Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Utah: Doing Immigration Right?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is working to create a Utah-specific guest-worker pilot program—so they don't have to take the Arizona route and be made fun of on Comedy Central:

“We’re talking about a comprehensive program that would allow highly educated workers from whatever country … people who may have overstayed their visas or however they got here, to find a way to allow them to continue to contribute to our economy,” said chamber spokesman Marty Carpenter.

Rep. John Dougall, R-Highland, said he has talked with Shurtleff twice about working on a different approach to immigration than many of his conservative legislative colleagues have taken that would focus on giving the state more authority over immigration issues.

“I hope to work with him and find what I call a meaningful free market approach to immigration,” Dougall said, one that relies more on state authority than relying on a broken federal system. “More reliance on the federal government is not the answer. We need a state solution and a uniquely Utah approach.”

Shurtleff said Dougall suggested that the state could issue its own visas.

Shurtleff opposes Arizona’s tough immigration law — which requires officers to verify the legal status of anyone stopped, detained or arrested by police — saying it leads to second-guessing of officers or, potentially, profiling of suspects.

“It puts cops in an absolutely untenable position, where they have to decide, ‘Do I ask this person for identification?’ … Even though the law says you can’t consider race, what else are you going to consider?”

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