Speaking to business leaders at a gathering sponsored by Zion’s Bank Senator Hatch says immigration reform must get done. He gave some support
for the so-called Gang of 8 immigration proposal but wants certain things included.
Hatch says the proposal has good ideas that could secure 90% of the nation's border.
“And that's pretty darn good,” he told reporters afterwards. “I don't know any nation in the world that can totally secure their borders.”
Securing the border is key for Republicans in Congress.
The Gang of 8 proposal calls for border security first before triggering other changes. Senator Hatch says that part of the proposal still needs work.
“Everybody knows there has to be more fencing, there has to be more high tech surveillance there,” he says.
Another part of the Gang of 8 bill that is catching attention is amnesty which leads to a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants. The senator isn't ready to sign off on that.
“It's a little premature right now,” he says. “I want to support it. We'll have to see how open they are to good ideas.”
Senator Hatch wants his I-Squared Act to be considered.
His version calls for loosening restrictions for visas especially highly skilled workers. But he also wants a sliding scale formula to determine visas based on need.
“We have to change this because we're becoming less competitive in this world and this is a way of getting us more competitive,” he says.
On May 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debating the Gang of 8 proposal.