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Dem Sen. Bob Casey slammed by GOP for shifting immigration stances: ‘Complicit in the crisis’

Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey slammed the GOP for playing politics over immigration but has a history of voting against stricter immigration policies during non-election years.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Sen. Bob Casey slammed Republicans for not supporting a controversial Senate immigration bill earlier this month prompting criticisms from Republicans, who say he pushed certain immigration fixes during election years and voted against them in off years – a characterization Casey’s office disputes. 

“Now that Bob Casey is in the race of his life, he’s hoping Pennsylvanians will forget he opposed building a border wall and even supported mass amnesty and taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants,” Phillip Letsou, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told Fox News Digital 

“Casey will say anything for power, even if that means lying to Pennsylvanians.”


“Today we had the opportunity to pass the strongest border security bill in decades, and Senate Republicans walked away,” Casey said in a press release last week, accusing Republicans of playing politics on the failed Senate immigration bill. 

“After insisting that border security was such an emergency that it needed to be addressed immediately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are now brazenly admitting that this issue can wait until after the November elections. Everyone knows the reason for this insult to the American people is that Senate Republicans are genuflecting to their presidential candidate because he’d rather campaign on this crisis than fix it.”

Since taking office in 2006, Casey has voted several times against border security measures during years he was not running for re-election while calling for stronger border security in years when his name was on the ballot. 

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This year, Casey has supported drug detection at the border and introduced legislation in January “aimed at fortifying security along the southwest border.” However, Casey voted twice in opposition to drug detection at the border in 2021 and 2022. Both years, Casey was not running for re-election.

Former Pennsylvania Senate candidate, Sean Parnell, who is supporting David McCormick’s campaign, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to say Casey “voted against an amendment in 2021 to prevent illegals who have been charged with a crime from being granted amnesty.”

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When Casey was running for Senate in 2006, he campaigned against amnesty, saying it was a “big lie” for his Republican opponent Sen. Rick Santorum to say he supports it. 

“Bob Casey opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants,” a Casey campaign ad said in 2006.

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Casey pledged to “stand up” for American workers by opposing amnesty and criticized Santorum for not being strong enough on immigration. 

Years later, when he was not running for Senate in 2007 and 2013, Casey supported legislation that included a pathway to citizenship, which his critics called a de facto amnesty.

Casey voted for a motion in 2007 to invoke cloture, which limits debate, on the 2007 immigration reform bill that included a pathway to citizenship and voted multiple times in June of that year to advance immigration reform.

A month earlier, in May 2007, Casey voted against an amendment that would have removed a pathway to citizenship from the immigration reform act. 

When the immigration compromise failed in Congress, Casey said in a press release that Congress had “buried its head in the sand.”

Six years later, when a comprehensive immigration reform bill was on the table in 2013 and Casey was not up for re-election, the Pennsylvania Democrat voted for the package that included an incremental path to citizenship.

Casey defended that vote by pointing to its many strong security measures, including increasing the number of border patrol agents.

The Casey campaign told Fox News Digital this week that the senator “supports pairing pathways to citizenship measures with border security.”

Casey supported a fence at the southern border when he ran for Senate in 2006, saying that it was necessary at “strategic” points. Securing the border was something he mentioned several times, including in May 2006, when he said, “Congress must enforce existing laws and secure the borders before putting illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.”

Two years later, when Casey was not up for re-election, Casey opposed a border fence when he voted in March 2008 against an amendment that would have added a border fence and deployed 6,400 National Guardsman to the border.

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In July 2009, Casey was not up for re-election and voted against an amendment that would have required a border fence to be put up before the end of 2010.

Casey voted two more times, in 2010 and 2013, while not up for re-election, against amendments that would have required the completion of a border fence.

Casey supported penalties for companies that hired illegal immigrants while running for Senate in 2006, supporting the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act that year while touting the way the legislation would crack down against hiring illegal immigrants.

Casey said that even though the bill wasn’t perfect, he supported a proposal in the bill that would have doubled fines for employers that hire illegal immigrants, add immigration hiring inspectors and implement an electronic verification system.

Casey even criticized Santorum for not doing enough to punish companies that hired illegal immigrants and said he “talks a good game about [border security]” but “voted against it seven times.”

Several times on the campaign trail, Casey called for stricter punishments against companies that hire illegal immigrants and argued Santorum was soft on that issue.

“I support tough penalties for corporations that hire illegal immigrants. My opponent voted against tougher penalties for those corporations,” Casey said at the time.

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During a 2006 debate with Santorum, Casey slammed the Republican for voting “against holding employers accountable” with an employer verification system.

Three years later, when Casey was not on the ballot in 2009, he voted to kill amendments that would have strengthened e-verify screening.

Casey backed a motion by fellow Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer to table a Republican amendment in 2009 that would have forced federal agencies to ensure that government contractors check the citizenship status of employees.

Also in 2009, Casey voted  “Yea” on a vote to table an amendment that would have extended e-verify.

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In 2006, Casey was running for Senate, and he vocally opposed the idea of federal benefits for illegal immigrants.

“I don’t, and no one does,” Casey said about the “assertion” from Santorum that he supported Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants.

Over the next decade, Casey voted for federal benefits to go to illegal immigrants multiple times in years that he was not running for re-election, including voting against an amendment requiring individuals to sign sworn statements affirming their citizenship before receiving Obamacare health care benefits.

Casey was not running for Congress in 2015 when he voted against cloture on a bill that would prohibit federal benefits for illegal immigrants and ended up voting against cloture a total of four times on Homeland Security funding that would have prevented federal benefits to illegal immigrants.

“Bob Casey’s complicit in this crisis,” Casey’s Republican challenger, David McCormick, told Fox News Digital. “He’s had 18 years in the Senate to take decisive action and help secure the border.”

“Instead, he’s spent his time enabling weak policies that have made Pennsylvanians less safe and hurt our economy. Our commonwealth deserves a leader who will make shutting down the border to illegal immigration his top priority.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Maddy McDaniel, communications director for Bob Casey for Senate, said, “Casey has a long record of working to strengthen border security and passing bipartisan legislation to combat fentanyl smuggling across the border.

“David McCormick refused to support a bipartisan bill that was called the ‘toughest border and immigration law in modern history,’ was supported by border patrol and would have cracked down on fentanyl trafficking – that’s why Pennsylvanians know McCormick can’t be trusted.”

The campaign pointed to several examples of Casey “working across the aisle to strengthen border security” including the INTERDICT Act and STOP Act in 2017 that provided funding for drug screening and tracking fentanyl shipments from China via the postal service.

The campaign also pointed out that previous votes Casey took on immigration were also supported by some Republicans.

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