Last time I checked Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) aren't moderate squishes.
Is this bill perfect? No. But it realistically addresses the immigration challenges facing America today by delivering in each of the three critical areas of reform: better border security, increased internal enforcement, and visa reform. Without all three, reform is meaningless, because it will be incomplete and ineffective.
I'm very pleased that Idaho's growers are one step closer to being able to hire workers more efficiently, with confidence those workers are here legally. Without that ability, and without those workers, crops will rot in the field and American agriculture will look to outsourcing to foreign countries. I doubt Americans want to be dependent on foreign nations for food in the same way we are for oil. If it becomes law, this legislation will prevent that from happening.
As we move forward, I will encourage my fellow House and Senate negotiators to work together with American farmers and consumers in mind, and reach a compromise soon.
Today, the Senate passed a bill to strengthen our borders, reform guest-worker programs that benefit employers and our economy, and deter illegal activity. I believe more work needs to be done to improve the bill as Congress considers it further. However, this is a necessary first step to balancing our tradition as a nation of immigrants, but also a nation of laws.
I also suspect that Sen. McConnell (with California Gov. Pete Wilson in mind) isn't interested in watching the GOP become a minority party in the years ahead. That said, House Republicans are in a position to get tough border enforcement in the final conference bill and shouldn't let this opportunity pass them by.