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  1. #1
    Senior Member American-ized's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Monroe County, New York

    Utah Progressives decry state’s attempts to enact immigrat

    Utah Progressives decry state’s attempts to enact immigration reform

    By David Burger
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Feb 6, 2011

    The Coalition of Utah Progressives "decried" immigration bills under consideration by the Utah Legislature at a Sunday press conference, calling four of the bills irresponsible and a grandstand for political posturing.

    In front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake City, three members of the local advocacy group read a prepared statement and held brightly colored signs, castigating legislators for what they said are money-wasting and unconstitutional efforts to address immigration reform at the local and state level.

    In addition, the group called on congressional representatives to work with President Barack Obama in reforming federal immigration policy.

    "Any state immigration bill is illegal," coalition co-founder Peggy Wilson said.

    The group attacked immigration enforcement-reform bills sponsored during this legislative session, including four that might be consolidated in a potential omnibus bill discussed by lawmakers: House Bill 70, which would require local and state police to enforce federal immigration laws; Senate Bill 60, which would require undocumented immigrants living in Utah for longer than two years to get a card that registers them in a system set up by the Department of Public Safety; House Bill 116, which would establish a guest worker program for illegal immigrant workers that would require background checks, proof of insurance and a Utah driving privilege card; and House Bill 253, which would require businesses with five or more employees to register with E-Verify, the federal government’s program that tracks the legal status of workers.

    Of the latter, co-founder Michael Picardi called the E-Verify system a "sham" and criticized lawmakers for making immigration enforcement reform a "wedge issue."

    The legislative bills are unconstitutional, Wilson said, because the bills are preempted by federal law.

    The bills, if enacted, she continued, would burden law enforcement, tax Utah’s incarceration facilities and create costly legal battles in light of lawsuits encountered by Arizona when it passed a constitutionally challenged enforcement-only law in 2010.

    Federal immigration reform is needed, the group said, but Utah representatives such as Sen. Orrin Hatch are "dragging their feet."

    Sponsors of the bills argue that the state needs to act because immigration reform at the federal level is being stalled, and that some bills, including House Bill 70, don’t require police to do more than what they’d already been doing. Hatch visited the Utah House and Senate last week, and said the first priority remained securing the borders before attempting to solve other aspects of the issue. ... s.html.csp

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    They say immigration is broken but people who play by the rules have been getting in just fine. Their idea of broken immigration is that illegals aren't getting what they want and they're afraid that laws will be enforced and kick them out. Utah is probably realizing how much money illegals immigration costs the states versus what it contributes. It's a no-brainer.

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Utah: Guest worker permits proposed

    By JOSH LOFTIN - Feb 8, 2011 5:11 AM PT By The Associated Press

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican senators worried about the number of immigration bills in the Utah Legislature are pushing for one comprehensive bill, even as a second bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrants has been unveiled.

    Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, told The Associated Press House that Bill 116 will allow illegal immigrants already in the state to register for a guest worker permit.

    Wright said his bill, which was introduced Friday, recognizes the economic importance of illegal immigrants, instead of focusing on deportation.

    "We can't just be proscriptive," Wright said. "This is our only option to move forward."

    Family members of permit holders could also stay under the proposal.

    Permit holders would be prohibited from accessing government assistance programs, including unemployment and health care.

    Utah would need a federal waiver to run the program. However, according to a note on the bill by legislative attorneys, the federal government doesn't have a process to acquire such a waiver.

    Without a waiver the bill has a "high probability" of being declared unconstitutional.

    Wright's bill is one of more than a half-dozen immigration proposals in the Legislature.

    Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said his caucus is worried all of the issues won't be addressed by individual bills.

    Instead, Senate Republicans want one bill that balances amnesty, enforcement, and business-focused legislation.

    "The Senate would like to deal with all of them and have a bill that puts a program together instead of running the risk of just one thing happening," Waddoups said. "We would like to have a complete program that meets all of the community's needs."

    Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, the sponsor of a bill modeled on Arizona's immigration law, opposes both proposals because they include amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    "I have heard from many thousands of Utahns who want a strong enforcement bill passed this session and I will focus on that," Sandstrom said in a statement.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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