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Immigration Reform Doesn't Have To Hurt Economy, Republican Senator Says

Tuesday, 12 Jun 2007 | 1:57 PM ET
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Donna Mcwilliam
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison told “Morning Call” that she believes the bill on illegal immigration can be fixed.

A measure to legalize as many as 12 million illegal immigrants and tighten border security stalled last week in the Senate in the face of broad Republican opposition.

“We need immigration reform, we really do,” said Hutchison. “However, the bill that was on the Senate floor, which I think was pulled too quickly, is not the bill."

Immigration Bill
The President pushes the Senate immigration bill, with John Harwood, CNBC chief Washington correspondent; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) TX, Senate Appropriations Committee and CNBC's Mark Haines

According to Hutchison, the amnesty issue must be addressed.

“We do need the foreign workers here,” Hutchison said, stressing the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.

As for worries that the immigrants may not be able to return to the U.S. after going back to their own countries to receive permission to work abroad legally, Hutchison said: “We can have the two-year period in which to do it, and there can be a safe harbor for the two years so that you don’t disrupt the economy.”