Barr asks constituents to weigh in on immigration debate with survey questions

06/27/2013 04:47 PM

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, has stayed mum on immigration reform but is now seeking opinions of his constituents on the sweeping immigration bill that passed the Senate Thursday.

Barr sent out a survey to constituents asking for answers to a few short questions, some of which are similar to questions included in recent polling done in Kentucky . He asks about:

- Do you think that Congress should pass immigration reform legislation this year? – How important is it to you that Congress pass significant, new immigration reform legislation this year? – The U.S. Senate is debating a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally if they meet certain requirements. Which comes closer to your view about how to handle undocumented immigrants who are now living in the U.S.? – Which aspects of immigration reform are important to you?

In the introduction to the survey on immigration reform, the congressman offers his first public assessment of the Senate bill, saying he’s concerned that it doesn’t go far enough.

“While the Senate has voted to increase border security and protection, I am still concerned the bill’s reforms may not go far enough. I strongly believe that any effort to fix our deficient immigration system must first start by securing our borders and enhancing interior enforcement to permanently stop the flow of illegal border crossings,” Barr tell constituents at the beginning of the email.

Barr has previously said the Senate’s ‘Gang of 8’ was “in the ballpark” when it came to reforming the country’s immigration system. And Barr’s website has featured a section expressing his areas of concern on the issue.

Barr’s office says the survey is part of the congressman’s “accessibility initiative” to make sure constituents feel as if their voice is being heard — and not a signal of indecision.

“As a part of my continued accessibility initiative, I sent this esurvey to give constituents who have not yet reached out to my office on this issue another way to share their views on the immigration reform debate and so I can hear their thoughts and concerns,” Barr said in a statement to Pure Politics. “It is difficult to dispute that our current immigration system is broken and in need of reform, but the issue of how to successfully reform it is much more complicated.”

The survey is available on “Barr’s website”: .

However, Barr may not have to vote on the Senate’s version of the immigration bill. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Thursday the House will not take up or vote on the Senate’s immigration bill. Boehner did however say that he hopes the House will deal with immigration reform this year.

Kentucky Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville is a part of the House version of the ‘Gang of 8’ and told Pure Politics earlier this month he knew the Senate bill would be dead on arrival and the House version will have a better chance of getting through both chambers.


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