Larry Pressler: My report from Washington this week in 4 parts

My wife Harriet and I join in sending our condolences to the family of President Thomas S. Monson. Part of my decision to join the Mormon church was based on his writings on charity and kindness. Over the years, I have observed that Mormons and indeed people of all faiths sometimes anonymously give of themselves to others. That seemed to be President Monson’s theme. We will miss him.

Congress is returning to Washington this week. Our friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch, has announced his retirement, and it is generally assumed around Washington that Mitt Romney is almost certain to succeed him. But wait. I served for 18 years on the U.S. Senate’s Republican Campaign Committee and saw over and over that preordained scenarios about the election of U.S. senators are frequently upset. When Hatch first ran for the Senate he had almost no name recognition in Utah, but he defeated Frank Moss, D-UT, anyway. In Utah today, there is probably some young man or woman — lawyer, businessperson, teacher, farmer or some citizen — who will rise up and run for the U.S. Senate unexpectedly. I have seen plenty of perfectly planned scenarios be totally reversed by Election Day.

Who would have predicted that we have a Democratic senator from Alabama today? I would welcome Romney’s election to the Senate from Utah. However, I suggest Republicans from the top down approach this with caution.

Even a perfectly greased apple cart can sometimes tip over if the driver is too overconfident to watch for bumps.

Congress is committed to dealing with the “Dreamers” Act. I am very pro-immigrant, and I believe our economy and especially the state of Utah needs more legal immigrants of all types, including high-end workers. But President Donald Trump does have a valid objection to so many relatives coming in simultaneously with each “dreamer.” Thus, citizens must listen closely to the president on this one — many of us here in Washington believe in expanded legal immigration, but we are puzzled as to why with each “student dreamer” there has to come over a dozen other relatives that enter automatically. Congress must change that, but I am afraid it will “kick the can” down the road for another year rather than deal with it in an election year.

More than anything else, we need a revised, easily understood immigration policy. To get this done, Trump…

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