From ABC News:
"In early 2007 DeMint also fought for common-sense immigration reform by leading the effort to defeat the amnesty bill and calling on government to first secure our borders, enforce the laws already passed, and streamline the legal immigration system," reads his official Senate biography.
DeMint continued to advocate for tough immigration enforcement measures in the next Congress. In 2010, he attempted to pass an amendment that would have required the government to complete 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border within one year. During one such effort to attach the amendment to a separate piece of legislation, he compared illegal immigration to an oil leak.
"If any member of the Senate stood up today and said that we should not seal the oil leak in the Gulf until we have a comprehensive plan to clean it up, we would all say that that is absurd. Certainly we need to seal that leak as quickly as possible to minimize the cleanup later," he said. "But that is exactly the kind of logic that the president and my Democratic colleagues are using when it comes to immigration."
Pro-immigration reform advocates cheered DeMint's departure, since he played influential role in rallying conservative opposition to the last immigration overhaul. "The chances for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for 12 million undocumented people just went up," Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, told ABC/Univision. "It's good news for us.