Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12092750 (posted Sep. 27, 2012)"
House races to watch: Toss Ups
Ohio - Utah
Ohio 16th: Jim Renacci* (R) vs. Betty Sutton (D)
This is one of the only two races in the country that pits two current Congress members against each other due to redistricting. This one is bound to come down to the wire and will be one of the most expensive races in the country.
Jim Renacci campaign site
From his campaign site: "I am 100% opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants. The U.S. government should never be in the practice of issuing any form of legal benefits to those whose first act in our country is violating our federal laws."
Betty Sutton campaign site
Pennsylvania 12th: Mark Critz* (D) vs. Keith Rothfus (R)
Redistricting here led to a Democratic primary battle between two sitting members, Mark Critz and Jason Altmire, with Mark Critz coming out on top in an upset. The Republicans have positioned Keith Rothfus, a lawyer and Tea Party favorite who only lost by two points to Mr. Altmire in 2010, as their best chance of picking up this seat.
Mark Critz campaign site
From his official Congressional site: "Our country has a long history of welcoming immigrants from across the world, but the laws of our nation must be followed. I believe that we must secure our borders to prevent the inflow of those who are not willing to comply with these laws. I also feel strongly that illegal immigrants should not be permitted to circumvent our citizenship process ahead of those who are following the proper procedures. Lastly, I believe that employers who hire illegal immigrants should be held accountable for their actions."
Keith Rothfus campaign site
Rhode Island 1st: David Cicilline* (D) vs. Brendan Doherty (R)
Although both campaigns have conducted polls showing them within striking distance of this seat no independent polls have been conducted since February thereby shrouding this race in a sense of mystery. The campaign has recently become a referendum on the Republican Romney-Ryan ticket with Democrat Cicilline doing everything he can to tie his Republican challenger Doherty to the top of the ticket.
David Cicilline campaign site
From his campaign site: "David believes that we must enact comprehensive immigration reform in this country. This reform must begin with securing our border and ensuring that those who are here without proper documentation be required to "go to the end of the line," pay a penalty, pay their taxes, and pass criminal background checks before receiving citizenship."
A video from "Progressive Democrats of America" on his immigration stance
Brendan Doherty campaign site
From his campaign site: "I commend our legal immigrant community for the many contributions that they have made to our culture and society. Unfortunately, concerns about illegal immigration often overshadow the contributions of our hardworking legal immigrant community. The United States is in dire need of leadership on the issue of immigration - we need comprehensive immigration reform to address issues of both legal and illegal immigration. In my view, the current administration's failure to address comprehensive immigration reform has been disservice to the American people.
There is no easy answer to this problem, but the first step must be to secure our borders. It has been estimated that as many as 500,000 people per year have crossed U.S. borders illegally. The Government Accountability Office estimates that we control of only 44% of our southwestern border. This is not just an immigration problem - it is a national security problem. I believe that we must shift some of our overseas military efforts to do more to secure our borders to reduce the threat of another terrorist attack taking place on our soil. In addition to increased border security, the United States government must provide the resources, information and cooperation necessary for states to identify and detain dangerous criminals who are in the U.S. illegally.
I also support reforming our immigration policies to eliminate arbitrary and outdated policies so as to make the American dream available for legal immigrants. While large numbers of low-skilled immigrants cross our borders each year, American colleges and universities provide quality education in math and science related fields to highly skilled workers who then must leave due to strict limits on the availability of visas for highly skilled workers. We must put an end to this brain drain. By granting residency to eligible graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, and entrepreneurs who would fund their work, we can promote innovation and the development of new technology, which will result in job creation here in America, rather than overseas."
Texas 23rd: Francisco "Quico" Canseco* (R) vs. Pete Gallego (D)
This race will see Texas' first ever Spanish only debate as Tea Party freshman Representative Canseco goes up against lawyer and current Texas Assemblymember Pete Gallego. Both candidates are Mexican-Americans who grew up in Spanish speaking homes and this election will be decided by Latino voters (over 63% of the district is Latino and over 50% speaks a language other than English at home).
Francisco Canseco campaign site
From his campaign site: "SECURING OUR BORDERS AND TARGETING CRIMINAL ILLEGAL ALIENS: America is a nation of laws, and we are also a nation under siege from fanatics who want to harm civilians and do as much damage to our communities as possible. Our commitment to homeland security starts with: controlling who comes into our country, protecting our borders, ports, airways, and having top notch intelligence and law enforcement capable of stopping those who want to do us harm BEFORE they can attack on American soil again.
Beyond the threat of terrorism, our security is also threatened by illegal immigrant gangs, drug cartels, and human smugglers. We must make it a top priority to provide the funding, equipment, and personnel necessary to identify, apprehend, and incarcerate or deport these criminals. It will send a message that we are serious and we are coming after them.
For those who wish to come to our country to seek a better life and make America their home, they must do so by obeying our laws and complying with our rules. Amnesty is simply NOT AN OPTION."
Pete Gallego campaign site
From his campaign site: "Our country is made up of immigrants who made the journey to the United States in search of the American dream. But we all know that our immigration system is broken. Making sure that our borders are secure is the most important aspect of immigration policy. Reform includes border security and putting the necessary boots on the ground to protect us from those who want to do our country harm. Reform also should include an earned path to legalization for people who stay out of trouble, pay a penalty, pay back taxes, learn English and stand in line. We need to create an immigration system that makes America safer, that is realistic, and that makes economic sense.
I also support the DREAM Act which would let young people who were brought to this country as children, graduated from high school and stayed out of trouble, earn a path to citizenship through military service or by going to college. I was proud to vote for the Texas DREAM Act, and I look forward to voting for the federal DREAM Act in Congress.
Since extremists in Congress obstructed the passage of the DREAM Act, I support the deferred action policy that offers DREAM Act eligible youth, on a case-by-case basis, relief from deportation."
Utah 4th: Jim Matheson* (D) vs. Mia Love (R)
Utah's 4th district pits current Representative Jim Matheson, who has the distinction of being the Democrat in Congress who represents the most Republican district in the country, against the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Mia Love. Ms. Love is in her own quest to be the first Republican African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives.
Jim Matheson campaign site
From his campaign site: "Jim knows that our current immigration system is broken and he believes that the federal government needs to meet its responsibility to fix this problem. He feels strongly that what we need is a comprehensive bipartisan solution that puts common sense ideas ahead of politics. One place he thinks we can start is by securing our borders and encouraging the federal government to review and process all applications for immigration to the United States in a timely and transparent way. Jim supports reforms to ensure that everyone is held accountable and plays by the same rules.
Jim voted in favor of the e-Verify program that assists businesses in checking employment eligibility. He knows that many businesses rely on immigrant workers, but he believes that everyone, including employers, need to play by the rules to help stop illegal immigration. Jim supports legislation that strengthens border enforcements- using both increased security and new technology to minimize illegal entry points."
Mia Love campaign site