Utah Enforcement Activists Fight Back Against Gov. Herbert's Back Room Amnesty

Published on April 11th, 2011

My March 21 blog condemned Utah’s H.R. 116, an amnesty bill signed by Governor Gary Herbert that will create a guest worker program for illegal immigrants, despite the fact that immigration and work status fall under the federal government’s jurisdiction. Herbert’s office will work directly in partnership with Mexico to bring workers and their families (who knows how large?) to Utah. An earlier CAPS Legislative alert warned readers that if implemented, H.R. 116 would block thousands of Americans from getting jobs that will instead given to illegal aliens. At the same time, the bill will encourage more illegal aliens to travel to Utah to apply for and probably get scarce jobs. I’m happy to report that outraged Utahns have reacted strongly by launching an online repeal campaign that has a four-part purpose: kill the bill, educate the public about its evils, target for removal from office those legislators who voted for it and send a warning to future elected officials that Utahns will not tolerate its government going behind the public’s back as it did with H.B. 116. Pointing out that the bill passed late on a Friday night before most legislators had read it, the website spells out the bill’s major flaws in 21 separate bullet point comments. H.R. 116 is a horror show of outrageous loopholes that could threaten law-abiding Utahns for years. For example, as written, the legislation would allow an illegal alien who is a convict in his home country to obtain a Utah work permit as long as he has a job waiting. Since the state will have no record of his criminal conviction, he’s free and clear.  Furthermore, upon arrival aliens will not have to pass a medical examination. According to GOP delegate coordinator Brandon Beckham, “Governor Herbert should not have signed the bill. The delegates now hope to emphasize the consequences of our elected officials’ actions while also encouraging them to step up and do the right thing—repeal HB116.” Added Arturo Morales, founder of the Legal Immigrants for Illegal Immigration Enforcement coalition: “It’s a shame the AG [Mark Shurtleff] took this approach without statewide public support. The national momentum right now is perfect to stop this bill. Amnesty will always harm those who wait to enter this country legally.” H.R. 116 is unlikely to ever see the light of day. To go into effect, the bill requires multiple waivers from several federal agencies, followed by an act of Congress signed by the president to preempt existing federal law. Utah’s junior Senator Mike Lee said that there is not “any possibility” that the state will get a waiver. Still, fed up grassroots immigration enforcement activists are taking the appropriate measures by alerting future elective office candidates that they have had enough. Discussions within the Utah GOP are underway to find a candidate to challenge Herbert in the 2011 primary.

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