Hispanic Americans’ Legislative Interests

Civil Rights

In the late 20th century, Hispanic Members built on the efforts of African-American Members and of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in championing institutions within the federal government that protected the civil rights of racial and ethnic minorities. The Hispanic Caucus partnered with black Members on several legislative initiatives of mutual benefit. For example, caucus chairman José Serrano actively worked with CBC chairman Kweisi Mfume of Maryland in the 103rd Congress on legislation including the Clinton administration’s health care overhaul and unemployment compensation.71

Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, José Serrano of New York and  Kweisi Mfume of Maryland/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_18_chc_cbc_na.xml Image copyright Washington Post; reprinted by permission of the National Archives and Records Administration In the latter 20th century, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on civil rights, health care, and unemployment issues. From left to right: the CHC’s Lucille Roybal-Allard of California and José Serrano of New York meet with Maryland Representative Kweisi Mfume of the CBC.

Framed within the experiences of Hispanic Members, civil rights took on new and different components. Using the language and imagery of the previous generation’s civil rights movement, Hispanic Members debated issues like bilingual education, voting rights, Puerto Rican statehood, and immigration. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus helped drive policy in the House as it related to Hispanic Americans, but was often beset by internal debates over form and function.

Voting Rights

The 1975 extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (P.L. 94-73) reaffirmed the U.S. Attorney General’s ability to veto election laws and regulations in areas of the U.S. where voting participation, especially among minority citizens, fell below a set standard. This extension also covered the North and West, and it brought “language minorities”—people who spoke English as a second language—within its protection. It required bilingual ballots and voting materials in areas where English literacy was below the national average.72 This change made subsequent updates to the Voting Rights Act (VRA)—especially the 1982 version, which extended the VRA for 25 years and its bilingual requirement for 10 years—a major priority for Hispanic Members and for Hispanic civic groups that tracked legislative activity.73

Hispanic Members again played a major role in the debates over the Voting Rights Act extensions in 1992 and 2006. In 1992, the Hispanic Caucus sponsored and helped pass the Voting Rights Language Assistance Act (P.L. 102-344), which lengthened the bilingual requirements by 15 years. This major accomplishment dovetailed with a period of noted Hispanic political growth.74 “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus,” said Chairman Solomon Ortiz, “is committed to giving Americans, all Americans, including citizens whose first language is not English, the opportunity to fully participate in the electoral process.”75 In 2006, Hispanic Members fought attempts to shorten the shelf life of the VRA’s bilingual requirements, arguing again that all citizens, whether native-born or naturalized, deserved a fair chance to vote.76

Bilingual Education

Contemporary Hispanic Members paid particular attention to the status of federal bilingual education programs, since many of these programs affected Spanish-speaking students. Legislation for bilingual education was often packaged in updates to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Baltasar Corrada-del Río of Puerto Rico/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_19_corrada_del_rio_baltasar_hc.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Baltasar Corrada-del Río supported the creation of the U.S. Department of Education as well as bilingual education programs administered by the agency.

Both Title VII of the ESEA of 1968 (P.L. 90-247) and the 1974 Supreme Court decision Lau v. Nichols (414 U.S. 563) required that special assistance be given to students whose ability to understand English was limited or nonexistent, but until the late 1970s, the United States lacked oversight of the public school system. President Carter’s proposal for a separate Education Department included provisions for bilingual education programs. The initial Education Department bill was referred to the House Education and Labor Committee, where Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Baltasar Corrada-del Río spoke passionately in favor of creating the agency. “Bilingual education should be monitored, refined, and improved,” Corrada-del Río said during the debate, “so that the high hopes which it has engendered in the hearts and the minds of those who need it are not thwarted.”77 Title VII had rarely come up in subsequent reauthorizations of ESEA, but when the new Education Department proposed guidelines for enforcing bilingual instruction in 1980, some Members of the House called it a federal power grab, setting the tone for much of the next decade.78

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and those who supported bilingual education came under increased pressure. Politicians began advocating English immersion programs and English as a Second Language programs as alternatives to bilingual instruction.79 Conservatives in Congress also proposed replacing government-funded programs for speakers of other languages with block grants, which give states more control over how money is spent. Block grants became popular in Republican appropriations packages in the late 1990s, and supporters of bilingual instruction worried that these grants would fatally undercut bilingual education.

Frank Tejada of Texas and Solomon Ortiz of Texas/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_20_tejada_bentsen_ortiz_na.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration Representatives Frank Tejada of Texas (left) and Solomon Ortiz of Texas (right) meet with Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen.

Congress did not renew the ESEA in 2000, but provided a stopgap measure until the 107th Congress (2001–2003) as they worked to create a long-term solution. Democrats focused on improving the accountability of education programs while Republicans favored converting programs into block grants.80 On May 14, 2001, the House Education and the Workforce Committee reported the No Child Left Behind Act (H.R. 1), a complex bipartisan measure that combined several programs, including bilingual education, into block grants.81 By December 2001, when the conference report for H.R. 1 arrived in the House, Hispanic Members emphasized the positive aspects of No Child Left Behind.82

Border Control and Immigration

Both voting rights and bilingual education were part of a larger debate over immigration and America’s changing demographics in the late 20th century. In particular, the growth of illegal immigration from Latin America became one of the most explosive issues in Congress beginning in the 1970s.
Widespread political instability in Central and South America combined with an economic “push-pull” relationship with the United States fueled both legal and illegal migration from the region.83 The nature of unauthorized entry into the United States makes it difficult to compile accurate statistics on how many people have crossed the border in the last few decades; however, citing a collection of published sources, the Congressional Research Service estimates the number of undocumented aliens in the United States as just short of 11 million, doubling estimates from 1996 and tripling those from 1986. According to 2010 figures, those in the United States illegally make up 28 percent of the foreign-born population.84

Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_21_lujan_manuel_pc.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico served in the U.S. House for nearly two decades. Luján left in 1989 to serve as Secretary of the Interior in President George H.W. Bush’s Cabinet.

Hispanic Members of Congress serving in the late 20th century and early 21st century were universally wary that policies meant to curb illegal immigration had the potential to discriminate against Hispanic Americans or legal immigrants from Mexico, Central America, or South America. “Building a ‘tortilla curtain’ certainly is not the answer,” argued Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico in 1980, then the sole Republican in the Hispanic Caucus. Multiple attempts at immigration reform failed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but divisions in the caucus over the terms of the debate and its legislative tactics often limited Hispanic Members’ collective influence.

Unsuccessful Attempts at Immigration Reform

Alien Adjustment and Employment Act of 1977

On August 4, 1977, President Carter brought attention to the illegal immigration issue when he asked Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. Known as the “Carter Plan,” the President’s proposal adjusted the immigration status of undocumented aliens who registered with the federal government for permanent or temporary residency in the United States. Carter’s proposal also included possible deterrents to illegal immigration: new penalties for U.S. businesses engaged in the “pattern or practice” of hiring undocumented workers; additional resources to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border; and binding agreements with Latin American governments to crack down on human smuggling.85 The following October, H.R. 9531 and S. 2522, representing the President’s proposal, were introduced in the House and Senate.

Edward Roybal of California/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_22_roybal_edward_hp.xml Image courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives Photography Office Immigration reform remained a central and sometimes contentious issue even within the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Caucus Chairman Edward Roybal of California, pictured at the center, was critical of immigration legislation that he thought might hurt employment opportunities for Hispanic Americans and legal immigrants.

Members disagreed over various aspects of the bills, but both the House and the Senate versions of the bill met with firm resistance from Hispanic Members and Latino civil rights organizations.86Edward Roybal, then chairman of the newly formed Congressional Hispanic Caucus, predicted that the policies would create “a segregated, card-carrying portion of our population,” as the New York Times quoted him.87 Moreover, he predicted that legal Hispanic immigrants and Hispanic Americans would suffer unfairly under employer penalties.88 The legislation gained little traction in Congress, but in 1978 the Carter administration created the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy to study options for the future.89

Simpson–Mazzoli Legislation, 1982–1984

In March 1982, Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Representative Romano Mazzoli of Kentucky, the chairmen of Senate and House subcommittees on immigration, introduced comprehensive immigration reform bills in their respective chambers (S. 2222 and H.R. 7357). This legislation included sanctions against employers who knowingly hired undocumented workers; sought to legalize the immigration status of millions of undocumented workers; created a temporary program for agricultural workers; and instituted new procedures restricting asylum and deportation cases.90

A majority of the members of the Hispanic Caucus opposed the bill, particularly employer sanctions, which they believed would discriminate against Hispanic Americans.91 “It is easy to identify those people, and it is easy to assume immediately that those people are illegal and everybody else is legal,” Representative Coelho said in an impassioned speech on the House Floor.92

Although the bill passed the Senate in August 1982, the House version stalled. Members had introduced nearly 300 amendments to the bill; according to one account, nearly 100 came from the Hispanic Caucus alone, and Edward Roybal threatened to stall consideration by requesting votes on every one of his measures.93 Ultimately, the first version of the Simpson–Mazzoli legislation died at the end of the 97th Congress (1981–1983).

Simpson and Mazzoli resubmitted versions of their legislation in the 98th Congress (H.R. 1510 and S. 529), but the House version never made it out of the Rules Committee. Having nearly doubled their numbers in the 1982 election, Hispanic Members changed tactics. Instead of working against the legislation by flooding the bill with amendments, they attempted to work within the system by appealing directly to House leadership for a chance to weigh in on immigration reform.94 After Speaker O’Neill pulled the bill from the House Floor, in part because of opposition from the Hispanic Caucus, he challenged Hispanic legislators to develop their own proposal to counter the Simpson–Mazzoli legislation in the next Congress. Freshman New Mexico Democrat and caucus member Bill Richardson said, “It’s important that we not be viewed as obstructionist. We have to come up with a serious alternative.”95

Kika de la Garza of Texas/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_23_de_la_garza_kika_na.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration South Texas Representative Kika de la Garza, who chaired the Agriculture Committee, disagreed with Hispanic colleagues representing urban constituencies over immigration reform efforts that would have negatively affected migrant farm workers.
But Representative Roybal’s alternative bill (H.R. 4909), introduced in the next session, did not have the caucus’s full support.96 The legislation attempted to modify the Simpson–Mazzoli bill by eliminating employer sanctions and easing restrictions to legalization.97 Hispanic activists supported the bill, and Caucus Chairman Garcia promoted it at press conferences, but other members of the Hispanic Caucus were hesitant. Representative Luján, the caucus’s sole Republican, opposed the legalization program. South Texas Representative Eligio (Kika) de la Garza, who represented a large farming district, was frustrated that Roybal had removed provisions for temporary agricultural workers that were included in the Simpson–Mazzoli bill. Also, unlike Roybal, whose longstanding commitment to immigration reform had been vocal, other Hispanic legislators feared the political fallout from endorsing such a position and considered immigration reform a “no-win” issue at the polls.98
Congressional Hispanic Caucus, mid-1980s/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_24_chc2_na.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration The Congressional Hispanic Caucus gathers on the East Front House steps of the U.S. Capitol, circa mid-1980s. From left to right: Henry B. González of Texas; Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico; Jaime Fuster of Puerto Rico; Robert Garcia of New York; Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Tony Coelho of California; Ron de Lugo of the Virgin Islands; Matthew Martínez of California; Edward Roybal of California; and Esteban Torres of California.

Roybal’s bill never received a hearing, but the newest Simpson–Mazzoli bill, which was universally opposed by the Hispanic Caucus, narrowly passed the House 216 to 211, before dying in conference with the Senate.99 Though it never became law, the Simpson–Mazzoli legislation revealed ideological and generational fissures within the caucus that caused some of its members to be more willing to compromise on future bills.100

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

The Simpson–Mazzoli proposal was infused with new life in the 99th Congress (1985–1987); bolstered by the sponsorship of House Judiciary Chairman Peter Rodino of New Jersey, the bill was also trimmed of some of its more controversial provisions. The bill (H.R. 3810) still fined employers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers, but offered legal status to those who had entered the United States before 1982 and had since lived in the country continuously.101 The measure received support from a group of junior caucus members who wanted to call attention to issues affecting Hispanic communities and were willing to negotiate on portions of the proposal. Representative Richardson believed employer sanctions were a particularly grievous but inevitable part of any immigration reform, and he sought safeguards against discrimination.102Albert Bustamante regularly described the bill as “imperfect.”103 “We must start formulating an immigration policy. We have been vacillating from year to year,” he told the New York Times. “That foments anger and misperceptions of which Hispanics are often the target.”104

Esteban Torres, Solomon Ortiz, and Tony Coelho joined Richardson and Bustamante in voting for the legislation—breaking from the other six voting caucus members.105 Opponents of the bill, such as Representative Garcia, likened the employer sanctions to “Jim Crow laws,” setting up 20 million Hispanic Americans for “separate and unequal treatment.”106 Roybal, who had spent six years blocking immigration reform measures in the House, said the bill was “the worst piece of legislation we have passed in 25 years in Congress.”107 President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-603) into law on November 6, 1986.108

Immigration Reform in the 1990s

Albert Bustamante of Texas/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_25_bustamante_albert_hp.xml Image courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives Photography Office Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were nearly evenly divided over the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Albert Bustamante of Texas, pictured above, described it as “imperfect” but was one of five Hispanic Members to vote for it; six others opposed the bill.
Increased migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, especially via human smuggling, renewed efforts at immigration control in the mid-1990s and led to calls to strengthen the Immigration Reform and Control Act.109

In 1990, Hispanic lawmakers played a key role in one of the largest immigration reforms in more than 60 years. With support from the Hispanic Caucus, Congress gradually increased quotas and issued a greater variety of visas aimed at admitting a larger pool of educated immigrants. The bill also streamlined the process for admitting family members of immigrants, stayed the deportations of Salvadoran refugees, and made discrimination based on immigrants’ political beliefs or sexual orientation more difficult.110 Working with the Congressional Black Caucus and a few California Members, Hispanic Members successfully lobbied for the removal of a national identification requirement that they felt would unfairly target minorities.111

The next major push for immigration reform occured in 1996. President Bill Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L. 104–208) into law on September 30. The law strengthened federal control over the U.S.-Mexican border, streamlined deportation processes, and increased restrictions against undocumented workers.112 Additionally, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193)—popularly known as the Welfare Reform Act—restricted federal aid to legal immigrants, including Social Security, health care, public housing, education, and unemployment benefits.113

Caucus members opposed cuts to federal benefits. Representing a working-class Florida district, Lincoln Diaz-Balart was one of three Republicans who did not sign the Contract with America in 1994, because of its proposed welfare cuts to legal immigrants.114 “When people follow the law and they pay taxes, they shouldn’t be singled out for discrimination,” he said, referring to the Welfare Reform Act.115 Democrat Solomon Ortiz of Texas, too, implored his colleagues not to penalize legal immigrants. “The greatest danger to an immigration debate in this country is the merging and confusing of issues concerning legal and illegal immigration,” he noted in 1996. “As [a] Representative of a border district, I am uniquely aware of the burden that illegal immigration poses on local communities.”116

Border Control and Immigration after September 11, 2001

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, largely reset the immigration debate. The U.S.-Mexico border, once the major focus of that debate, became part of a much larger national story as Congress turned its attention toward airport and homeland security.

September 11, 2001/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_26_911_flag_aoc.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Image courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol
About this object
Above is an image of the American flag which flew over the U.S. Capitol on the morning of September 11, 2001. Debates over border control and immigration were recast as national security issues after the terrorist attacks.

Hispanic Members were concerned that the new focus would encroach on Hispanic-Americans’ civil rights. Two Hispanic Senators became key figures in attempts at reshaping immigration laws. Drawing on his childhood experiences as a Cuban immigrant, Florida Senator Mel Martinez championed the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 1291), which provided a path to an education and permanent citizenship for the minor children of undocumented immigrants.117 He also opposed efforts to build a 1,500-mile wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, noting, “What the wall symbolizes is not what we want—the face of America we want to show.”118 In 2005 and 2006, he teamed with then-Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to advance legislation that coupled border enforcement provisions and a guestworker program to address the issue of illegal immigration “in a realistic fashion without providing amnesty.”119

When conservatives attempted to re-draft immigration laws in 2006—making illegal immigration a felony and punishable by imprisonment—Democratic Senator Ken Salazar supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611) as a compromise. The crux of the reform included provisions for border security and a guest-worker program that would affect an estimated 12 million individuals who had immigrated illegally.120 After a brief period of deadlock, the bill passed in the Senate but died in the House.121

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

In the late 1980s Mexico opened its markets to international investment, and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, looking to reinforce his country’s economic growth, proposed a free trade agreement with the United States. President George H.W. Bush, with Congress’s initial backing, agreed to Salinas de Gortari’s offer in September 1990.122

President Bill Clinton and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus/tiles/non-collection/p/part4_27_chc_clinton.xml Image courtesy of the William J. Clinton Library/National Archives and Records Administration President Bill Clinton, far right, meets Congressional Hispanic Caucus members in 1998. The Clinton administration heavily courted caucus members to support the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. Caucus members split on the issue along regional lines.

In a public letter, Bill Richardson advised the Bush administration to jump at the chance while it could and to “develop a long-term strategy for free trade throughout the hemisphere.” Although the initiative began in the Bush administration, President Clinton subsequently supported such an agreement.123 Representative Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois, then chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, introduced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as H.R. 3450 on November 4, 1993.

Organized labor unions tended to object to NAFTA because they feared losing jobs to Mexico where labor was cheap. Labor unions often supported congressional Democrats, who balked at the proposal. The Clinton administration coordinated with business groups, lobbyists, and allies inside and outside of Congress to convince undecided Members to support the legislation. On the floor and in the Capitol hallways, a handful of Senators and House Members, including Richardson, rounded up votes for the NAFTA bill. Interestingly, Congressional Quarterly has noted that Clinton “[owed] his House victory more to Republicans than to his own party.”124 Although the final vote was decisive (234 to 200), votes among Hispanic Caucus members split along regional lines, nine to eight. Most of the caucus members from the Southwest voted for NAFTA, while those from other regions of the country voted against it.125

Next Section


71Michelle J. Meyers, “The Hispanic Caucus: United or Divided?” September 1994, Hispanic: 20–24; “Hillary Clinton Visits Minority Caucuses,” 3 March 1993, Washington Post: A5; Cooper, “Hispanic Caucus Shows Its New-Found Clout”; Kenneth Cooper, “A Broken Barrier: Black, Hispanic Caucuses Meet on Capitol Hill,” 14 October 1993, Washington Post: C2.

72Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1975 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1976): 521–532.

73Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1982 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1983): 373–377; Hearings before the House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary, Extension of the Voting Rights Act, Part 2, 97th Cong., 1st sess. (1981): 1486.

74Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1992: 330–331.

75Congressional Record, House, 102nd Cong., 2nd sess. (24 July 1992): 19327.

76Congress and the Nation, 2005–2008, vol. 7 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010): 697–698.

77Congressional Record, House, 96th Cong., 1st sess. (12 June 1979): 14474.

78Congress and the Nation 1977–1980, vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1981): 664–665, 677; Congressional Record, House, 96th Cong., 2nd sess. (27 August 1980): 23494.

79Congress and the Nation 1985–1989, vol. 7 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1990): 655–656; Rampe, “Power Panel in Making: The Hispanic Caucus.”

80For the background of No Child Left Behind, see Andrew Rudalevige, “No Child Left Behind: Forging a Congressional Compromise,” in Paul E. Peterson and Martin R. West, eds., No Child Left Behind? The Politics and Practice of School Accountability (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003): 23–54.

81Congressional Record, House, 107th Cong., 1st sess. (22 May 2001): H2405.

82Congressional Record, House, 107th Cong., 1st sess. (13 December 2001): H10090.

83For an overview of scholarly theories on the causes of Latin American migration to the United States, see Héctor Cordero-Guzmán and Ted Henken, “Immigration” in Oboler and González, eds., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States, vol. 2.

84William A. Kandel, “The U.S. Foreign-Born Population: Trends and Selected Characteristics,” 15 February 2012, Rep. R41592, CRS: 9–10.

85Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1977 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1978): 43-E–45-E. Immigrants who had arrived before 1970 and lived continuously in the United States since then would be granted permanent resident alien status. Those who arrived between 1970 and January 1, 1977, would be given a new classification: “temporary resident alien.” They would have permission to remain in the United States for five years but would not be eligible for federal social services. The proposal did not change the status of immigrants who arrived in 1977.

86Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986,” in Montejano, ed., Chicano Politics and Society in the Late Twentieth Century: 132–133.

87James T. Wooten, “President Seeks Legalized Status for Many Aliens,” 5 August 1977, New York Times: 1.

88Don Irwin, “Seeks More Guards for Border, Hiring Penalties,” 5 August 1977, Los Angeles Times: 1.

89Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1977: 573–575; Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 132–137.

90Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1982: 405–410.

91Sierra notes that after the House referred the legislation to the Judiciary Committee, a letter to that panel’s chairman, Peter Rodino of New Jersey, carried four individual signatories instead of the caucus’s full endorsement. See Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986,” 140–141.

92Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1982: 405–410.


94Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 141.

95Karen Tumulty, “Latinos Scramble to Come Up with Proposals,” 1 December 1982, Los Angeles Times: B13.

96Julia Malone, “Hispanic Americans Muster Political Clout in Washington,” 22 April 1983, Christian Science Monitor: 1.

97Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 142.

98Karen Tumulty, “Latino Caucus Seeks Weakened Immigration Bill,” 17 January 1984, Los Angeles Times: B5; Margaret Shapiro, “Hispanic Caucus Counters Bill on Aliens,” 2 February 1984, Washington Post: A4; Shapiro, “Immigration Measure Produces Sharp Divisions in House Hispanic Caucus,” 18 March 1984, Washington Post: A2; Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 142–143.

99Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1984 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1985): 229–239.

100During the 99th Congress, Roybal introduced a bill that was strikingly similar to the Simpson–Mazzoli legislation, which included the employer sanctions he had previously opposed. The California Congressman justified this surprising move by describing his bill as “bait”—an attempt to reveal the extremist intentions of immigration reformers, who, Roybal was certain, would counter with a more draconian measure. See Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 144.

101Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1985 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1986): 223–228.

102Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 146.

103See, for example, Congressional Record, House, 99th Cong., 2nd sess. (9 October 1986): 26403, 31644.

104Robert Pear, “Immigration Bill: How ‘Corpse’ Came Back to Life,” 13 October 1986, New York Times: A16.

105The Hispanic Caucus comprised 11 voting members and three non-voting members: Territorial Delegates Ben Blaz of Guam and Ron de Lugo of the Virgin Islands, and Resident Commissioner Jaime Fuster of Puerto Rico.

106“Hispanics Vow to Block Debate,” 8 June 1984, United Press International.

107Mary McGrory, “Still Gripped by Fear,” 26 November 1987, Washington Post: 2; Marcia Chambers, “Many Questions Aimed at New Alien Law,” 5 December 1986, New York Times: A21. For more on the law, see CQ Almanac, 1986 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1987): 61–67.

108Sierra, “In Search of National Power: Chicanos Working the System on Immigration Reform, 1976–1986”: 137–148; Congressional Record, House, 99th Cong., 2nd sess. (9 October 1986): 30075–30076.

109Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1995 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1996): 6-9–6-18.

110Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1990 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1991): 474–485.

111Barbara Vobejda, “Immigration Bill Blocked in the House,” 27 October 1990, Washington Post: A12; Robert Pear, “Major Immigration Bill Is Sent to Bush,” 29 October 1990, New York Times: B10.

112Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1996 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997): 5-3–5-17.

113Nicholas De Genova, “Immigration Policy, Twentieth Century,” in Oboler and González, eds., Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States, vol. 2; Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1996: 6-3–6-24.

114“No Fine Print; Republicans Put It in Writing: A New Way of Governing,” 13 November 1994, Associated Press; Robert Pear, “House Backs Bill Undoing Decades of Welfare Policy,” 25 March 1995, New York Times: 1.

115Jill Miller, “Reforms May Halt Legal-Alien Welfare; GOP ‘Contract’ Hangs on Touchy Issue,” 20 January 1995, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel: A1.

116Congressional Record, House, 104th Cong., 2nd sess. (21 March 1996): H2602; see also, Congressional Record, House, 106th Cong., 2nd sess. (17 May 2000): H3275–H3276.

117Milagros (Mimi) Aledo and Rafael J. López, interview with Senator Mel Martinez (R-Florida), Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy 17 (2004–2005): 12–13.

118Libby Copeland, “Risky Political Waters,” 8 April 2006, Washington Post: C1.

119“GOP Ends Rift, Moves Ahead on Immigration,” 16 December 2005, Miami Herald: 6.

120Elizabeth Aguilera, “Salazar Hopeful on Immigration, Saying ‘Failure … Is not an Option,’” 10 June 2007, Denver Post: C6. See also Milagros (Mimi) Aledo, Rafael J. López, Liz Montoya, interview with Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colorado), Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy 17 (2004–2005): 5–10.

121Aguilera, “Salazar Hopeful on Immigration, Saying ‘Failure … Is not an Option’”; Congressional Record, Senate, 109th Cong., 2nd sess. (29 September 2006): S10606. Salazar spoke frequently on the Senate Floor about immigration reform. See, for example: Congressional Record, Senate, 109th Cong., 2nd sess. (16 May 2006): S4577–S4579; Congressional Record, Senate, 109th Cong., 2nd sess. (20 September 2006): S9757–S9759.

122Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1993 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1994): 171–179.

123Bill Richardson, “Free Trade with Mexico, Sí!,” 22 March 1991, Washington Post: A25. See also Richardson, “Mexico—the Answer to Bush’s Domestic Troubles,” 12 December 1991, Wall Street Journal: A14; Congressional Record, House, 103rd Cong., 1st sess. (18 October 1993): 24868; Congressional Record, House, 103rd Cong., 1st sess. (1 November 1993): 26922–26923.

124For a detailed explanation of efforts to influence undecided Members, see Frederick W. Mayer, Interpreting NAFTA: The Science and Art of Political Analysis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998): 273–319; Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1993: 171–179.

125Congressional Record, House, 103rd Cong., 1st sess. (17 November 1993): 29949.