Tags: lee | immigration | bill | house

Sen. Mike Lee: Immigration Bill 'Dead on Arrival' in House

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 06:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The U.S. Senate on Thursday gave approval to a 1,200-page bill reforming the nation's immigration laws — but in no way will it pass in the House as it now reads, Sen. Mike Lee says.

"It will be, essentially, dead on arrival. The House of Representatives has made clear that they want to do this the right way, which is through a step-by-step approach," Lee, a Utah Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show on Newmax TV.

Story continues below.

The bill creates a new path to citizenship undocumented immigrants residents as well as beefing up security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border security is most important in any bill that becomes law, said Lee, who is on the Energy and Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, and Joint Economic Committees.

"We need a border security bill. We need a bill dealing with visa modernization to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century," he said.

"We've been mired in old, outdated laws that don’t really fit the needs of our economy very well. We need to update these things and make sure that we fix the underlying problem of illegal immigration."

The bill, just passed by the Senate, basically gets it backwards, Lee believes.

"What they're trying to do here … is to start at the front end with a pathway to citizenship for those who have broken our laws," he said.

"What this bill is going to do is grant amnesty to 11 million people, perhaps more, and it's going to make promises about visa modernization and border security.

"Those things will be accomplished, if at all, only many years after we've already put 11 million people on a pathway to citizenship that's virtually certain."

Lee is also unimpressed by the eleventh-hour tweaking of the bill that passed, which increased it by a whopping 200 pages.

"They took a 1,000 page bill, which was complex enough in and of itself, and, over the last weekend, they substituted it for a significantly different 1,200 page bill," he complained.

"Monday, they came back and immediately demanded on a vote for this 1,200 page bill that very few senators had read and even fewer could claim fully to understand. The process behind this bill gives me additional reasons to oppose it."

Lee is author of the new book “Why John Roberts Was Wrong About HealthCare," about the Supreme Court judge's surprise vote that saved Obamacare.

"One of the reasons why I wrote [it] … was to point out that we just made government a lot more powerful," Lee said.

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