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Business & Economy

Senator Hatch Says Immigration Bill Could be Improved

Andrea Smardon

Senator Orrin Hatch spoke about immigration reform in Salt Lake City Wednesday at a Zions Bank client event. He praised the 844-page comprehensive legislation put forward by the group of Senators known as the Gang of 8, but stopped short of supporting it. 

Hatch says the proposed immigration legislation would substantially improve border security and allow agricultural workers the ability to gain legal status. He says it’s crucial to pass an immigration bill, but he says it must be done right, and there is still time to improve it. Hatch wants to make it easier for employers to hire foreign-born, high-skilled workers, as he proposed in his I-Squared Act. 

“I’d like the I-squared bill put in there because it’s well thought out,” Hatch says. “It’s heavily supported by virtually everybody in the high tech community and the educational community. Frankly, it’s a bill that will bring a lot of people on board. If we’re going to support this bill, I’d like to bring a lot of people with me.”

Hatch says the only way immigration will be reformed under this Congress, is through bipartisan support of comprehensive legislation. Utah's Junior Senator Mike Lee does not support a comprehensive bill, and opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin mark-up of the legislation on May 9th.

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