What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Civil Rights : HR 1885. Extension of Residency to Immigrants/Vote to Tighten Border Security and Require the Collection of Additional Information from Immigrants. (2002 house Roll Call 53)
 Who: All Members
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HR 1885. Extension of Residency to Immigrants/Vote to Tighten Border Security and Require the Collection of Additional Information from Immigrants.
house Roll Call 53     Mar 12, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

Partly in hopes of attracting Latino voters, members of both parties supported a bill to allow immigrants whose visas had expired to remain in the United States while applying for legal residency. Progressives and Democrats in general were particularly supportive of the bill because it adhered to a principle of cultural openness that had long been a cornerstone of the party. Republicans were more conflicted: a majority opposed the measure on the grounds it encouraged visa holders to break the law, but a substantial minority supported it in the hopes it would boost enrollment in the Republican party and soften the party's anti-immigrant image. To make the bill more palatable to House conservatives and members of the Senate, the bill's backers wanted to attach a number of provisions to tighten border security. These included a requirement schools to report when a student with a student visa did not show up for classes, a requirement that passports and visas of other countries include "biometric" information such as fingerprints or retina scans, and a requirement that ships and airplanes traveling to and from the U.S. provide a list of passengers before embarking. Supporters of the bill wanted to add the amendments and pass the bill without risking further changes, so they proposed it under "suspension of the rules": a special status that forbids amendments but requires a two-thirds vote for passage. Despite lacking a majority of Republicans, the bill's supporters still had the 275 votes necessary to win. With Progressives voting in favor, the measure passed 275-137: the residency extensions were bundled with tightened border security and the whole bill was passed on to the Senate.

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