First, let's secure the border. Let's set up a workable entry-exit system and create a reliable employment verification system that protects immigrants, citizens and businesses from bureaucratic mistakes. Then let's fix our legal immigration system to make sure we're letting in the immigrants our economy needs in numbers that make sense for our country.
Once these and other tasks — which are plenty big enough themselves — are completed to the American people's satisfaction, then we can address the needs of current undocumented workers with justice, compassion and sensitivity.
Since the beginning of this year, more than 40 immigration-related bills have been introduced in the House and Senate. By a rough count, I could support more than half of them, eight of which have Republican and Democrat cosponsors. We should not risk forward progress on these and other bipartisan reforms because we are unable to iron out each of the more contentious issues.
The "Gang of Eight" bill is not immigration reform. It is big government dysfunction. It is an immigration Obamacare. All advocates of true immigration reform — on the left and the right — should oppose it.
Mike Lee is U.S. senator from Utah and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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