The outcome of this year’s presidential election brought many surprises, yielding both opportunities and challenges for the immigration reform movement. The attitudes of voters sampled in exit polling revealed that some 22 percent, the largest of all preference categories, voted based on “moral/cultural” values. In descending order voters also explained that their chief concerns are the economy/jobs, the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, and health/education.
In his first post-election press conference, the president made it clear that he interprets this victory as a mandate to continue both his domestic and international policies. He intends to spend the political capital gained by the election in pursuit of these policies. Along with his victory, Senate Republicans picked up four seats and House Republicans picked up four seats. Two remaining House seats will be decided in a special election on December 4 in Louisiana.
President Bush won reelection with 51 percent of the vote, captured two states he lost in 2000 (IA and NM), but lost one state he won in 2000 (NH). Total voter turnout in this election was near 60 percent of registered voters with both Bush and Kerry successful in their respective get-out-the-vote strategies. Surprisingly, although there is considerable dispute over the accuracy of the polling numbers, the president claimed to have captured the votes of 44 percent of Hispanics, upping his take by nine percent from 2000.
Bush Victory Not What it Seems
Discerning the message sent by voters this year is the topic of considerable post-election speculation. Bush, congressional Republicans, and many pundits, think that voters preferred to stay the course set by Bush rather than risk withdrawal from the war on terror or a further coarsening of the culture if Kerry were elected. For the Democrats and many other pundits, Kerry’s loss was chastening. Talk of changes needed to change voter perceptions of Democrats and fashioning new messages abound.
- Kerry Lost Because More Voters Disliked Him than Bush—President Bush succeeded because more voters (moral/cultural values voters) voted against Kerry than Kerry could muster to vote against Bush. This phenomenon is evidenced by the fact that undecided voters, who usually break for the challenger to an incumbent president, voted for President Bush. Further evidence comes from the additional fact that values voters in the economically strapped swing state of Ohio cast enough of their ballots against Kerry to give Bush the state. Hence, there is no reason to believe the president has garnered a mandate based on voter support of either him or his policies. Bush won simply because sufficient numbers of values voters cast their ballots against Sen. Kerry to give Bush the election as a consolation prize.
- Values Voters Respect Tradition and the Rule of Law—Moral/cultural values voters were energized by state Constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage in 11 states, most of them winning with upwards of 60 percent. These voters made it clear they do not take kindly to court-enforced reversals of cultural norms and then having that agenda rammed down their throats by public officials disdainful of their sentiments, as was the case beginning earlier this year with a decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Just as these voters revolted against gay marriage, look for them to revolt again in two years against policies aimed at forcing them to accept open borders and continued mass legal and illegal immigration.
Moreover, values voters also most surely have an abiding respect for enforcing the law. In Arizona, for example, a state increasingly overrun by illegal aliens, voters by 56 percent opted for Proposition 200, restricting illegal alien eligibility for state welfare benefits and requiring proof of citizenship to vote. This occurred despite the fact that opponents of Prop 200 were supported by virtually the entire political establishment in Arizona and they outspent supporters by well over 5-1. In California, long-time incumbent Rep. David Dreier (R-CA), who faced only token opposition, was heavily criticized in the Southern California media for his unwillingness to control illegal immigration. He won reelection by a mere 55 percent, down considerably from the well over 60 percent margins he normally garners.
- No Mandate for Open Borders Policies—The most immediate danger facing the immigration reform movement is the politically mistaken view that the president’s reelection is a mandate for open borders, guestworker programs, amnesty, continued failure to enforce laws against illegal immigration or continued mass legal immigration. Already, less than a week after the election, the president’s men are again pressing for an amnesty/guestworker program. Congressional leaders will be pressed hard by the White House in the months ahead to adopt this and other equally unpopular policies.
- Hispanic Voter Preferences are Similar to Other American Voter Preferences—Hispanic voters, like most Americans, are concerned about values, jobs, and, homeland security. They voted like most Americans this year on those issues and cast their ballots against the candidate least likely to take these concerns to heart. This election represents the second presidential election year in a row where Democrats saw their share of the Hispanic vote decline.
- Bush Gains in Hispanic Vote Related to Differences on Immigration Policy—Both Kerry and Bush held similar positions on immigration policy except for two important aspects. During the third debate, however, Bush opposed amnesty while Kerry promised it. Perhaps more important, during the debate Kerry accused Bush of failing to secure the borders and promised a crackdown on employers of illegal aliens. It just might be that 56 percent of Hispanic voters cast their ballots against Bush, desiring Kerry’s amnesty for their currently resident (or would-be resident) illegal alien relatives. It also just might be that 44 percent of Hispanics cast their ballots against Kerry out of concern that his border and employer sanctions policies would jeopardize their own economic security.
- The leadership of both the House and Senate must be convinced that there is no electoral mandate for open borders, guestworker, and amnesty proposals. These leaders, instead, must be convinced that voters will not abide business as usual in immigration policymaking. The American culture, its traditions, values and the security of the homeland itself are placed at ever greater risk by continuing the massive legal and illegal immigration that has prevailed over the last 20 years. If such policies are either continued or made worse in the 109th Congress, the electoral consequences could easily demonstrate two years hence that the Republicans were just as out of touch with heartland America as the Democrats were this year.
Republican majorities in both the Senate and House will be increased next year when the 109th Congress convenes in January. In the Senate, Republicans increased their numbers by four seats for a 55-44 majority with one Independent, Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT), who participates as a Democrat caucus member. In the House, Republicans increased their numbers by four seats for a 231-201 majority with one independent who participates as a Democrat caucus member, leaving two remaining seats to be decided in a December special election in Louisiana.
- Republican Leadership to Remain Unchanged—Sens. Bill Frist (R-TN), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Rick Santorum (R-PA) will remain in their respective posts as Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Conference Chairman. None of these leaders have been particularly sympathetic to immigration reform, preferring to advance the rather relaxed immigration policies of President Bush.
- Democrat Leadership Will Change Significantly—The Democrat Leadership will see substantial change resulting from the defeat of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). Changes in the Democrat leadership may be beneficial for some aspects of immigration reform. However, this remains to be seen since party leaders usually place what they consider the party’s priorities ahead of their own personal policy priorities.
- Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will move up in the leadership ranks from his current post of Minority Whip. He will replace Daschle as Minority Leader. Sen. Reid has been sympathetic to immigration reforms in the past, but has been less so in recent years.
- Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) will take over for Reid at the position of Minority Whip, the second ranking spot in the Democrat leadership. Sen. Durbin surprised many of his colleagues following the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 by introducing a bill to secure identification documents such as state-issued driver’s licenses. His legislation was never acted on during the 107th Congress and he did not reintroduce his bill during the current 108th Congress.
- Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will remain in his post as Policy Committee Chairman.
- Republican Leadership Will Remain Unchanged—Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Tom DeLay (R-TX), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Deborah Pryce (R-OH) will remain in their respective positions of House Speaker, Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Conference Chairwoman.
- Speaker Hastert has a mixed record on immigration reform issues. He has been a supporter of guestworker programs in the past. However, he authored, along with Majority Leader DeLay, the key immigration reforms that were included in legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. A few of these include strong encouragement for states to secure driver’s license document and restrict their issuance to those legally present in the United States, beefed up border protections, and stronger immigration enforcement.
- Majority Leader DeLay has been an ally on immigration reform matters. He was instrumental in defeating the rolling mini-amnesty under Section 245(i) of the immigration code during the 107th Congress, kept this amnesty off the House floor in the current Congress, and has worked to move other reforms during the last two years. He too has worked to develop and sustain the immigration provisions contained in legislation implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
- Democrat Leadership to Remain Unchanged—Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) will remain in their respective positions of Minority Leader, Minority Whip, and Caucus Chairman. All three have taken starring roles in advancing party-endorsed legislation to grant a sweeping amnesty for illegal aliens, unlimited guestworker programs that guarantee citizenship, and expanded legal immigration. It is unlikely the outcome of this year’s elections will cause them to alter course.
Senate committees will likely see significant changes. Perhaps the most significant changes will result in the committee ratios of Republicans to Democrats. With the Senate currently at parity with a 51-48 split between Republicans and Democrats (with one Independent who works with the Democrats) the committee ratios have been nearly even, typically 10 Republicans to nine Democrats. With the pickup of four seats for the Republicans, the ratios on Senate committees are expected to rise by as much a two per committee. This could make it easier to move immigration reform legislation through committees such as the Judiciary and Government Affairs Committees, the committees with jurisdiction over immigration policy in general and homeland security matters.
In addition to increased ratios, any change in the senators who serve on these committees could also prove crucial. It is too early to make any predictions about who will be added or subtracted from these committees. It is also too early to make any predictions about changes in subcommittee chairmanships. The senators who serve as the chairs of the full committees are becoming somewhat clear even though final decisions won’t be made for several days.
- Senate Judiciary Committee—The current chair and ranking Democrat are Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). While Hatch is expected to step down owing to term limits on chairmanship tenure, Sen. Leahy will remain as the ranking minority member of the committee. Sen. Hatch is the author of the DREAM Act , legislation to grant amnesty and in-state tuition to illegal aliens and, ultimately, their families. He has also supported AgJOBS, legislation to grant amnesty to illegal aliens engaged in agriculture. While Sen. Hatch is expected to remain on the committee, the next senior member, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) is next in line to become chairman.
- Senator Specter has a poor record on immigration reform issues. He is a moderate to liberal Republican who often breaks ranks with his party leadership. In recent days he has aroused considerable opposition to his ascension to the chairmanship by suggesting that he would impose a pro- abortion litmus test for judges appointed to the bench by President Bush. If Specter is denied the chairmanship, Senate Republicans could vote to waive the term limit on Sen. Hatch, allowing him to retain the Judiciary Committee or go to the next most senior member available to chair the committee, Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ).
- Senator Kyl is a steadfast opponent of amnesty and a firm supporter of immigration reforms, particularly reforms to bolster enforcement of laws against illegal immigration.
- Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the ranking Democrat is Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). There is no indication of any change in this status.
- Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards (D-NC), a current member of the Immigration Subcommittee, did not seek reelection to the Senate and will not be returning next year.
- Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), who was just reelected to the Senate, served as the chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee for a period during the 107th Congress. He left the Judiciary Committee two years ago at the beginning of the 108th Congress, but could return next year with the increase in committee ratios. Sen. Brownback is a supporter of liberalizing immigration programs generally and particularly supports relaxed asylum and refugee programs.
- Senate Committee on Government Affairs—The current chair and ranking Democrat on this committee are Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT). No changes are expected with the exception of committee ratios.
- Senator Collins has been an outspoken opponent of House identity document security, border protection, and immigration enforcement provisions contained in pending House legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Collins has also been conspicuously silent about the fact that hers is the only state in the nation to have made itself a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, effectively rendering would-be terrorists in Maine nearly undetectable by federal authorities. As a sanctuary state Maine law enforcement officials are barred from sharing information with federal authorities on the immigration status of individuals encountered during routine law enforcement activities.
- Senator Lieberman has also been an outspoken opponent of House identity document security, border protection, and immigration enforcement provisions contained in pending House legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Earlier in the year, during his campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination, Lieberman proposed a broad amnesty for illegal aliens. Senators Lieberman and Collins coauthored the Senate version of legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, but excluded from their bill provisions to implement the immigration-related recommendations of the Commission.
House committees will see even greater changes than Senate committees due to the larger numbers of individuals who were elected, defeated, retired or elected to other offices. In some cases committee chairman will change due to six year term limits. Appropriations Chairman Bill Young (R-FL) will step aside after his six year chairmanship. In another case, Rules Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) may be able to extend his expired tenure if given a waiver by the Speaker of the House. The committees of greatest interest at the present time for immigration reform prospects include the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on immigration as well as the House Select Homeland Security Committee.
- House Judiciary Committe—Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) chairs this committee and has two years remaining in his six year term. Sensenbrenner has been cautious in advancing immigration legislation through the full committee, mostly due to the vast ideological split between committee Democrats and Republicans. He has also been reluctant to bring immigration bills to the floor of the House, fearing that these bills tend to divide Republicans. More recently he has moved a bill out of committee to repeal the much-abused visa lottery program. Unfortunately, that bill never came up on the House floor. Sensenbrenner has also played an instrumental role in developing and pressing identification security, border protection, and immigration enforcement provisions of legislation to implement recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
- House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration—Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN) has chaired the subcommittee and has four years remaining. Hostettler has been an aggressive advocate for immigration reforms, having held numerous hearings on legal immigration and the full panoply of issues related to illegal immigration. Changes in this subcommittee are possible if members seeking other committee assignments get them. At present, Chairman Hostettler has a small working majority of supporters for reform on the committee. Changes in the subcommittee makeup could alter this majority significantly.
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is a very active member of the subcommittee and a strong reformer. She is the author of a bill to require federal contractors to verify the work eligibility of their employees by using the electronic worker verification system. She is reported to be seeking an assignment on the Ways and Means committee, an exclusive committee requiring members to give up their other committee assignments.
- Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) has been supportive of several FAIR-supported bills over the last two years of her tenure on the subcommittee. She is also reported to be seeking assignment to another committee.
- House Select Homeland Security Committee—Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) chairs this committee. He has a mixed record on immigration issues. Cox is seeking to make this temporary committee a full standing committee with wide-ranging legislative jurisdiction over all matters related to homeland security, including many aspects of immigration policy. Judiciary Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner has made it clear that he prefers to keep immigration matters within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. At present, the committee consists of many senior members of the House, including several chairs of other full committees who share Chairman Sensenbrenner’s desire to preserve their committee jurisdictional prerogatives. Should this committee become permanent, it is likely the committee’s membership will change dramatically.
- House Immigration Reform Caucus—Immigration reform champion Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) chairs the caucus and is expected to remain in this capacity. The caucus consists of 72 House members generally committed to immigration reforms of one kind or another. The elections have reduced to 65 the number of caucus members due to retirements, losses in runs for higher office, and victories in runs for higher office.
- Reps. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Vitter (R-LA) were elected to the Senate. Both are strong backers of immigration reform.
- Reps. Mac Collins (R-GA) and Chris John (R-LA) lost there bids for Senate offices.
- Reps. Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Edward Schrock (R-VA), and Nick Smith (R-MI) retired from the House.
New Faces in Congress
Nine new senators, 37 new House members, and two incumbents who defeated other incumbents will be sworn in when the 109th Congress convenes next January. How they will perform on immigration issues, in most cases, remains to be seen. Some of the new members of the Senate should make that chamber more receptive to reforms. Much of this will depend on which committee assignments they are given.
- Senate Freshman (by state)
- Ken Salazar (D) replaces Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R). Campbell’s immigration record was poor. During the campaign, Salazar supported a bipartisan effort to “fix” our broken immigration system including granting amnesty for illegal aliens.
- Mel Martinez (R) replaces Bob Graham (D). Graham’s record on immigration was poor. During the campaign, Martinez supported “free and fair” trade. He is likely to support efforts to protect farming interests by keeping the supply of cheap illegal farm workers abundant.
- Rep. Johnny Isakson (R) replaces Zell Miller (D). Miller’s record on immigration was very good. He was an original sponsor of legislation to encourage state and local police cooperation in immigration enforcement. As a House member, Isakson was an active member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, supported state and local participation in immigration enforcement, and opposed amnesty.
- Barack Obama (D) replaces Peter Fitzgerald (R). Fitzgerald’s record on immigration was poor. During the campaign, Obama is reported to have supported welfare and Medicaid benefits for legal immigrants.
- Rep. David Vitter (R) replaces John Breaux (D). Breaux’s record on immigration was moderate to good. As a House member, Vitter was an active member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, supported state/local participation in immigration enforcement, and requiring federal contractors to verify the work eligibility of employees using the electronic worker verification system.
- North Carolina
- Rep. Richard Burr (R) replaces John Edwards (D). Edwards’ record on immigration was poor. As a House member, Burr supported legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including identification security, border protection, and immigration law enforcement provisions. He also opposed bank acceptance of unverifiable consular identification documents and social security benefits for illegal aliens.
- Tom Coburn (R) replaces Don Nickles (R). Nickles’ record on immigration was moderate to poor. Coburn retired from the House in 2000 after three terms as promised in a term limit pledge he made in 1994. As a House member he voted in favor of securing the borders using military resources, opposed amnesty, opposed birthright citizenship, and chain migration. However, he supported increases in the H-1B foreign high tech worker program and opposed mandatory worker eligibility verification.
- South Carolina
- Rep. Jim DeMint (R) replaces Ernest Hollings (D). Hollings’ record on immigration was excellent. As a House member DeMint supported legislation to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission including provisions on identification security, border protection, and immigration enforcement. He also voted against bank acceptance of unverifiable consular identification documents, social security benefits for illegal aliens and amnesty.
- South Dakota
- John Thune (R) replaces Tom Daschle (D). Daschle’s record on immigration was poor. Thune gave up his House seat in an unsuccessful run for the Senate two years ago. As a House member, he voted against amnesty.
- House Freshman (by state)
- California (two seats)
- Dan Lungren (R) replaces Doug Ose (R). Ose’s record on immigration was poor. Lungren served in the House during the 1980s on the Judiciary Committee and is seeking to rejoin that committee. His record on immigration was moderate.
- Jim Costa (D) replaces Cal Dooley (D). Dooley’s record on immigration was poor. During the campaign, Costa called for implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendation and improved border security. However, he was an ally of recalled Governor Gray Davis (who signed legislation giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens) during his tenure in California Assembly.
- John Salazar (D) replaces Scott McInnis (R). McInnis’ record on immigration was poor. Salazar is the brother of Senator-elect Ken Salazar. By background, Salazar is a farmer and can be expected to sympathize with demands for a continued abundance of cheap foreign farm labor.
- Florida (two seats)
- Connie Mack, IV (R) replaces Porter Goss (R). Goss’ record on immigration was excellent. Mack campaigned on a theme that national security would be his top priority.
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) replaces Peter Deutsch (D). Deutsch’s record on immigration was poor. There is no evidence that Wasserman Schultz will embrace immigration reform.
- Georgia (four seats)
- Cynthia McKinney (D) replaces Denise Majette (D). Majette’s record on immigration was poor. McKinney is a former House member who was defeated for reelection in a primary two years ago. During her tenure in the House her record on immigration was poor.
- Tom Price (R) replaces Johnny Isakson (R). Isakson’s record on immigration issues was excellent. Price faced only nominal opposition during the campaign, but voiced his strong commitment to ending chain migration and vigorously supported state/local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement authorities. In addition, he is opposed to amnesty, birthright citizenship, and large scale importation of foreign workers.
- Lynn Westmoreland (R) replaces Mac Collins (R). Collins was an active member of the House Immigration Reform Caucus and his record on immigration was good to excellent. Westmoreland campaigned on a homeland security theme advocating steps to combat the terrorist threat and border security.
- John Barrow (D) upset incumbent Max Burns (R). Burns’ record on immigration was good. Burns campaigned on a theme of “fair trade” and expressed support for restoring jobs and attracting business to his district.
- Illinois (two seats)
- Dan Lipinski (D) replaces his father, William Lipinski (D). The elder Lipinski’s record on immigration was good. There is no evidence of how the younger Lipinski will vote on immigration matters.
- Melissa Bean (D) upset 17-term incumbent Philip Crane (R). Crane’s record on immigration was good. During the campaign, Bean supported creation of more jobs and closing of loopholes that lead to outsourcing of American jobs.
- Mike Sodrel (R) ousted incumbent Baron Hill (D). Hill’s record on immigration was poor.
- Geoff Davis (R) replaces Ken Lucas (D). Lucas’s record on immigration was poor.
- Bobby Jindal (R) replaces David Vitter (R). Vitter served on the House Immigration Reform Caucus and his record on immigration was good. During the campaign, Jindal supported steps to secure borders.
- Two seats remain to be decided in December 4 special elections.
- John “Joe” Schwarz (R) replaces Nick Smith (R). Smith’s record on immigration was moderate to poor. Schwarz campaigned as a free trade advocate. If he turns out to be a free trade ideologue, he will likely support open borders and continued outsourcing of American jobs.
- Missouri (two seats)
- Russ Carnahan (D) replaces Richard Gephardt (D). Gephardt’s record on immigration was poor. During the campaign, Carnahan supported immigration as an important contributor to diversity.
- Emanuel Cleaver (D) replaces Karen McCarthy (D). McCarthy’s record on immigration was poor.
- Jeff Fortenberry (R) replaces Doug Bereuter (R). Bereuter’s record on immigration was excellent. During the campaign, Fortenberry supported steps to control borders and opposed amnesty.
- New York (two seats)
- Brian Higgins (D) replaces Jack Quinn (R). Quinn’s record on immigration was poor. Higgins opposed free trade during the campaign, meaning he may also oppose continued export of American jobs and open borders policies.
- John Kuhl (R) replaces Amo Houghton (R). Houghton’s record on immigration was poor.
- North Carolina
- Virginia Foxx (R) replaces Richard Burr (R). Burr’s record on immigration was good. Foxx won her primary against a strong immigration control advocate. During the general campaign, she supported tighter immigration controls.
- Patrick McHenry (R) replaces Cass Ballenger (R). Ballenger’s record on immigration was excellent. McHenry pledged during the campaign to oppose amnesty, streamline deportation procedures and police employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
- Dan Boren (D) replaces Brad Carson (D). Carson’s record on immigration was good. During the campaign Boren supported free and fair trade as a way to protect American jobs.
- Pennsylvania (three seats)
- Mike Fitzpatrick (R) replaces Jim Greenwood (R). Greenwood’s record on immigration was good.
- Allyson Schwartz (D) replaces Joe Hoeffel (D). Hoeffel’s record on immigration was poor. Schwartz campaigned on a theme of protecting American jobs.
- Charlie Dent (R) replaces Pat Toomey (R). Toomey’s record on immigration was fair.
- South Carolina
- Bob Inglis (R) replaces Jim DeMint (R). DeMint’s record on immigration was good. Inglis campaigned against providing welfare benefits to non-citizens and for enforcing immigration laws.
- Texas (nine seats)
- Louis Gohmert (R) ousted incumbent Max Sandlin (D). Sandlin’s record on immigration was poor.
- Ted Poe (R) ousted incumbent Nick Lampson (D). Lampson’s record on immigration was poor. Poe pledged during the campaign to oppose the Bush guestworker/amnesty proposal.
- Al Green (D) defeated freshman Chris Bell (D) in the primary for this seat. Bell’s record on immigration was poor.
- Mike McCaul (R) captured this redrawn, heavily Republican district in a runoff with Libertarian Robert Fritsche.
- Mike Conaway (R) won this open seat created by redistricting. Conaway argued during the campaign that you cannot control the border without reforming immigration. By this he meant he supported President Bush’s plan for guestworker/amnesty.
- Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R) ousted incumbent Charlie Stenholm (D). Stenholm’s record on immigration was good. Neugebauer’s record on immigration is also good.
- Kenny Merchant (R) captured this newly drawn open district. During his campaign, Merchant promised to crack down on illegal immigration.
- Henry Cuellar (D) defeated incumbent Ciro Rodriguez (D) in a primary earlier this year and easily won his election in this heavily Democratic district.
- Rep. Pete Sessions (R) ousted long-time incumbent Martin Frost (D). Frost’s record on immigration was poor. Session’s record on immigration has been good.
- Thelma Drake (R) replaces Ed Schrock (R). Schrock’s record on immigration was good.
- Washington (two seats)
- Cathy McMorris (R) replaces George Nethercutt (R). Nethercutt’s record on immigration was excellent.
- Dave Reichert (R) replaces Jennifer Dunn (R). Dunn’s record on immigration was good.
- Gwen Moore (D) replaces Gerald Kleczka (D). Kleczka’s record on immigration was poor.