Senate votes 68-32 to pass immigration bill; Hatch and Lee split on the issue

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  • utah1966 broomfield, CO
    June 28, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    This bill doesn't enforce anything, period. It is all PROMISES. Any adult who was living since 1986 should realize, and remmeber that there has been NO enforcement of promises made then! Senator Kennedy said it would be the last amnesty! Hah! Senator Hatch has broken his word. Where are there Senators with integrity? Senator Lee did the honest and wise thing in voting NO! Why would any preson, especially Hatch and McCain, who were in the Senate in 1986 be so gullible as to vote for "promises". S.744 makes amnesty FIRST, with NO assurances of BORDER SECURITY. It's left up to Napolitano, and she says the border is already secure!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT makes anyone think SHE will change that opinion? Maybe if a horde of illegals came across and entered her domain.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    June 28, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    While I support the pathway to citizenship, I have grave concerns about the lessening of family reunification as the number one goal of immigration legislation. I also have reservations about the guest worker program. I hope they implement it to be friendly to whole families coming here, but it is often a system of needlessly separating families.

    That said, this is probably the only reform we will get, so it is worthwhile. Those who oppose "amnesty" should be glad the bill makes it so someone can not get regular immigrant status for 10 years. It is actually unclear that many will be able to meet the very low allowed amount of unemployed time. The requirement of English language proficiency should also satisfy those who generally oppose "amnesty".

    This is a compromise that all should be able to live with. I am glad several Republicans, including Flake and Hatch, voted for the reform. I am surprised no Democrats voted against it as too harsh. The system needs reform, and we need to deal in reality.

    I have reservations against the law, but it is on the whole a good one.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    June 28, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    Shame on Hatch. He seems to have forgotten who he is working for. The people. As I understand it, there was overwhelming opposition to an amnesty bill, but he ignored us because he is "wise enough to know better and do what is best". Ha! Too bad he will never stand for re-election. Also, too bad Utah has no recall law. I would start a petition to recall him.

    June 28, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    @Beaver Nation - you brought up race, not me. Whether it's a single word or not, it's offensive and false. Racism simply doesn't need to be raised if you have valid ideas, since actual racists have been properly outcast to the fringes. Nobody takes them seriously.

    Your argument about possible district gerrymandering perfect. Guess what - if minorities voted for Republicans, they wouldn't try to restructure the district! It has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with partisanship and control. You rush right out to the racism card, apparently without considering that Republicans want to move a Republican or conservative agenda, and try to manipulate the system to garner votes - just like Democrats. Doesn't make it right, but it doesn't make it racist either. If the "non-minorities" voted Republican, do you think for a minute Republicans would worry about gerrymandering the district? The racism card is so intellectually shallow, if not downright dishonest. BTW, so is gerrymandering, in my opinion.

    I doubt you can one of the "few" racists you think are getting so much attention. I can name intellectually shallow race-baiters all day.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 28, 2013 1:01 p.m.


    I agree on that and similar points. Turning to some different aspects of the illegal alien issue, aliens, legal or not, should not be given government benefits, given advantages over legal citizens or put in front of those who legally immigrated. I believe that there needs to be consequences whenever anyone breaks the law. At the same time, I disagree with many in the extreme right about the severity of the offense and lack of adequate compassion in the consequences, as well as what we can realistically afford to do about the issue.

    People who want to enter the United States, obey the laws and gain citizenship in order to better their lot in life should not be restricted from doing so. There should be no quotas on immigration for those willing to seek citizenship. If we got rid of quotas, government benefits and roadblocks to legal citizenship, provided reasonable consequences and compassionate paths forward to otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants already here and held businesses responsible when they hire illegal immigrants or did their hiring under-the-table, many problems currently associated with illegal immigration would diminish greatly.

  • lightdee Highland, UT
    June 28, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    There's a BIG issue here nobody seems to be talking about. It's the massive increase in HB-1 visas the bill adds. This is a big problem for tech workers and our collective future. Tech businesses want a bunch of cheap engineers, programmers, etc. who are beholden to those individual companies. Those people come over from India & China, depress wages for tech workers and then they go back a few years later, because they are not citizens & they got the experience they need. Then they improve the tech industries in their homelands and leave the US worse off. Why? Because of the depressed salaries and non-level playing field, US college students don't go into those fields and we are left with a weaker workforce in the long run. This cycle was especially bad in the late 90's and early 2000's. The HB-1 program is short-term gain for tech companies but longer term it's bad for the US and our own engineers and programmers. We need to improve our own tech workforce through education and training and not try to go on-the-cheap by importing Chinese and Indian temps.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 28, 2013 10:09 a.m.


    You concentrate on one word you find objectionable and ignore the rest. Since you insist on discussing it, the evidence I cite for racism being alive and well is that as soon as the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas planned to change voting districts to highly favor non-minorities, making one district made up of mostly minorities ridiculously large and many times larger than districts largely populated by caucasians, forcing the Supreme Court to vacate a key part of its previous decision.

    As for the rest of your response, unfortunately, you are one of those who take a single word out of context,ignore the rest of what is being said and make unfounded accusations in order to draw attention from the real intent. To clarify, I do not consider the vast majority of those with whom I disagree to be acting out of sinister reasons, but to be acting out of pure philosophical differences, nor do I consider all on the far right or far left to be sinister. However, the few that do are the ones who get the majority of the attention.

    June 28, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    @Beaver Native - I don't think there are enough politically active people who are motivated by race to even mention it. I think there are far, far, more race baiters than actual racists, and to me that's equally despicable. It's a highly intellectually shallow argument used by people who think their own beliefs are so perfectly logical and flawless that anyone with a different opinion must be opposing for some sinister reason.

    And, since racism is now practically the equivalent of murder, the charge is used as a way for someone with no ideas left to just stop any further debate of legitimate philosophical differences. The faster one goes to the racism accusation, the shallower the intellect, and some people get there pretty quickly. How do you debate someone who's so void of thinking capacity?

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    June 27, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    It is very disappointing that Senator Hatch would side with those supporting amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Senator Lee understood clearly that this bill would not secure the borders and would be a set back for millions of unemployed Americans, so he properly voted against it. Dan Liljenquist would have also voted like Senator Lee if he had been elected. Too bad for Utah and the country.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 27, 2013 11:03 p.m.


    I didn't say or imply that all or even most on the far right are racists; I only believe that too many are motivated by racism to one degree or another, even if they don't admit it, even to themselves. I believe that the majority of Republicans are acting out of honest philosophical differences, just as most Democrats are acting out of honest philosophical differences. I believe that the majority of both parties are acting on what they believe to be true. It is those who twist the facts on both sides of the line that are the ones to be feared. In my opinion, that clearly includes Reid, President Obama and Pelosi. I believe that Senator Lee and many in his class are acting out of honest philosophical differences. It's the few extremists who twist the facts and don't even try to look at reality, however, that seem to be getting the majority of the attention. As far as idealogy is concerned, idealogical differences are fine, so long as honesty and what realistically can be done are kept in perspective.

    June 27, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    @NeilT and Brave Native - I find the charge of racism to be so totally intellectually vapid that I wonder if it's not simple intellectual dishonesty. Certainly it's intellectually shallow if you really believe it. Why do you think the same people had the same vehemence for Bill Clinton, and for Nancy Pelosi? Why do you think the far right faction loves Herman Cain, Mia Love, and Elbert Guillory, a black Louisiana state legislator who recently switched parties to become Republican?

    Here's a clue - it has EVERYTHING to do with party and/or ideology, and NOTHING to do with race. Make some effort to understand passionate differences in governing philosophy, and you'll see the entire reason the far right dislikes President Obama. Do you really think they would like Nancy Pelosi one bit better as president? Oh yeah - then it would be because they're sexist. You know, because Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman probably aren't women, just like Herman Cain and Mia Love probably aren't really black since they're political darlings of the far right.

    I don't understand why people like you can't fathom that others actually have honest philosophical differences.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    June 27, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    Beaver Native. I concur with your comments. The far right is loosing political influence and they know it. Let's do the right thing and make sure Mike Lee is a one term Senator. I suspect there are already several prominent Republicans already preparing to challenge him. If the house refuses to pass comprehensive immigration reform they will live to regret it.

  • SLars Provo, UT
    June 27, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    A company has 100 employees, and decide they need 5 more. . If they choose to hire five U.S. citizens or if they choose to hire five legal permanent residents--five legal immigrants--they face a penalty of $25,000 for doing so--$5,000 apiece right off his bottom line to the IRS. In contrast, if they decide instead to hire five amnestied individuals, who came here illegally among those 11 million who are here illegally but granted RPI legalization under the Gang of 8 bill, the company pays a penalty of zero dollars.

    In this instance, who is the company going to hire? This bill creates an enormous incentive to hire those here illegally, and at the same time it does it by creating a statutory penalty for hiring U.S. citizens or legal immigrants.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    June 27, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    when are all you Democrats and Republicans going to stand on principle, rather than democratic 'compromise"? Love of country means standing up for the Constitution and liberty, rather than 'ideology'. If you know something is wrong and fail to correct it, you are thinking of yourself! If anybody here thinks that this bill is going to 'fix' the problem, it won't!

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 27, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    Dear Sen. Hatch, You are the man I always knew you were and today you have proved it. Do you remember these words? "We can no longer grant amnesty. I fought against the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill because they granted amnesty to 3 million people. They should have to get in line like anybody else if they want to come into this country and do it legally." If your memory is as bad as your word these are your words when you were begging us for our votes. Shame Shame to you! You make me embarrassed to admit I ever voted for you.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    Wanna know the difference between Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid?

    NOTHING....they are both LIBERALS!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 27, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    Senator Hatch voted for the welfare of the United States. Lee didn't. Business as usual.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 27, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    If the bill is 1200 pages long, why are you all commenting on its way or the other? If Senator Hatch hasn't read it, I doubt whether any of us have read it.

    If it truly provides a path to legal status for folks that have been living and working here with their families, I welcome it. If it ensures we secure the border, I would vote for it. The fact it angers folks on both sides of the aisle is probably a good thing.

  • Beaver Native Garland, UT
    June 27, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Thanks to Senator Hatch for compromising and doing what's best for the country. As a staunch Republican, I worry about the lack of compassion and rational, realistic solutions espoused by the far right. While they have their place in balancing things out, I fear them almost as much as I fear the principles espoused by Democrats. The far right espouses fiscal conservity but turns around and proposes solutions that the country can ill afford. Not only can we not afford to hunt all illegal aliens down and export them, but it lacks compassion for those who have committed the equivalent of a minor misdemeanor in an effort to provide for their family.

    The vast majority of problems caused by illegal alien activity would be solved with a more compassionate and realistic approach. I fear that the hysteria that many members of the far right exhibit is the result of racial prejudice against the hispanic, rather than a realistic look at the facts and feasibility of implementing solutions. I have come to realize that racism is far from dead in the United States and the Republican party has been overly-influenced by a minority of its members.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 27, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    this photo of McCain slapping hands with Schumer speaks thousands....This is the reason that Bob Bennett was thrown out of the Senate ...much too cozy with the good ole boys club of the far left demo-rats. Schumer is one of the worst. McCain might as well be a demo-rat since he loves to bash Rand Paul and Mike Lee and loves to put his arm around his good buddie chuckie Schumer. Hopefully the senate will have another wave of conservatives wash out the purple republicans like McCain in 2014. Unfortunately McCain has 4 more years I believe.

  • lehiaggie Lehi, UT
    June 27, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    I applaud Senator Hatch. Though he doesn't feel the bill is perfect, it is enormous progress. Senator Lee, and other conservatives, sit in the wings wanting a perfect bill and as a result nothing gets done.

    This country was built on compromise. Hatch is old enough and wise enough to realize it.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    June 27, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    Good for you Senator Hatch.

    The status quo is bad for everyone and there will never be a perfect bill. I applaud those who have the courage to tackle this issue.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    I'm sure the House has enough votes to get it through... if Boehner brings it up. I have no idea what he'll do (he does have the option of trying to pass a much more conservative bill though he'd lose a ton of democratic votes and might not have enough of his own to get it through). In the end the conference committee would decide the final parameters of the bill.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    June 27, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Shame on Hatch (again). He voted for this 1200 page law without reading it! It reportedly is full of pork, special favors, perks, and non-immigration benefits sneaked into the it does not secure the border! We the People continue to grow angry as politicians refuse to vote with the people and make deals with their cronies. Shameful. I saw him in our ward before the election....I hope he returns again because I am going to give him a piece of my mind.

  • calcu_lus tucson, az
    June 27, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Senator Hatch did the same thing with his TARP vote five years ago. He was against it until he voted for it. He always supports his mainstream (almost liberal) GOP buddies like McCain and Graham instead of supporting principles. Conservative Utahns are easily fooled because he campaigns like he is a tea partier. I emailed him and said I wouldn't vote for him ever after his flip flop on TARP and nothing has changed.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 27, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    Much ado about nothing...

    This bill has absolutely NO CHANCE of EVER being brought before the House.

    The Senate refuses to do the same thing on bills coming from the House...

    The efficacy of a bill notwithstanding...

    Until we elect people (not R's or D's or I's) but people who actually SERVE the voters instead of padding their net worth, we are stuck (I could have used a different word but the moderator would never have accepted it).

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    June 27, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    Since the federal government has for decades failed so miserably at securing our southern border, it's hard to understand why this bill grants provisional legal status to undocumented illegals. With that sorry record, the government needs a strong incentive to make sure their intent of a secure border actually takes place before any illegal aliens are given any kind of legal status... provisional or otherwise.

    And even at that, it's still hard to understand why we should be rewarding illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship... especially after finding out the net cost to American taxpayers will be in the trillions of dollars.
    And since when should any illegal activity ever be rewarded with anything positive? I thought the governments job is to find and punish people who break the law.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    June 27, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    If 40,000 people broke into a stock holders meeting for Microsoft and sat there for 20 years in clear violation of the law, why would that company or any other company give them the right to vote?

    Beyond ridiculous.

    Democrats spy on the American people in the name of security and yet refuse to enforce the boarder. The only think they are concerned with is winning the next election.

    This bill bars illegal aliens from Obama-Care but allows they to work here legally. Employers can save about $3,000 a year by hiring illegal aliens rather than our own high school dropouts. I guess the Democrats call this "Social Justice".

    Hatch and McCain supposedly have not problem with that.

    Vote Republicrat.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2013 11:55 a.m.

    Hey Hatch...why are you voting with RINO McCain, Reid, and other left wing hacks, while the true conservatives are voting NO! There is no Border Security and nothing in this bill that stops another surge of 20 million illegals crossing the border in the next five yrs creating the same problem you are trying to solve today! If you vote with are a true RINO!