In response to the letter I posted previously, and also sent to a number of US political figureheads, I received the following response from US Senator (UT) Orrin Hatch:
June 21, 2007
Dear Mr. Crosthwait:
I appreciated reading your comments regarding our nation’s immigration system and the recent debate over comprehensive immigration reform. I welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the Senate recently considered a comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 1348) intended to address the many problems that plague our immigration system. The bill was debated in the Senate for two weeks and, on June 7, a motion to end debate on the bill was defeated, preventing a final vote from taking place. I agree with the bill’s proponents that we need a comprehensive approach to fix our immigration problems. However, I voted against the motion to end debate because I couldn’t support the bill as it was written and I did not want to let its sponsors force it through the Senate. It is anticipated that we will again take up this issue in the near future.
When it comes to our immigration policy, the status quo is completely unacceptable. Foremost, we simply must do more to secure our borders and develop capable and workable enforcement practices. I believe an approach that couples increased border security and more efficient workplace enforcement will help to stem the tide of illegal immigrants coming to the United States. This is a particular concern in Utah, especially in Southern Utah, which has become a focal point for various networks specializing in the trafficking and smuggling of illegal drugs and immigrants. I am working to direct more Federal government resources to addressing these problems.
In addition, I believe we must find a fair and lawful way to deal with those that are already in our country illegally. However, I will not support any proposal that I believe amounts to blanket amnesty for all illegal immigrants as that would be unfair to the thousands of people who have waited in line to enter the country through the proper channels. Also, a limited guest worker program must be created for our American – and specifically Utah – businesses in need of foreign workers. Finally, for any immigration system to work, we must distribute visas and green cards in a more fair and efficient way.
The current Senate bill would address a number of these issues. For example, it would impose a series of border security triggers that would have to be met before any new immigration programs could be implemented. This is intended to assure that our borders will be secure before we allow any guest workers to enter the country. In addition, the bill would create a more efficient system for employers to verify the immigration status of their employees. The bill would also impose a merit system and a more extensive criminal background check for those who apply for entry into the United States.
That being said, I continue to have a number of difficulties with this legislation. I am hopeful that, as the amendment process moves forward, we can work to improve the provisions of the bill in order to ensure we enact sensible changes to our immigration system. Rest assured that, as the Senate debates this legislation, I will remain committed to enacting substantive reforms that serve our nation’s interests and uphold the rule of law. I will certainly take your comments to heart as this process goes forward.
Thank you for writing.
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator
I'd like to publicly thank Senator Hatch for his timely response and for his thoughtful views on our current immigration laws.
DFOTW (maybe the year...)
Recently, Vice President Dick Cheyney declared that his office and staff are subject to jurisdiction only by the judicial house of the US government. This is absolutely contrary to his office, which is subject to jurisdiction of all houses of every branch of government. Mr. Cheney is setting himself up, apparently, to become the next president, nay, dicator. Alarmist view? Possibly. But if you can show me any other reason for someone is his position to make such a declaration I'd be more than happy to listen to your arguments.