|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Kentucky's 3rd district
January 3, 1971 - January 3, 1995
|Member of the Kentucky Senate|
Romano Louis Mazzoli
November 2, 1932
Romano Louis Mazzoli (born November 2, 1932) represented Kentucky's Third Congressional District (Louisville, Kentucky and other parts of Jefferson County, Kentucky) in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 through 1995 as a Democrat. He was the primary architect, with Senator Alan Simpson, of major immigration reform legislation.
Mazzoli was born in Louisville and is a 1950 graduate of St. Xavier High School, an Xaverian Brothers boys preparatory school. He won the 1950 Kentucky boys high school doubles tennis championship with fellow St. Xavier 1951 alumni George D. Koper. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1954 and from the University of Louisville law school, first in his class, in 1960. Mazzoli served in the Kentucky Senate from 1968 through 1970.
Mazzoli was Chairman of the House of Representatives' Immigration, International Law and Refugees Subcommittee for twelve years. He also served on the Small Business, Intelligence and District of Columbia Committees.
In 1981, Mazzoli, a pro-life Democrat, introduced, along with Illinois Republican Henry Hyde, the Human Life Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment which would ban all abortions by granting legal protection to all unborn children in the United States. Ultimately, the amendment failed to amass the 218 votes necessary to pass.
Mazzoli authored the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act, later known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and cosponsored it with Republican Senator Alan Simpson. The bill enacted the first U.S. laws to sanction employers who hired undocumented aliens; it also granted an amnesty for aliens already living and working in the United States. After five years of debate and compromise, the Simpson-Mazzoli Bill was ultimately signed into law on November 7, 1986.
Mazzoli did not run for reelection in 1994. Since leaving Congress, he has taught at Bellarmine University and was the Ralph S. Petrilli Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Louisville Law School for the Fall 1995 semester, returning later to the law school as faculty. In 2002, Mazzoli was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government in June 2004.
In September 2006, Simpson and Mazzoli co-authored an article that appeared in the Washington Post revisiting their 1986 immigration legislation in the current political climate.