Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a member of the Tea Party Caucus, said on Monday that while he was "greatly supportive" of what a bipartisan group of Senators are trying to accomplish on immigration reform, he could ultimately not add his name to the proposal.
“These guidelines contemplate a policy that will grant special benefits to illegal immigrants based on their unlawful presence in the country," said Lee in a statement. "Reforms to our complex and dysfunctional immigration system should not in any way favor those who came here illegally over the millions of applicants who seek to come here lawfully."
Lee continued: “Additionally, the framework carves out a special exception for agricultural workers that has little justification. Maintaining the safety of America’s food supply is an important goal, but it is unclear why immigrants in this sector should achieve special status over skilled workers in industries equally important to the American economy."
Under the bipartisan framework, the nation's agricultural workers would receive their own expedited process to citizenship.