Mar 11, 2011

Immigration Politics - Utah editorial on its legislation: Utah becomes a pioneer on immigration

Utah becomes a pioneer on immigration: "The Legislature passed three immigration reform bills Thursday that set Utah up to blaze a new — and controversial — path that diverges from Arizona’s approach on the volatile issue.

HB116, the guest-worker bill, and HB497, the enforcement-only measure, are now awaiting Herbert’s signature, though his office declined to say when, or if, he will sign them. Latino groups on Thursday called for a boycott of all Utah businesses beginning Monday and lasting through March 28.

The state also sent a third immigration bill for Herbert to sign that provided the ultimate bridge between Bramble and Sandstrom — a migrant-worker bill. That bill, HB466, would enter Utah into an agreement with the Mexican state of Nuevo León. That state would provide migrant workers to businesses in Utah that need the trained work force, while the visas would be legally issued through the federal government.

And (Sen. Curt) Bramble said by having a start date two years from now, HB116 (the guest worker bill) is doing what it was intended to do: put the federal government on notice that states are devising solutions to the thorny issue by incorporating a variety of perspectives.

Already, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has met with White House officials to talk about Utah’s approach and how it can possibly be integrated into a larger model. Bramble said it will require the same kind of collaborative approach the Utah Legislature took during the 2011 session.

“I think Utah is capturing the attention of the nation, as well as conservatives and liberals,” Bramble said."

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