Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, according to a recent Salt Lake Tribune article, holds the following position on the Gang of Eight amnesty bill:
"Sen. Orrin Hatch says now is the time to reform the immigration system for the economy, for his Mormon faith and for the people here illegally."
Hatch is not yet ready to endorse the Gang of Eight bill, but is planning to make some "tweaks" to it.
While amnesty clearly would benefit illegal aliens, Hatch's support for immigration reform for the "economy" and for his "Mormon faith" are especially curious.
Since Hatch sees his Mormon faith as central, it would seem a foregone conclusion that he had discussed it with LDS leaders. But, we have this astonishing admission:
Is Hatch saying that he should subordinate his position to whatever he thinks the LDS Church's view is?
Most Utahns would find that problematic - especially non-LDS citizens. The LDS position, as that of any large and important institution in the state, ought to be carefully considered as part of a larger social dialogue.
However, it is doubtful that Hatch is merely adopting what he claims is the LDS position.
Why then is Hatch bringing his "Mormon faith" into the discussion?
This brings us to the economy. The Tribune article also cites Arturo Morales-Llan, a voice for immigration sanity:
"He [Morales-Llan] said in a rough economy Washington should be looking out for U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants, and he said the nation should not take actions to legalize anyone until the border is locked down and employers are checking the immigration status of each worker."
Is Hatch's appeal to his "Mormon faith" meant to divert attention and criticism away from what the Tribune calls Hatch's "work on business-friendly portions" of the Gang of Eight monstrosity?
Morales-Llan is right. Washington should be "looking out for U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants."
Amnesty and other components of this bill do not do this.
Another odd issue presents itself in this article:
"He [Hatch] believes some of the opponents in his party and some of the supporters among Democrats are motivated by electoral politics. Obama received 71 percent of the Latino vote in 2012 and many expect newly minted citizens to follow a similar pattern."
What is Hatch's response to the fact that most amnestied Latinos will ultimately vote Democratic? Hatch says:
"There’s no doubt most of them will," Hatch said "Republicans have a job ahead of us to try to win them over, but I think we are up to the challenge."
Hatch and other Republicans seem to be following an electoral suicide pact to curry the favor of the cheap-labor interests influencing the Gang of Eight bill: amnesty now - figure out how to make them Republicans later and hope the Republican Party is not destroyed in the process.
If Hatch and others who support the Gang of Eight bill are truly serving the national interest, and not the more narrow interests of the cheap-labor lobby and others, they would reject the bill.