U.S. House Republican leaders released their guidelines for a bi-partisan effort to overhaul the immigration system on Thursday. The Republican statement on standards for immigration reform call for a step-by-step approach and multiple little bills rather than one large piece of legislation few understand.
The statement says, "Our nation's immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington's failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security."
Former Utah Republican Chairman Stan Lockhart said he knows this all too well.
"So in Utah we've actually had our state legislature get involved in this issue because the federal government just showed so much inaction, and it's our experience that the current policies with the extreme difficulty to get a legal visa has created an environment of de-facto amnesty," Lockhart said.
The Republican statement outlines the approach to immigration reform in a multi-step process.
The statement says the US has used allowed extended-family members and "pure luck" to decide who is allowed into the country over employment-based immigration, and that the country is losing the talent of foreign nationals who graduate from U.S. Schools.
But not everyone agrees. Auxiliary bishop of Seattle Eusebio Elisondo, said he does not agree.
"We do not believe that we need to sacrifice our family-based immigration system. We can employ a viable employment and family-based system simultaneously," Elisondo said.