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17 Toss Ups in the House – Part II (Massachusetts to North Carolina)

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12092643 (posted Sep. 26, 2012)"





New Hampshire

North Carolina

Massachusetts 6th: John Tierney* (D) vs. Richard Tisei (R)
This race has been hampered by controversy surrounding incumbent Democrat Tierney's wife's role in her brother illegal gambling operation that landed her in prison. Although a Republican poll shows Richard Tisei taking the lead, no independent polls have been conducted recently. The outcome of the race may be clearer after the first debate that will include questions about the illegal gambling ring.

John Tierney campaign site

Richard Tisei campaign site
His statement on DACA: "We do have large numbers of people who are here illegally and we have to face that reality and create solutions," said Tisei. "But for the President to simply ignore Congress and announce, as he did in June, that he would ignore our current laws and order ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to begin what amounts to an amnesty program for illegals is completely improper. Whether a person agrees with the President or not on the particulars of the policy, this is not the way to do it. This unilateral action is well beyond the Constitutional authority of the President. This is overreach as well as politicization of a very hot topic in this country - just before an election - and it is wrong."

Michigan 1st: Dan Benishek* (R) vs. Gary McDowell (D)
This district in Upper Michigan first switched hands in 2010 when current Republican Representative Dan Benishek was swept into office with the "Tea Party wave." The district, although slightly more Republican after redistricting, voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Dan Benishek campaign site

On the DACA announcement: "Just when I thought we had seen the worst of President Obama, today's illegal immigrant amnesty order proved that there are no lengths he won't go through to trample on the Constitution. Congress has debated immigration policy for years. Laws are on the books. Yet in one swoop of the President's pen, he tells the U.S. Government to stop enforcing the law."

On his support for the "English Language Unity Act": "I believe this legislation will help ensure that new immigrants better understand the unique American principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, as well as the laws of the United States," stated Benishek, a lifelong resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula serving in his first term in Congress."

Gary McDowell campaign site
From his campaign site: "Washington has failed when it comes to solving the problem of illegal immigration. Gary believes we need to confront this problem on two fronts. First and foremost, we need to secure the border. Secondly, the federal government has got to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. It's time we held these corporations accountable.

Gary believes we also need to increase our enforcement of laws against passport and visa fraud. He opposes any type of amnesty for illegal immigrants. We need a fundamental, bipartisan common sense solution to immigration reform, now more than ever."

Minnesota 8th: Chip Cravaak* (R) vs. Rick Nolan (D)
Current Congressman Chip Cravaak wrestled this seat away from the longest serving representative in the state two years ago by riding the "Tea Party wave," but now Democrats are looking to take it back. With three Democrats pursuing the chance to win it back in the primary, Rick Nolan, the former three-term Congressmember who is coming back to try his hand at elected office after a 32 year hiatus, came out on top and will go head to head with Cravaak this November.

Chip Cravaak campaign site
From his campaign site: "The benefits of the American culture, the American political system, the U.S. Constitution, the American system of private property ownership and our uniquely industrious economic system belong to individuals who worked for it, paid for it, own it and those that we invite to share it with us through our well-organized system of immigration policy. Illegal entry, illegal presence, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit employment fraud are not admirable traits for potential immigrants. I find these statements uncomplicated.

Illegal aliens are hired by unscrupulous employers who are unwilling to pay minimum wage and benefits to Americans who are looking for work. Most deeply impacted are minorities and the poor Americans striving to put food on the table and provide a better life for their children. It is sadly naïve to say that the presence of millions of illegal aliens hurts no one.

Our nation spends approximately 4.7 billion dollars a year on healthcare for illegal aliens and 30 billion to educate illegal aliens in our schools. Again this is not a victimless crime; we all pay the price.

The most troubling aspect of the illegal alien crisis, is that illegal immigration is being used as a known conduit for terrorists illegally entering our country. Illegal immigration is not only an economic concern but it is also a fundamental national security concern as well.

What many are calling the immigration debate is actually not about immigration at all. The issue is really about law and order. Because the federal government has bungled immigration reform year after year, relief from the problem has fallen to the states. In the first half of 2009, state legislatures introduced and considered 1,400 bills that were immigration related. The left has been very successful in framing this debate as a humanitarian, economic and cultural issue. That is simply not the case; it is about laws that protect our country and those that violate them."

Rick Nolan campaign site

Nevada 3rd: Joe Heck* (R) vs. John Oceguera (D)
This race might be becoming less and less of a tossup as new polls show incumbent Congressman Heck pulling away with a 13 point lead. Although Oceguera still has funds to turn up his campaign is the weeks leading up to the election, early voting starts October 20th so time is running out.

Joe Heck campaign site
From his official Congressional site: "Illegal immigration is a serious problem in the United States, and the number of illegal immigrants is rapidly increasing each year. The unlawful entry of these individuals into the U.S. not only puts severe strain on state and local budgets, but also limits the ability of federal programs designed to support American citizens. Additionally, I have serious concerns with the potential for employers to hire illegal immigrants to do jobs that American citizens could be doing. I am working to stem the flow of illegal immigration, and I will not support an amnesty policy to address this issue.

Our nation's border security is a key issue when addressing both our economic and national security interests. I feel strongly that a comprehensive border security plan is paramount to rebuilding our nation's economy as well as protecting our nation's security. The lack of secure borders doesn't simply allow illegal immigration to flourish; the federal government's failure allows drugs, guns, terrorists or any number of dangerous entities to enter our nation undetected.

Undocumented workers who commit crimes in the United States need to be punished and returned to their home nations. The 287(g) program allowing local law enforcement to determine what criminals are here illegally is a step in the right direction. Clark County law enforcement's enrollment in the 287(g) program with the federal government is encouraging and we need to expand such coordinated efforts throughout the country to help take the financial and structural burden off local governments.

I am a cosponsor of H.R. 2885, legislation to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a mandatory and permanent employment eligibility verification system (EEVS), patterned after the E-Verify system. Additionally, this bill requires an employer to attest, during the verification period and under penalty of perjury, that the employer has verified that an individual is not an unauthorized alien. Please be assured that, as a cosponsor, I will support H.R. 2885 should it be addressed by the full House of Representatives.

I also voted for H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, which was signed into law and set the remaining appropriation levels for the fiscal year (FY) 2012. This bill increases the number of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents and CBP officers to the highest totals in the history of the agency. Additionally, the bill includes language requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to enforce our current immigration laws, requiring that a daily minimum of 34,000 detention beds be made available, the largest capacity ever."

John Oceguera campaign site
Statement on DACA policy: "Congress has failed to secure our borders or take on immigration reform. I support an approach to immigration that is tough, fair and practical. The policy announced today is a clear step towards finding a tough, fair and practical solution for young immigrant children to get an education, serve in our military, and go on to be a vibrant part of America.

Moving forward, we need to implement common-sense solutions that start with securing the border, and crack down on employers trafficking in undocumented immigrants. Joe Heck, on the other hand, isn't interested in practical solutions, just a lot of loud talk that won't fix the problem. He's even said we need to 'visit the area of birthright citizenship' - a right guaranteed in the Constitution. Once again, Joe Heck just has the wrong priorities."

New Hampshire 1st: Frank Guinta* (R) vs. Carol Shea-Porter (D)
This isn't the first time these two candidates have battled each other to represent New Hampshire in Congress. Two years ago Frank Guinta defeated the incumbent Democrat Carol Shea-Porter-she had just finished her second term in Congress-in the Republican wave during the mid-term elections. Most recent polling shows this race in a dead heat with the candidates going after each other on substantial policy differences on issues such as health care and energy policy.

Frank Guinta campaign site

From his campaign site: "I'm a strong supporter of legal immigration, but I strongly oppose illegal immigration. We are a nation of laws and we must enforce those laws. Our first priority is to secure our country's border for both our national security interests and to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. That means increased border agents, construction of permanent walls, and the use of new technology.

Our second priority is to increases the penalties for employers who assist or hire illegal aliens. Local law enforcement should be encouraged to report illegal immigrants to the appropriate authorities for immediate deportation. Those state and municipal governments that refuse to follow federal immigration laws should forfeit federal funding.

I will not support an amnesty of illegal aliens currently in the United States. Any amnesty would only reward criminal behavior and would encourage additional illegal immigration in the future."

Carol Shea-Porter campaign site
A video with her answer to: "What should be done about the tens of millions of illegal immigrants already in the country?"

North Carolina 7th: Mike McIntyre* (D) vs. David Rouzer (R)
Although the North Carolina Republican controlled Legislature was able to redistrict the seventh district to make it friendlier for McIntyre's Republican opponent, David Rouzer, McIntyre has managed to keep this election a close one by appealing to Independent and new voters and touting his anti-Democratic party record. Although McIntyre has much more cash on hand than his opponent that probably won't matter much as third party groups have been, and will continue to, pour money into this race.

Mike McIntyre campaign site
From his campaign site: "Mike strongly supports efforts to stop illegal immigration and improve our border control in the United States.

Mike is opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants currently residing in this country, and a strong supporter of increased border security and workplace enforcement. He has co-sponsored a number of bills that would support the E-Verify program, encourage the adoption of English as our official language, mandate the immediate prosecution and subsequent deportations of criminal illegal aliens, and increase our border patrol capacity to better protect our porous borders."

On his vote against the 2010 Dream Act: "This week I voted against the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act which grants legal status to the children of illegal immigrants. The bill does nothing to help secure our border and fix the broken immigration system which has allowed millions of illegal aliens into our country. Instead of making unauthorized alien students eligible for in-state tuition or legal status, the Federal government should focus on securing our borders and not granting residency and citizenship to people here illegally. Furthermore, granting taxpayer subsidized benefits to unauthorized alien students and a path to citizenship for those here illegally is a bad deal for taxpayers and punishes people who follow the law and immigrate through the legal process."

David Rouzer campaign site
From his campaign site: "Here are the fundamental principles that I believe immigration reform should center around:

1) Secure the border. I signed the Border Security Pledge by Americans for Securing the Border, supporting the construction of a date-certain, double fence across the entire US border with Mexico prior to the end of 2013.

2) Identify and deport those who have a criminal record immediately.

3) Repeal the federal laws that allow citizenship via family ties and marriage and replace it with the option of a military service requirement or a work requirement. Additionally, a basic knowledge of US history and its origin, fluency in English, and documentation of community service should be required to earn citizenship.

4) The more than 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants that have come to this country over the past 30 years should not be eligible for citizenship or enjoy government benefits at any point in time.

The current system is so broken employers can follow the letter of the law and hire an illegal worker unknowingly. Often, we discover that these employees have been with their employer for more than 10 to 20 years and have demonstrated an excellent work ethic. Therefore, a system should be established that identifies the illegal worker and allows both the employee and the employer to come forward to get on track to a legal workforce without disrupting the economy.

5) Establish workable guest worker programs so that US employers can bring in the skilled and unskilled labor that meets the demands of the job. An economy cannot grow if it does not have an adequate labor supply. Employers that cannot find necessary labor in the US either go out of business or move their operations to another country where they have access to the labor they need. I believe it is important for our national security and our economic security to keep as much business based in this country as possible.

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