Unlike Senator Craig, Senator Crapo has heard the message. This email from him says it all:
Rarely does an issue evoke more interest from so many Idahoans and people across the nation than the issue of immigration reform and border security. Like my colleagues, I have received thousands of calls, letters, and emails on this issue, and I value the input from all viewpoints.
Substantial progress has been made in the negotiations to craft legislation that provides an effective national response to the issue of immigration reform. The system we have needs to be fixed, and I was encouraged by initial reports of the border security and immigration reform agreement (announced late last week) that includes a number of positive steps.
However, the proposed solution is flawed. The proposal does not apply some of the potential solutions in the plan to the millions of people who have entered the country illegally. Rather than creating an opportunity for those who have entered this country to participate in a provisional temporary guest worker program, the legislation would create a separate category providing permanent legal residency for the millions of individuals who have entered the country illegally. I continue to believe a person should not gain an advantage or benefit toward citizenship or legal permanent resident status as a result of illegal entry into the U.S. This only encourages further illegal immigration.
Until this issue is properly addressed, this proposal should not be moved through the Senate. Having so little time to review the legislation before voting this evening and with considerable concerns with what I have reviewed, I could not vote in support of proceeding to debate this legislation this week.
I remain committed to finding a solution to this issue - a solution that commits the necessary resources to securing the borders, does not reward illegal entry, provides for an efficient and workable guest worker program, and assures that American citizens have the first right to access available jobs.