On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill for the first time in quite a while - a sweeping immigration bill - in a vote of 68 to 32. Wyoming senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi were two of the "nay" votes and following the vote they issued a joint statement explaining why.
Senator Enzi says everyone can agree the immigration system needs to be fixed, but the bill that was passed will hurt legal job seekers by opening gates to employment for those who came here illegally. He says a strong employment verification system and removing the incentive for people to come to the country illegally would do more to help.
Senator Barrasso says throughout the month he's been traveling Wyoming and talking with citizens about immigration. He says like most people in Wyoming, he says the bill won't fix the broken immigration system. As it stands, he says the bill fails to secure our border and also provides very expensive benefits to people here illegally.
Enzi says in Wyoming there is a seasonal shortage of certain types of guest workers - but that topic hindered the immigration bill the last go-round.
Enzi closed their joint statement by saying their constituents didn’t send them to Washington to get something done quickly, they were sent to get it right. The immigration bill allows a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented persons a chance to live legally in the United States and to eventually become U.S. citizens.