Rep. Bishop talks immigration and public lands

Utah lawsuits contend counties should have transportation rights-of-way on roads on federal land in the state, even if – like this spot in Kane County – they don't look much like roads.

Congressman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said he believes an immigration bill will be coming before congress but probably not before the first of the year. On <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2013_11_07_324_16079_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>KVNU’s For the People program Wednesday</a>, Bishop said he does not go along with the Senate bill and believes it is full of flaws.

“I actually like the House approach which is to deal with the border security first,” Bishop said. “A bill has come out of the Judiciary Committee, which I like (it has a lot of my language in it).

“If you can actually look people in the face and say, ‘the border will be secure now, not just for immigration but from the drug cartels and the human trafficking.’ Do that and then move on to the visa and the caps that, once again, I don’t think were well thought out in the Senate version.”

Bishop said the sticking point is going to be a path to citizenship and there is a lot of disagreement on that issue.

The work Bishop is doing does not often grab headlines but the Republican who serves on the Military and Public Land committees said the work is more important than most people realize. 

“I am working on some kind of initiative for Eastern Utah, trying to see if we can bring some finality to the debate over public lands,” Bishop explained, “and try to allow that wilderness should be looked at like a currency to get something of value.

“We have plenty of area in Eastern Utah that can be saved for conservation. Wilderness isn’t the only kind of conservation, but other areas that should be used for economic development that should help this state and its education system.”

Bishop said it is not always easy to convince people that the state can handle public lands much better than the federal government.

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