While the Senate "did a pretty good job" on the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that it passed last month, the House's effort to address the complex issue individually "is a very hard approach," Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch tells Newsmax TV.
"They are coming to the conclusion that, at least, they should do the bill for students and young people," Hatch tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "And frankly, that's a big step right there."
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House Republicans have vowed to address the many issues facing immigration reform on an issue-by-issue basis. The Senate bill was passed in June on a 68-32 vote, and House Speaker John Boehner has vowed that the lower chamber would not take an "Obamacare-like" approach to immigration reform.
"But we're going to have to face the music and do a major immigration bill before it's all said and done," Hatch cautions. "And it will be in the best interest of our country to do so rather than keep this de facto amnesty going the way it is."
Besides addressing the issue of "Dreamers" — children of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were very young — any House legislation must tighten the H-1B Visa program for skilled workers, Hatch tells Newsmax.
"Why do we educate these people in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math — and they get master's degrees and Ph.D.'s, and then we push them overseas? We push them out of the country. They go into other countries and compete with us. It's just stupidity.
"We've got that in that bill and that's a very, very important part of the bill," he adds, referring to the Senate's legislation. "There are a lot of other good things in the bill. Could it be improved? Yes. Is it everything I want? No.
"I'm counting on the House to come up with a better approach and, hopefully, we get together at a conference and we'll solve these problems — but there are people in the House who are afraid of a conference. Why? They don't have to accept anything."
Editor's Note: See the full Newsmax interview with Orrin Hatch, and excerpts:
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