Supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; border wall with Mexico Credit: DACA protesters by Diego G. Diaz


Voting 222 for and 201 against, the House on July 19, 2023, passed a Republican-sponsored bill (HR 3941) that would deny federal education funds to any public K-12 school or institution of higher education that provides shelter on a temporary basis to undocumented Americans — including those applying for asylum in the United States — who have been relocated to their communities by immigration authorities.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said: “Schools are for educating students, not housing illegal aliens. That statement shouldn’t be controversial. Yet somewhere along the way, the left diverged from reality and lost sight of what is best for students.”

Opponent Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., called the measure “an inhumane, xenophobic messaging bill, adding: “If Republicans truly wanted to protect our schools and our children, they would instead focus on cracking down on rampant gun violence in our schools….”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was likely to fail.


Voting 255 for and 175 against, the House on May 17, 2023, passed a bill (HR 2494) that would require deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act of any noncitizen, including lawful U.S. residents, who has admitted or been convicted of a serious or minor assault on a local, state or federal police officer performing his or her official duties. This goes beyond current law requiring deportation of undocumented immigrants convicted of serious assaults on law enforcement.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Barry Moore, R-Ala., said the bill “gives adjudicators a tool to ensure that these criminal aliens can quickly be removed from this country. In doing so, we make America safer, not only for our citizens but also for the hardworking men and women of law enforcement who serve our community every day.”

Opponent Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., called the bill an attempt to “scapegoat immigrants and to score cheap political points for National Police Week….This is not about undocumented immigrants who are, of course, already removable, and this is not about people who are seeking to enter the United States. This is about people who have come here the so-called `right way’ [as] lawful, permanent residents.”

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where its prospects were uncertain.


Voting 209 for and 225 against, the House on May 17, 2023, defeated an amendment to HR 2494 (above) under which lawful U.S. residents could be deported only if they have been convicted of a serious assault on a police officer. The amendment sought to strike language from the bill allowing deportation of green card holders if they have admitted such a crime but not yet been found guilty in court.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Sponsor Lou Correa, D-Calif., said that in the bill “We are talking about the ability to deport lawful permanent residents, people with green cards. Do we really want to deport these individuals — many of whom are close to becoming U.S. citizens — not based on convictions but simply an accusation? What about the constitutional notion of innocent until proven guilty?”

Opponent Barry Moore, R-Ala., said “not every ground of removability in the Immigration and Nationality Act requires a conviction. In fact, here are some of the removable offenses that do not require conviction: Smuggling, marriage fraud, drug abuse or drug addiction, trafficking, document fraud, terrorist activities and participation in violations of religious freedom. By requiring at least an admission of assault, this bill conforms” to those standards.

A yes vote was to adopt the amendment.


By a vote of 219 for and 213 against, the House on May 11, 2023, passed a bill (HR 2) that would reinstate Trump-era measures for securing the southwestern border while placing new restraints on asylum applicants and illegal immigrants in search of permanent U.S. residence. Projected to have a net cost of $6.1 billion over 10 years, the Republican bill seeks to toughen immigration enforcement while weakening or eliminating humanitarian programs now in place. The bill would:

  • require construction of at least 900 miles of wall on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico at a cost of $25 million per mile
  • establish criminal penalties for those who overstay their visas for at least 10 days; prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from contracting with nongovernmental and religious organizations to transport, shelter or feed undocumented Americans
  • scale back a DHS program known as “humanitarian parole” that grants temporary U.S. residence to immigrants from countries including Ukraine
  • require employers, including those in agribusiness, to use the federal E-Verify website to determine if workers have legal status
  • expand the number of Customs and Border Protection agents from 19,000 to 22,000 and begin polygraph testing of job applicants
  • distribute $110 million annually to state, local and tribal law enforcement
  • expand manned surveillance flights and require 24-hour drone surveillance of the border and require eradication of invasive vegetation along the Rio Grande River. 

The bill would also prohibit the transfer of migrant families to U.S. communities while they await hearings in immigration court, instead requiring detention near the border. The bill establishes an accelerated process for returning unaccompanied children to their native country unless that would expose them to sex trafficking, and it would end federal funding of attorneys to represent them in immigration proceedings. The bill also puts in jeopardy the temporary legal status of 800,000 “dreamers” brought illegally to the United States as children before 2014.

The bill would deny asylum eligibility to those who fail to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at an official point of entry or who voluntarily lived in a third country for at least one year without suffering persecution or torture. The Department of Homeland Security could deny U.S. entry to asylum seekers if necessary for “operational control” of the border. The bill would prohibit gang members and felons from applying for asylum, assess a $50 fee on asylum applications and limit the use of an app for scheduling court hearings on asylum claims.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con:

Supporter Chip Roy, R-Texas, said: “We should be exporting the rule of law rather than importing lawlessness, fentanyl, death and destruction. The legislation we have before us would be a giant step toward ensuring that we can hold this administration accountable to make sure that we secure our border, protect our citizens and protect migrants who seek to come here.”

Opponent Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said: “Jailing families indefinitely or sending unaccompanied children back to dangerous and exploitive situations and refusing to provide working legal pathways to residents will not make us any safer; neither will wasting American taxpayer dollars to build a discredited and ineffective border wall…or defunding trusted nonprofit organizations that provide support to immigrants. “

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where it was likely to fail.


Voting 211 for and 221 against, the House on May 11, 2023, defeated a Democratic motion that would have replaced a Republican-sponsored immigration bill (HR 2, above) with the proposed American Dream and Promise Act that the House passed in 2021, when Democrats were in the majority. The Democratic bill, which did not win Senate approval, would provide an opportunity for lawful permanent residency to undocumented children brought to the United States by parents lawfully admitted as temporary workers.

To qualify, children would have to have arrived before their 19th birthday and before Jan. 1, 2021, have lived continuously within U.S. borders for at least four years and meet standards of good citizenship and educational attainment. The bill also would reinforce the temporary legal status of some 800,000 “dreamers” covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which is under challenge in federal court.

There was no debate on the motion.

A yes vote was to approve the Democrats’ alternative immigration bill.


Voting 228 for and 197 against, the House on March 18, 2021, passed a Democratic-sponsored bill (HR 6) that would grant permanent legal status and a path to citizenship to as many as 2.1 million Dreamers who were brought illegally to the United States as children and face potential deportation. The bill would grant relief to Dreamers who were younger than 18 when they entered the United States and meet other qualifications. In addition, the bill would provide the same deportation protection and citizenship path to hundreds of thousands of aliens now the United States under a humanitarian program known as Temporary Protected Status.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con

Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said the bill allows dreamers “to get right with the law…and go on and become the full Americans that they are except for their paperwork.”

Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said: “Let’s get back to legal immigration, a system that actually works for America. But when you have a crisis at the border, the last thing you should do is make it worse. That is what this bill does.

A yes vote was to send the bill to the Senate, where no vote has occurred.


Voting 203 for and 216 against, the House on March 18, 2021, defeated a Republican motion that sought to prevent undocumented immigrants who are members of criminal gangs from using a law designed to benefit Dreamers (HR 6, above) as a subterfuge for acquiring legal status through the backdoor.

Floor Debate, Pro & Con

Supporter Jody Hice, R-Ga., said the underlying bill would give preference to “illegals in this country over those who have waited years to become citizens….The Democratic Party knows this is going to create a greater crisis and they simply don’t care. It is time to stop fueling the crisis and start solving it.”

Democratic opponents of the GOP motion said the bill already had safeguards to prohibit undocumented aliens who are a threat to national security, including gang members, from obtaining green cards and path to citizenship.

A yes vote was to adopt the GOP motion.