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Utah Compact on Immigration

Ian Scott on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 5:52:49 pm

Debate is raging over the Utah Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act (UT-IIEA), a proposal that mirrors the controversial immigration bill that passed in Arizona last year.  Highway patrolmen had to break up clashing protestors from both sides of the issue at the state capitol yesterday.

To weigh in on the debate, the Salt Lake Chamber joined forces with other community, political and religious leaders to release the Utah Compact. The Utah Compact is a set of five core principles that supporters believe should guide immigration reform.  The five principles are:

  • Federal Solution - Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries—not Utah and other countries.
  • Law Enforcement  - Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code
  • Families - We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families
  • Economy - Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers.
  • Free Society - Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors.

At a public announcement of the Utah Compact last week, Salt Lake Chamber president and CEO Lane Beattie said:

“There is no simple solution with an issue like immigration.  Any immigration legislation will have a ripple effect that touches the economy, families and the perception of our state across the world. Crafting a solution that adheres to these five principles will ensure those consequences are considered and that changes to immigration law reflect the values of our state.”

You have to applaud the Salt Lake Chamber’s proactive, public work on this highly charged issue. Read more about the Utah Compact at: www.utahcompact.com

For more about the Arizona immigration bill that inspired UT-IIEA, check out my interview with Tucson Chamber CEO Jack Camper from May 2010.

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