Immigration still on table, Tipton says
Though Republicans in the U.S. House balked on the idea of granting amnesty to people living illegally in the United States, there is still support for changes to the nation’s immigration system, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.
Congress could move ahead on a guest-worker program that could serve farmers, ranchers and the construction and hospitality industries, said Tipton, whose 3rd Congressional District includes most of the Western Slope and much of southern Colorado.
Those industries need a viable guest-worker program, Tipton said, noting that he hopes to see a program in which people can enter the United States with appropriate documentation.
With such a system, “if you don’t have credentials, then nobody’s going to hire you,” Tipton said.
“Those are the steps that I hope we’ll continue to push forward on.”
Tipton was unable to attend a Republican conference retreat in which House Speaker John Boehner’s call for amnesty without citizenship was rebuffed.
Tipton returned to Washington. D.C., after dealing with a death in the family, but said he had voiced his doubts about backing amnesty to Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
The Senate has passed an immigration measure that had won praise in western Colorado agricultural circles for its provisions allowing temporary workers, but it also contained a pathway to citizenship.
“I think a real concern is that there was one seat at the table that was unoccupied,” Tipton said of the immigration debate. “Nobody was speaking up for the people who could say ‘I’m following the rules’” for legal immigration.
Republicans also voiced distrust of promises that the Obama administration would adequately enforce border-control provisions of the Senate measure, Tipton said.