SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In a story April 22 about the reaction by Utah senators to the comprehensive immigration bill introduced in Congress, The Associated Press misstated Sen. Mike Lee's position on the immigration bill. Lee says if border security was the priority he might consider supporting a path to citizenship, not a guest worker component.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Utah senators mixed attitude to immigration bill
Utah Sens. Hatch, Lee take different approach to comprehensive immigration bill
By MICHELLE L. PRICE
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's two Republican senators have had mixed reactions to the comprehensive immigration bill introduced last week in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Orrin Hatch helped hammer out an agreement for agriculture workers under the measure and says he wants to support the measure but has some concerns.
But Sen. Mike Lee says he can't support the legislation as long as it includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
A U.S. Senate committee in the nation's capital on Monday heard a second day of testimony on the measure that seeks to secure the border, provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally and allow tens of thousands of high- and low-skilled foreign workers into the U.S. on new visa programs.
Lee participated in early negotiations with the bipartisan working group that crafted the broad immigration proposal. But he ultimately walked away, saying he couldn't support a path to citizenship.
If border security was the priority, Lee said he might consider supporting a path to citizenship.
The immigration bill is also too broad, Lee said.
He instead argues the country's immigration system should be tackled with many targeted bills rather than one sweeping proposal.
"It's a complex puzzle with dozens of interconnected pieces. And just like the puzzles that we all put together as children, some of the pieces can't be incorporated until others are already in place," Lee said Friday according to a transcript of the first day of hearings on the measure.
The issues are too complex to be analyzed or discussed in one or two hearings, he said.
"The process of reform will have to be considered and implemented in stages of the course of many years," Lee said.
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