Our View: House, don't botch immigration

Monday , July 01, 2013 - 8:20 AM

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Editorial Board

Now that the U.S. Senate is on track to pass a tough, fair comprehensive immigration reform bill, we have a message to members of the U.S. House — don’t foul it up!

Guided by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and supported by many Republicans, including Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and our own Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the immigration reform bill is a good one. It’s emphasis is on border security and making sure that the millions of illegal immigrants who are living here, obeying the law, raising families, and trying to work can do so legally. The values of this bill are similar to the Utah Compact.

The Senate bill has been crafted with an eye to meeting the concerns of those worried about border security. It doubles law enforcement and border fencing and ups the use of drones. It includes programs, such as E-Verify, to make sure that only persons who can legally do so work in the U.S. These provisions must occur before any immigrant receives a green card. The idea of citizenship for current illegals in the U.S. is close to a generation away.

And that’s the best part of the Senate immigration bill; it solves the problem of how to handle the millions of illegals who are here by providing them an opportunity to stay here and work legally. That is crucial to the success of any immigration bill. Illegals in the U.S. will have an opportunity to apply for a guest-worker program, but they will not have access to federal welfare programs, Social Security, or even Obamacare.

Some opponents are claiming that the bill offers amnesty. That’s a cynical misrepresentation, designed to make people think that mass citizenship of illegals will quickly result.

As mentioned, that’s not true, The bill merely allows a guest worker program, a sensible idea that most approve of, as well as long path to potential green card status and citizenship.

Activists will try very hard to disrupt immigration reform in the House. We urge House members to use their common sense and approve this tough, fair, conservative solution to our immigration problems.

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