Illegal Immigration

The U.S. immigration system is broken. There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. It is vital that Congress take action to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration. The status quo is unacceptable and I share many of your frustrations with this issue.

First, I am wholeheartedly against amnesty. I believe it is inherently unfair to give legal status to those whose first actions were to break our laws. Below are some of the initiatives I support to deter illegal immigration, increase interior enforcement and keep our border secure:

  • The Secure Fence Act (Public Law 109-367). Mandated the Department of Homeland Security to build 700 miles of fence on the southern border.
  • The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164). Makes employment verification mandatory for all employers in the U.S.
  • The SAVE Act (H.R. 2000). Fortifies border protection, requires mandatory employment verification, and increases interior enforcement.
  • Citizenship Reform (H.R. 140). Denies citizenship to an individual born in the U.S. if both parents are illegal immigrants or do not reside in the U.S legally.
  • Unlawful Border Entry Prevention Act (H.R. 1091). Provides for additional double-layer fencing along the southern border.
  • English Only (H.R. 997). Declares English the official language of the United States.
  • The Nuclear Family Priority Act (H.R. 692). Ends chain migration.
  • The Clear Act (H.R. 100). Provides that local law enforcement have the authority to investigate, apprehend and transfer illegal immigrants to federal officials for deportation.
  • Secure the Capitol Act (H.R. 280). Requires all companies competing for or currently holding a government contract for work within the Capitol Complex to utilize E-Verify.
  • No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants (H.R. 787). Prohibits illegal immigrants from collecting Social Security from illegal work.
  • No government-funded health benefits for illegal immigrants (H.R. 1822). Requires individuals to show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal status to participate in new health care law.
  • I am a member of the Reclaim American Jobs Congressional Caucus and the Immigration Reform Caucus.

You may also be interested to know that in 1996 I created the E-Verify program, the only tool available for employers to voluntarily check the legal work status of newly hired employees. I have worked steadily over the years to expand E-Verify and make it mandatory. With Republicans in control of the House this Congress, it may be our best chance to finally make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in the U.S. That is why, along with Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) and others, I have carefully crafted and introduced the "Legal Workforce Act," (H.R. 2885) which would make E-Verify mandatory. On June 15, 2011, I testified in support of the bill before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

More on Illegal Immigration

December 17, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) announced today that he secured a number of local priorities in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations agreement that will fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Rep. Calvert serves as the top Republican on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

May 9, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to reports that the Trump Administration may make the mandatory use of E-Verify part of its immigration reform proposal to Congress:

February 14, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement regarding the Conference Report to provide funds for the remaining appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019:

February 5, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement on the State of the Union Address:


“There’s no doubt that we live in a polarized political environment right now, but if you stop and focus on the actual policies the President is outlining you will see that these are generally common-sense ideas that have broad support in our country. I believe we can accomplish tremendous things if we put politics aside and just focus on what’s best for American families."



January 10, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) reintroduced legislation aimed at preventing criminal illegal immigrants from being released back in our communities.   The Help Ensure Legal Detainers (HELD) Act, H.R. 438, would require state and localities to adhere to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.


January 4, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) introduced the Legal Workforce Act, H.R. 250, which preserves jobs for citizens and legal workers by requiring U.S. employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system.  


January 3, 2019 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted against legislation put on the House floor by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that fails to address our crisis at the southern border and fails to move us closer to ending the partial government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has alreadyannounced the Senate would not take up the bill.


Rep. Calvert issued the following statement following the vote:


July 18, 2018 Press Release
Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted along with a majority (244 to 35, 133 Present) of the House of Representatives in support of House Resolution 990, supporting the officers and personnel who carry out the important mission of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
June 20, 2018 Press Release

Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement on the executive order signed today regarding the separation of families detained illegally crossing our border:


“Like most Americans, I do not want to see children unnecessarily separated from their families. Over the past few days, my colleagues and I in the House have been working on legislation to address the issue and I welcome today’s executive order to allow families to remain together in custody while their case is adjudicated.


March 6, 2018 Press Release

Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) issued the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging the sanctuary state policies enacted by the California legislature and Governor Jerry Brown: