year. H.R. 938 would codify protection from unmarried dependent alien children “aging out” (e.g., college students dependent on parents) of eligibility for admission as a family-sponsored immigrant, but also would dramatically reduce the number of aliens who could benefit from such protections.

Voted on House floor for amendment to end visa lottery in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Goodlatte Amendment to H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Goodlatte Amendment would eliminate the visa lottery. This is a program that each year gives another 50,000 green cards to people without any regard to their humanitarian need or to what they might offer the country or to their having any family connections in the United States. It is a program that promotes massive illegal migration by people who think they may some day win the lottery and be allowed to stay in the United States. The bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform under the leadership of the late Barbara Jordan recommended eliminating the visa lottery. The Goodlatte Amendment passed by a vote of 273 to 148.

Cosponsoring legislation that includes provision to increase chain migration in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 3402, the Department of Justice Authorization bill FY2006-FY2009. Title IX of H.R. 3402, the Protection for Immigrant Victims of Violence provision, is the only Title of the bill that deals directly with immigration. Title IX expands the immigration provisions that were included in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Title IX loosens the rules governing visas for victims of trafficking and domestic violence and their families. It would increase chain migration and increase the possibility of abuse of our refugee/asylum system.

Cosponsoring bill to eliminate visa lottery in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 1219, the Security and Fairness Enhancement for America (SAFE) Act of 2005. H.R. 1219 would eliminate the visa lottery. This is a program that each year gives another 50,000 green cards to people without any regard to their humanitarian need or to what they might offer the country or to their having any family connections in the United States. It is a program that promotes massive illegal migration by people who think they may some day win the lottery and be allowed to stay in the United States. The bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform under the leadership of the late Barbara Jordan recommended eliminating the visa lottery.

2015: Voted against the FY2016 Omnibus Spending bill to increase foreign workers and refugees Sen. Gohmert voted against H.R. 2029, the Omnibus Spending bill for 2016. This legislation would increase the number of H-2B low-skilled, non-agricultural guest worker visas issued in 2016 from 66,000 to 264,000. It also increased funding for refugee resettlement to allow for an increase of 10,000 refugees in 2016.

Major Numbers in All Categories

Major Numbers in All Categories

Cosponsoring H.R. 300 to expand visa waiver program in 2013-2014 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 300, the Visa Waiver for Israel Act of 2013. This bill would deem the country of Israel to be a program country for the visa waiver program (VWP) despite the country’s current high rate of visa overstays, which currently makes it ineligible for the program. If enacted, H.R. 300 would allow Israeli citizens to travel to the U.S. without obtaining a visa would likely result in an increased amount of visa overstays and increased illegal immigration. The bill's main sponsor is Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA).

Voted on floor of House in favor of amendment to prohibit legal status to aliens with a criminal record in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Stearns Amendment to H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Stearns Amendment prohibits any alien from being granted legal immigration status of any kind until criminal record databases and terrorist watch lists are checked, and it is confirmed that no fraud has occurred. This amendment would subject each and every individual who seeks any sort of legal immigration status to a criminal background check and a review of terrorist watch lists to ensure that the United States only grants immigration status those who do not wish our citizens harm. The Stearns Amendment passed by a vote of 420 to 0.

Cosponsored bill to eliminate lottery, reduce chain migration, and increase interior enforcement and border control in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert was a cosponsor of H.R. 3938, the Enforcement First Immigration Reform Act of 2005. H.R. 3938 implement some much-needed reforms in our legal immigration system by eliminating the visa lottery which awards 55,000 visas annually through a random drawing and by eliminating the Family 4th Preference category which allots 65,000 visas each year to the siblings of adult U.S. citizens. However, these reforms would be offset by a provision in H.R. 3938 to increase the annual cap on employment-based visas by 120,000 (bringning the total to 260,000). In addition, H.R. 3938 contains significant enforcement and border control measures. Among its many provisions to reduce illegal immigration are measures to: authorize the use of the military on the border; increase the number of CBP officers, ICE agents, and Border Patrol agents; eliminate birthright citizenship; expand expedited removal; require employers to verify the eligibility of all new hires; clarify the authority of state and local law enforcement officers to assist in the enforcement of immigration laws; prohibit Social Security for illegal aliens; and increase document security.

Member of the bipartisan Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 109th Congress Rep. Gohmert was a member of the bipartisan Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 109th Congress. The Immigration Reform Caucus was established in 1999 to review current immigration policy, propose new immigration policies and provide a forum in Congress for addressing the positive and negative consequences of our immigration policies. The Immigration Reform Caucus agenda includes efforts to improve interior enforcement and border control; deny automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal aliens; and lower immigration levels, including revisiting the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform that suggested eliminating chain migration and the visa lottery. Joining the Caucus is one way in which Members can show their support for lower immigration numbers.

Importing Specific Foreign Workers

Importing Specific Foreign Workers

Voted in favor of amendment to prohibit immigration increases in Free Trade Agreements in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Tancredo Amendment to H.R. 2862, the Science, State, Justice, Commerce (SSJC), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006. The Tancredo Amendment would have prohibited the use of SSJC funds to include in any bilateral or multilateral trade agreement any provisions that would increase immigration. This effectively would have prevented the U.S. Trade Representative from including immigration increases in Free Trade Agreements (as occured with the Sinagpore and Chile Free Trade Agreements, for instance). The Tancredo Amendment failed by a vote of 106 to 322.

Citizenship for Illegal Alien Babies

Citizenship for Illegal Alien Babies

Cosponsoring legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal aliens in 2011 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 1868, The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, legislation that would end the process of granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. This would put an end to a major source of U.S. population growth and remove an incentive for illegal immigration. It has been, and is currently, U.S. policy to automatically grant U.S. citizenship to the babies born to illegal aliens in the United States -- some 300,000 to 350,000 a year according to a spring 2005 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Not only do these births represent additional U.S. population growth, but because the babies of illegal aliens are U.S. citizens, they can then act as 'anchors' to eventually pull a large number of extended family members into the country legally.

Cosponsoring legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal aliens in 2009 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 1868, The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, legislation that would end the process of granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. This would put an end to a major source of U.S. population growth and remove an incentive for illegal immigration. It has been, and is currently, U.S. policy to automatically grant U.S. citizenship to the babies born to illegal aliens in the United States -- some 300,000 to 350,000 a year according to a spring 2005 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Not only do these births represent additional U.S. population growth, but because the babies of illegal aliens are U.S. citizens, they can then act as 'anchors' to eventually pull a large number of extended family members into the country legally.

Cosponsoring legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to \'anchor babies\' of illegal aliens in 2007 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 1940, The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2007, legislation that would end the process of granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. This would put an end to a major source of U.S. population growth and remove an incentive for illegal immigration. It has been, and is currently, U.S. policy to automatically grant U.S. citizenship to the babies born to illegal aliens in the United States -- some 300,000 to 350,000 a year according to a spring 2005 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Not only do these births represent additional U.S. population growth, but because the babies of illegal aliens are U.S. citizens, they can then act as \'anchors\' to eventually pull a large number of extended family members into the country legally.

Cosponsoring legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to \'anchor babies\' of illegal aliens in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 698, the Citizenship Reform Act of 2005, legislation that would end the process of granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. This would put an end to a major source of U.S. population growth and remove an incentive for illegal immigration. It has been, and is currently, U.S. policy to automatically grant U.S. citizenship to the babies born to illegal aliens in the United States -- some 300,000 to 350,000 a year according to a spring 2005 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Not only do these births represent additional U.S. population growth, but because the babies of illegal aliens are U.S. citizens, they can then act as \'anchors\' to eventually pull a large number of extended family members into the country legally.

Inviting / Repelling Illegal Aliens

Inviting / Repelling Illegal Aliens

Voted in favor of Brooks amendment to remove military amnesty from National Defense Authorization Act in 2015 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of an amendment by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) to strip an amnesty provision from the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735). The provision stripped by the Brooks Amendment would have encouraged the Secretary of Defense to waive military enlistment requirements for illegal aliens who received amnesty through Pres. Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Brooks Amendment passed 221-to-202.

Voted AGAINST funding Executive Amnesties by opposing clean DHS Appropriations bill, H.R. 240 in 2015 Rep. Gohmert voted against final passage of H.R. 240, the DHS funding bill passed by the Senate which did not include riders to stop President Obama's unconstitutional Executive Amnesties. Although the House had originally passed H.R. 240 with these riders, the Senate stripped them out, thus fully funding the Executive Amnesties through September 2015. When the House voted on the bill as returned from the Senate, Sen. Gohmert firmly opposed Executive Amnesty by voting against final passage (and consequently for a temporary shut down of DHS). Funding the President's illegal amnesties not only made Congress complicit in the President's lawless behavior, it also undermined the lawsuit filed by 26 states to stop implementation of the amnesties. If Congress is unwilling to fight to protect its own legislative powers, why should the courts fight on Congress's behalf? The bill passed by a vote of 257-167.

Voted in favor of Aderholt Amendment to H.R. 240 to defund President Obama's November 2014 amnesty for illegal aliens in 2015 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Aderholt Amendment to H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015. The Aderholt Amendment would defund implementation of all Obama and DHS November 2014 memoranda; defund 4 of the 5 Morton Memos that deal with prosecutorial discretion and detail who ICE agents can and can't deport; and prohibit federal benefits from being given to any illegal alien covered by the November memoranda. The Aderholt Amendment passed by a vote of 237-190.

Voted in favor of Blackburn Amendment to H.R. 240 to defund President Obama's DACA amnesty for illegal aliens in 2015 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Blackburn Amendment to H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015. The Blackburn Amendment would defund the processing of applications and renewals of President Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, thus making it impossible for DACA recipients to continue to receive legal status. The Blackburn Amendment passed by a vote of 218-209.

Voted in favor of King Amdt to DHS Appropriations bill to prevent amnesty by prosecutorial discretion in 2013 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the King amendment to the FY2014 DHS Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2217). This amendment would have prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from using funds appropriated by Congress to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the "Morton Memos". The Morton Memos were a series of three memos issued in 2011 that authorized the use of prosecutorial discretion and/or deferred action to provide amnesty to certain illegal aliens, particularly those brought here as children by their illegal alien parents. The amendment, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), passed by a 224-201 vote (6 June 2013).

Member of the bipartisan Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 111th Congress Rep. Gohmert is a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 112th Congress. The Immigration Reform Caucus was established in 1999 to review current immigration policy, propose new immigration policies and provide a forum in Congress for addressing the positive and negative consequences of our immigration policies. The Immigration Reform Caucus agenda for the 111th Congress includes efforts dedicated towards identifying legislative solutions to address legal and illegal immigration.

Voted against the DREAM Act amnesty in 2010 Rep. Gohmert voted against a motion to add the DREAM Act amnesty to H.R. 5281, a non-germane bill dealing with litigation against Federal officers. This modified version of the DREAM Act would allow any illegal alien under the age of 30 to receive an amnesty as long as he/she is of "good moral character" and intends to enroll in college/vocational school or the military. Once an illegal alien qualifies for the DREAM amnesty (there will be little to no verification of the illegal alien's background and intent to pursue higher education), he/she will receive a 10 year work permit (during this time, he/she will be able to compete against American and legal immigrant workers for jobs). After 10 years, he/she will receive a full amnesty. The final number of illegal aliens who would benefit from the DREAM Amnesty is really unknown as future illegal aliens will be able to use fraudulent documents in order to receive the amnesty. The DREAM Act amnesty passed by a vote of 216-198.

Member of the Bipartisan Reclaim American Jobs Caucus in the 111th Congress Rep. Gohmert is a member of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. The aims of the caucus are to raise public awareness of the connection between illegal immigration and unemployment, pressure the Obama Administration to vigorously enforce the laws against the employment of illegal aliens, work to implement legislation that will protect U.S. jobs from the impact of illegal immigration (especially to make E-Verify mandatory) and work to defeat legislation that will put U.S. jobs at risk from the impact of illegal immigration (especially to defeat amnesty). The founding caucus members are Reps. Lamar Smith, Gary Miller, and Sue Myrick.

Voted to allow consideration of verification amendments to the health care reform bill in 2009 Rep. Gohmert voted against the rule to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Despite high publicity about the big loopholes in the bill allowing illegal aliens to participate in many parts of the new federal healthcare plan, the Rules Committee brought a rule to the House floor that blocked a vote on any amendment giving the Members a chance to close the loopholes. NumbersUSA notified the Members of Congress that a vote FOR the "closed" rule would be graded as a vote to provide rewards and incentives for illegal immigration. In particular, the rule prevented the House from considering the Heller, Deal, and Wilson verification amendments to the bill. By opposing the rule, Rep. Gohmert signaled his/her opposition to a health bill that creates rewards or incentives for illegal immigration. The rule passed 242-192 (7 Nov. 09; 1:33 PM).

Supported an amendment to deter illegal immigration in 2009 Rep. Gohmert supported the King amendment (250) to H.R. 2892, the 2010 DHS appropriations bill. This amendment requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove the lookout posts constructed by drug smugglers, thereby making it more difficult for drug smugglers and reducing illegal immigration associated with illegal drug activity. This amendment passed 240-187-1 (24 June 2009, 9:14 pm).

Supported an amendment to require DHS contractors to use E-Verify in 2009. Rep. Gohmert supported the King amendment (253) to H.R. 2892, the DHS appropriations bill. The amendment requires all DHS contractors and subcontractors to use the E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their employees. The King Amendment would have essentially implemented an Executive Order signed by President George W. Bush requiring all federal contractors to use E-Verify but the EO has been continually postponed by President Obama. Use of E-Verify is one of the most effective tools of Attrition Through Enforcement and keeping illegal aliens out of U.S. jobs. The amendment passed 349-84 on 24 June 2009 (9:24 pm).

Cosponsored a bill in 2007-2008 to protect American jobs Rep. Gohmert cosponsored H.R. 850, the IRS Illegal Immigrant Information Act of 2007. This bill would have required DHS to furnish the IRS annually with a list of people whose work authorizations or employment-based visas expired before December 31 of the previous calendar year; would have required the IRS to check the list against its records; would have required any tax refund or Earned Income Tax Credit with respect to any match on the list; would have required the IRS to inform DHS and the employer, with an employer being required to terminate a matching employee within 30 days of receiving a notice; would have established a process by which the employee may contest the DHS action, and would have required: (1) the employer to provide DHS with the employee’s substantiating materials within those 30 days; and (2) DHS to notify the IRS, the employer, and the employee within seven business days of receiving the employer’s submissions whether the employee may be employed in the United States; would have established a rebuttable presumption that an employer has violated unlawful employment statutes if the employer: (1) employs an individual with respect to whom a notice is received more than 30 days following receipt of the notice; (2) fails to notify the IRS and continues to employ the employee in question; or (3) refers the employee for employment after receiving a notice with respect to that employee; and would have immunized an employer from civil and criminal liability if actions are taken in good faith with respect to any individual’s eligibility to work in the United States. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) was the measure’s main sponsor.

Cosponsored a bill to require the use of official government documents in 2007 Rep. Gohmert cosponsored H.R. 1314, the Photo Identification Security Act. This bill would have prohibited Federal agencies (for any official purpose) and financial institutions (for purposes of verifying the identity of an individual seeking to open an account) from accepting any form of identification of an individual other than: (1) either: (a) a social security card accompanied by a photo identification card issued by the Federal or a state government; or (b) a state driver's license or identification card, provided that the state is in compliance with the REAL ID Act; (2) a U.S. or foreign passport; or (3) a photo identification card issued by DHS (through USCIS). Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was the measure’s main sponsor.

Voted in favor of employment verification in 2008 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of bill, HR 6633, to reauthorize the E-Verify program for a period of 5 years. The E-Verify program allows businesses to determine the legal status of new hires and prevents illegal aliens from being hired, thus making the program an important tool in the Attrition through Enforcement anti-illegal immigration strategy. The bill passed by a vote of 407-2 (31 July 2008; 7:44pm).

Voted in favor of preventing illegal aliens from receiving federal housing funds in 2008 Rep. Gohmert vote in favor of an amendment to H.R. 5818, the Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008. This amendment would prevent illegal aliens from receiving Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds pursuant to this act. The amendment passed by a vote of 391-33 (8 May 2008; 11:30 am).

Voted in favor of restricting funding to business that hire illegal aliens in 2008 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of an amendment to HR 5819 that would prohibit SBIR or STTR awards from going to a small business concern if an unlawful alien has an ownership interest in that concern or in a concern that has interest in the small business. The amendment also prohibits SBIR and STTR awards from going to businesses that have repeatedly hired, recruited, or referred unlawful aliens. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program ensure that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. The amendment passed by a vote of 406-0, with 3 present.

Cosponsoring bill to increase border security and require workplace verification in 2007 Rep. Gohmert is cosponsoring H.R. 4088, the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act of 2007. The bipartisan SAVE Act would help reduce illegal immigration by broadening and enhancing border security and interior enforcement measures. Perhaps the most important aspect of the SAVE Act is its requirement that ALL employers use the E-Verify electronic workplace verification program, an inexpensive, quick, and accurate way to verify the employment eligibility of ALL employees. This would go a long way toward removing the job magnet for illegal immigration. As well, the SAVE Act includes a number of border control provisions. Among the provisions specifically relating to border control are: (1) increasing the number of full-time border patrol agents by 8,000 through 2012; (2) more funding available for the Tunnel Task Force; (3) a student loan repayment program and other incentives to help recruit former members of the Armed Services, National Guard, and other Reserve Components; (4) new and updated border security, surveillance, communication, and apprehension technology; (5) an equipment sharing initiative between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, with progress reports made available to Members of Congress; (6) an official national strategy to secure all U.S. borders and ports of entry; (7) and, empowering governors in border states to declare a border emergency and request temporary redeployment of up to 1000 additional Border Patrol Agents.

Cosponsoring bill to reduce illegal immigration and increase interior enforcement in 2007 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of the Charlie Norwood CLEAR Act of 2007. The Charlie Norwood CLEAR Act of 2007, H.R. 3494, essentially mandates the federal government to pick up every illegal alien apprehended by local authorities, and it would pay local police and sheriff\'s departments for detaining the illegal aliens. As well H.R. 3494 would require that all aliens who violate immigration law be entered into the National Crime Information Center database, therefore greatly increasing the chances for state and local police to apprehend them; would create a new criminal offense for unlawful presence in the United States; would require DHS to build or acquire 20 more detention facilities in the United States, with a total of at least 10,000 beds, so that more aliens can be detained pending their removal or a decision on their removal; would encourage state and local governments to provide DHS with information on suspected illegal aliens and, subsequently, reimburse them for the costs of doing so; and would, two years following enactment, cut off State Criminal Alien Assistance Program funding (which aids states in incarcerating illegal aliens who commit additional offenses) to any state (or a municipality therein) that has a sanctuary policy in place. This legislation would not only stop the illegal population in the United States from growing above its estimated 10-12 million level but also would begin slowly and steadily reducing the illegal population. Click here to read a summary of the bill.

Voted for an amendment to prohibit Social Security funds from being used administer benefits accrued from work performed in Mexico. Rep. Gohmert voted for the Gingrey amendment to HR 3043, an amendment to prohibit the use of funds by the SSA to administer Social Security benefit payments, under any agreement between the United States and Mexico establishing totalization arrangements between the two countries. The amendment passed 254-168.

Voted for an amendment to reduce the time period of a country's "temporary protected status." Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Forbes amendment to HR 2638, which would prohibit funds pursuant to this bill from being used to extend the "temporary protected status" designation of a country. This amendment failed 123-298.

Voted for amendment to reduce funding for the visa waiver program. Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the first Tancredo amendment to HR 2638, which would prohibit funding from HR 2638 from being used to fund the visa waiver program. This amendment failed 76-347.

Voted in favor of an amendment to increasing funding for the construction of a border fence Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Brown-Waite amendment to HR 2638. This amendment re-directs $89 million set to be appropriated to the Undersecretary for Management's account to the Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology Account, with a view towards constructing at least 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. The amendment was adopted 241-179.

Voted on House floor for amendment to fully fund the training of immigration enforcement officers Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Drake Amendment to H.R. 2638, the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The Drake Amendment would fully fund the president's budget request ($26.4 million) for the training and support for the voluntary participation of local law enforcement officers in immigration law enforcement, an important force multiplier in the fight against illegal immigration. This amendment passed 286-127.

Cosponsoring resolution calling on the President to enforce existing immigration laws in 2007 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H. Res. 499, providing a sense of the House that the Bush Administration should implement statutorily-mandated immigration and border controls and enforce existing Federal immigration law, including, notably: (1) implementation of the entry and exit portions of US-VISIT; (2) enforcement of existing provisions requiring the sanctioning of employers who do not comply with \"unlawful employment\" laws; (3) compliance with the Secure Fence Act of 2006 through completion of the fencing called for along the U.S.-Mexico border; and (4) increasing the use of expedited removal procedures for all illegal aliens eligible for such removal under Federal law. In addition, it would provide a sense of the House that taking these steps would: (1) result in a considerable decrease in illegal immigration into the United States; and (2) vastly improve U.S. border security.

Voted against "sanctuary cities" for illegal aliens in 2007 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of an amendment (H. Amdt. 294) to

Member of the bipartisan Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 110th Congress Rep. Gohmert is a member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus in the 110th Congress. The Immigration Reform Caucus was established in 1999 to review current immigration policy, propose new immigration policies and provide a forum in Congress for addressing the positive and negative consequences of our immigration policies. The Immigration Reform Caucus agenda for the 110th Congress includes efforts dedicated towards identifying legislative solutions to address the issue of illegal immigration.

Voted in favor of preventing illegal aliens from voting in union elections Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of a Motion to Recommit H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. The Motion to Recommit, introduced by Rep. McKeon (R-CA), would have recommitted H.R. 800 to the Committee on Education and Labor with instructions to report the legislation back to the House with an amendment that would require that all employees allowed to vote in union elections be citizens or legal residents of the United States. This would have prevented illegal aliens from voting in unionization elections. This would have been an important interior enforcement measure because illegal aliens should not be allowed to have an influence in whether a workforce decides to be unionized or to block unionization. Businesses should not be allowed to use illegal aliens to stop unionization desired by its American workers. And unions should not be allowed to use illegal aliens to force unionization on American workers who don\'t want it. Although some Representatives voted against the Motion to Recommit because it would have delayed final passage of the bill, a vote in favor of the Motion to Recommit was clearly a vote in favor of interior enforcement and against allowing illegal aliens to vote in union elections. Motion to The Motion to Recommit failed by a vote of 202-225.

Voted in favor of bill to increase interior enforcement in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H.R. 6095, the Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006>Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006 which would clarify state and local law enforcement’s inherent authority to enforce Federal immigration laws and overturn a decades-old court injunction that impedes the Federal government’s ability to remove aliens from El Salvador on an expedited basis. H.R. 6095 passed by a vote of 277-140.

Voted in favor of bill to outlaw border tunnels in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H.R. 4830, the Border Tunnel Protection Act of 2006 that would penalize any person constructing or financing a border tunnel with up to 20 years’ imprisonment and anybody who recklessly permits others to construct or use such a tunnel on their land with up to 10 years’ imprisonment; would punish those who use a border tunnel to smuggle aliens (including terrorists and criminals), weapons, drugs, and other illicit goods by doubling the sentence for the underlying offense (i.e., up to 40 years’ imprisonment). H.R. 4830 passed by a vote of 422 to 0.

Voted in favor of border fence in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H.R. 6061, the Secure Fence Act of 2006. H.R. 6061: requires the Department of Homeland Security to construct 700 miles of reinforced fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border; provides for the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in five specified lengths (encompassing approximately 700 miles) along the United States’ southwestern border; requires DHS to study the necessity, feasibility, and economic impact of constructing a similar barrier along the U.S.-Canada border; enhances border infrastructure, including checkpoints, roads, and vehicle barriers; and requires DHS to achieve and maintain \"operational control\" of our borders within 18 months of enactment and require reports on the progress toward this goal. H.R. 6061 passed by a vote of 283-138-1 (1 denotes a vote of \"present.\")

Voted against sanctuary policies for illegal aliens in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the King Amendment to H.R. 5441, the fiscal year 2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. The amendment would deny federal homeland security funding to state and local governments who refuse to share information with Federal immigration authorities. The King Amendment would be a huge incentive to rescind the policies that protect illegal aliens, criminal aliens, and, potentially, terrorists, by denying states and localities that enact them some Federal funding. Sanctuary policies bar public officials, including police officers, from asking an individual\'s immigration status and from reporting illegal aliens to federal authorities. In 1996, Congress passed a law that specifically prohibits state and local governments from enacting sanctuary policies. Despite that, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, still have sanctuary policies in place. Maine is the only state with a sanctuary policy. The amendment passed by a vote of 218 to 179.

Voted in favor of amendment to end special amnesty for certain Central Americans in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Tancredo Amendment to H.R. 5541, the fiscal year 2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. The Tancredo Amendment would prohibit funds appropriated by H.R. 5441 from being used to administer the continuation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras, or Nicaragua announced by DHS before the bill's enactment. Temporary Protected Status provides a temporary amnesty for certain illegal aliens from designated countries. The Tancredo Amendment failed by a vote of 134-284-1 (the "1" was a "present" vote).

Voted in favor of amendment to fund employment eligibility verification system in 2006 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Marshall Amendment to H.R. 5441, the fiscal year 2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill. The Marshall Amendment would increase funding for USCIS\' employment verification program by $20 million. This program , which is currently voluntary, allows employers to electronically check the eligibility of new employees to work in the United States. However, in December, 2005, the House passed H.R. 4437 which makes the program mandatory. The Marshall Amendment would fund this program. The Marshall Amendment passed by a vote of 358-63.

Voted on floor of the House for final passage of border security and enforcement bill in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. H.R. 4437, as amended and passed, includes major improvements in interior enforcement and border security, as well as a reduction in legal immigration numbers. Among its most significant provisions are: a requirement that all businesses must use an electronic system to check if all new hires have the legal right to work in the country; additional security fencing along the Mexican border; a mandate that the federal government cooperate with local authorities in picking up all illegal aliens they detain; and elimination of the visa lottery program that each year awards 50,000 green cards to randomly selected winners. H.R. 4437 passed by a vote of 239 to 182.

Voted on the floor of the House in favor of amendment to require implementation of entry-exit system in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Sullivan Amendment to H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Sullivan Amendment requires full implementation of the automated entry-exit system that was instituted by Congress in 1996. As well, it requires the removal of unlawfully present aliens unless they fear persecution at home or are seeking asylum. It also reinforces the important role of state and local law enforcement in the fight against illegal immigration. The Sullivan Amendment failed by a vote of 163 to 251.

Voted on House floor for amendment to increase security with border fence in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Hunter Amendment to H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Hunter Amendment would shore up security by building fences and other physical infrastructure to keep out illegal aliens. Specifically, it mandates the construction of specific security fencing, including lights and cameras, along the Southwest border for the purposes of gaining operational control of the border. As well, it includes a requirement for the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study on the use of physical barriers along the Northern border. The Hunter Amendment passed by a vote of 260-159.

Voted in committee in favor of bill to increase border security and interior enforcement in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted as part of the Judiciary Committee in favor of H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. H.R. 4437 would mandate that every employer in America use what is now called the Basic Pilot Program to assure that new hires are legally allowed to work. This is probably the single most powerful measure that would reduce the illegal population in this country. The bill would strengthen border enforcement through increased personnel and infrastructure, encourage involvement of state and local law enforcement agencies in – and provide appropriate reimbursement to those agencies for – immigration enforcement, and authorize coordinated border surveillance efforts between DHS and DOD. H.R. 4437 was passed by the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 23 to 15.

Cosponsoring bill to dissuade employers from hiring illegal aliens in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 3095, the New IDEA (Illegal Deduction Elimination Act).. H.R. 3095 makes wages and benefits paid to illegal aliens nondeductible for federal tax purposes. Furthermore, H.R. 3095 allows federal tax documents to be used to enforce immigration law pertaining to the hiring of illegal workers, adding a useful tool to help law enforcement officials do their jobs. The primary reason illegal aliens come to the United States is jobs. If illegal aliens are not able to get jobs and retain them, it will be much more difficult for them to remain in the United States and will reduce the incentive to immigrate illegally. New IDEA is an innovative way to limit cheap-labor abuses by employers, better enforce our immigration laws and eliminate the jobs magnet.

Voted against sanctuary policies for illegal aliens in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H. Amdt. 288 to H.R. 2862, the the Science, Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations, 2006 Act. The amendment, offered by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) would deny federal funding to states and cities that are in violation of section 642(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. This is the provision that specifically prohibits state and local governments from enacting sanctuary policies that bar public officials, including police officers, from asking an individual\'s immigration status to determine eligibility for public services and from reporting illegal aliens to federal authorities. Despite that, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, still have sanctuary policies in place. Maine is the only state with a sanctuary policy. The Tancredo Amendment would have created an incentive for states and cities to follow federal law prohibiting policies that protect illegal aliens, criminal aliens, and, potentially, terrorists. The amendment failed by a vote of 204 to 222.

Voted against sanctuary policies for illegal aliens in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of an amendment (H. Admt. 138) to H.R. 2360, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2006. The amendment would deny federal homeland security funding to states and local governments who refuse to share information with Federal immigration authorities. The amendment, offered by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), would have created a huge incentive to rescind the policies that protect illegal aliens, criminal aliens, and, potentially, terrorists, by denying them some Federal funding. Sanctuary policies bar public officials, including police officers, from asking an individual\'s immigration status to determine eligibility for public services and from reporting illegal aliens to federal authorities. In 1996, Congress passed a law that specifically prohibits state and local governments from enacting sanctuary policies. Despite that, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, still have sanctuary policies in place. Maine is the only state with a sanctuary policy. The amendment failed by a vote of 165 to 285.

Voted in favor of amendment to fund program to deny driver\'s licenses to illegal aliens in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Obey amendment (H. Amdt. 144) to H.R. 2360, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The Obey amendment provided $100 million to fund grants under the REAL ID Act to assist States in conforming with minimum drivers’ license standards. The Obey amendment passed by a vote of 226-198.

Voted in favor of amendment to increase State and local law enforcement\'s ability to enforce immigration laws in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the Norwood Amendment to H.R. 1817, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Norwood (R-GA), clarifies the existing authority of State and local law enforcement personnel to assist in the apprehension and detention of illegal aliens. This amendment would not only help deter future illegal immigration, but gradually begin to reduce the current 10-12 million illegal alien population in the United States. The amendment passed by a vote of 242 to 185.

Voted to authorize the use of the military to assist in border control functions in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of H. Amdt. 206 to H.R. 1815. The amendment authorizes the Secretary of Defense to assign members of the military, under certain circumstances, to assist the Bureau of Border Security and U.S. Customs Service of the Department of Homeland Security on preventing the entry of terrorists, drug traffickers, and illegal aliens into the United States The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Goode of Virginia, passed the House by a vote of 245-184.

Cosponsoring legislation to reduce illegal immigration through increased document security in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert is a cosponsor of H.R. 925, the Identification Integrity Act of 2005. The bill would require a secure and verifiable ID be used to obtain Federal public benefits. H.R. 925 would prohibit federal agencies from accepting non-verifiable ID documents issued by foreign governments, such as the matricula consular. Thus, illegal aliens holding those foreign cards would not be able to use them to enter a federal building guarded by federal law enforcement authorities such as the U.S. Marshal Service, or to apply for any federally provided public benefit. However, H.R. 925 would permit acceptance of foreign passports, regardless of whether the holder has permission to be in the country, as evidenced by a US-issued entrance stamp or visa.

Voted in favor of bill to bar drivers\' licenses for illegal aliens in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted on the floor of the House in favor of H.R. 418, the REAL ID Act. This legislation would set federal standards for the issuance of drivers\' licenses and require proof of \"legal presence\" in order to obtain a driver\'s license. This would make illegal aliens ineligible for drivers\' licenses. As well, H.R. 418 would tie the driver\'s license expiration date of a temporary visa holder to the expiration date of their visa so that those who enter the country legally as visa holders, but become illegal aliens by overstaying their visas will not have a valid driver\'s license after the date of the expiration of their visa. In addition, H.R. 418 includes provisions to broaden the terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and deportability of aliens, and to complete construction of the San Diego border fence. H.R. 418 would deter illegal immigration by making it more difficult for illegal aliens to enter and to remain in the United States. It also would reduce significantly the risk that terrorists will be able to game our asylum system or avoid removal because of loopholes in our immigration laws. H.R. 418 was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 261-161.

Voted against amendment to strip asylum reforms from H.R. 418 in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted against the Nadler Amendment to H.R. 418. The Nadler Amendment was an amendment to strike Section 101 of H.R. 418. Section 101 of H.R. 418 is the section includes reforms of our asylum laws to prevent terrorists from gaming our asylum system. Specifically, it includes provisions to ensure that our asylum system is consistent with our justice system in which the trier of fact is always allowed to use the credibility of the defendant and witnesses in deciding the case. Requiring an asylum claimant to bear the burden of proof is consistent both with our justice system and with international law, which says we must grant asylum to an alien who has been persecuted or has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion (the five grounds agreed upon in the Geneva Convention). The Nadler Amendment failed by a vote of 185-236.

Voted in favor of the Rule that incorporated the Manager's Amendment to strengthen some of the key immigration reforms of H.R. 418 in 2005 Rep. Gohmert voted in favor of the rule that incorporated the Manager's Amendment to H.R. 418 (H. Res. 75). H.R. 418 was brought to the House floor for consideration under a rule that incorporated an amendment by the bill's sponsor, Chairman Sensenbrenner. Because the rule included the amendment, a vote for the rule did two things: 1) like any rule for consideration, it established the time limits for debate of the bill and permitted the debate to begin; and 2) it added the text of the Manager's Amendment to the original bill. The Manager's Amendment included the following changes to strengthen the provisions of H.R. 418: requires immigration judges to determine an alien's credibility before granting relief or protection from removal; limits deportable aliens' ability to stall their deportation by filing endless appeals in court; and strikes both the section of the bill that explicitly recognizes states' ability to issue "driving certificates" that do not comply with the standards, and the provision that permits the Department of Homeland Security to regulate such alternative licenses. The Manager's Amendment also included a provision to eliminate the cap of 10,000 per year on the number of asylees who may apply for adjustment to permanent resident status after residing in the U.S. for at least one year following the grant of asylum. However the rest of the provisions of the Manager's Amendment more than make up this provision, since asylees already are virtually assured permanent resident status eventually. The Manager's Amendment passed by a vote of 228-198.

Cosponsored legislation to bar drivers\' licenses for illegal aliens in 2005-2006 Rep. Gohmert was a cosponsor the REAL ID Act, H.R. 418. Introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), H.R. 418 includes provisions to set federal standards for the issuance of drivers\' licenses and a \"legal presence\" requirement that would make illegal aliens ineligible for drivers\' licenses. As well, H.R. 418 would tie the driver\'s license expiration date of a temporary visa holder to the expiration date of their visa so that those who enter the country legally as visa holders, but become illegal aliens by overstaying their visas will not have a valid driver\'s license after the date of the expiration of their visa. (This was the situation for some of the 9/11 hijackers who entered the country legally, but overstayed their visas, becoming illegal aliens who still had valid drivers\' licenses that allowed them to board planes on 9/11.) In addition, H.R. 418 includes provisions to broaden the terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and deportability of aliens, and to complete construction of the San Diego boder fence. The provisions of H.R. 418 would go a long way toward deterring future illegal immigration and implementing immigration-related security reforms that were initially recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

Representative Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

Representative, Republican

Texas, District 1 (Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Nacogdoches)

Served in House: 2005-