Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Utah Immigration Measure

Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2011

Utah won national attention this year for promoting a gentler approach to immigration when it passed a law essentially allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the state if they work and don’t commit crimes.

Yet on Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center filed a federal lawsuit to stop the implementation next week of another Utah immigration law, one modeled on a controversial Arizona law that enlists local police to help root out illegal immigrants.

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Utah’s HB 497 is a watered-down version of Arizona’s law, most of which was put on hold last year by a judge who ruled that it was unconstitutional, a decision upheld last month by a federal appellate court.

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The Utah version does not create a new crime and only requires an investigation into a person’s status after arrests for a felony or misdemeanor. HB 497 was passed by the conservative state Legislature at the same time as the state’s guest-worker program, which would give a legal identity card to illegal immigrants who pass a background check, pay a fine and are employed.

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Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff said the state’s leaders scrambled last year to stop hard-liners from passing an Arizona-style law and repealing two other pro-immigrant measures. “It was going south real fast,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

Business leaders came up with the idea of the Utah Compact, a statement of principles that urged law enforcement to focus on stopping crime rather than enforcing federal immigration law. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is growing rapidly overseas, has signed on, and what seemed like a long-shot proposal got new life. Meanwhile, state legislative leaders repeatedly weakened the bill that became HB 497.

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The guest-worker law would require a federal waiver, and critics say it clearly flies in the face of federal law, which does not allow any state to create its own immigration policy. That bar is what doomed much of Arizona’s law last year and is cited by the plaintiffs who sued Utah on Tuesday over its enforcement law.

The plaintiffs said they did not sue over the guest-worker law because it would not take effect until 2013.

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  • Question Diversity

    A couple of points of order: SB 1070 is not “doomed,” parts of it are temporarily enjoined pending the Constitutional hearings. Any court decisions about SB 1070 thus far have been in the realm of injunctive procedure, not Constitutional hearings. Those have barely begun, in Federal district courts.

    SB 1070 did not create any new immigration law in terms of who is and is not a legal and illegal immigrant. It relies on Federal law for those definitions. This thing in Utah however, with its sap about “guest workers,” does just that, and is indeed pre-emptory.

    As far as the LDS Church, I’m surprised the ACLU types aren’t screaming from the top of the tallest mountain about Church-State separation. If this were a moral issue in which the LDS got involved, vis-a-vis a bill in the Utah legislature, you can bet the IRS would be revoking their tax exempt status.

  • Anonymous

    Those white do gooders who are destroying this country and the Western world are also destroying themselves for they are also destroying their own homes. These types of delusional mindsets love chaos. In their twisted minds, their destructive actions are all righteously justified. These types are fanatics which make it their life mission to impose their twisted life perceptions on others. In their delusions, they think the third world peoples are their friends. Little do they know that the third world peoples have no regard, love, or appreciation of them. Some of them do eventually learn the hard way when they encounter violence at the hands of the third worlders of which they are much surprised.

  • patthemick

    For the last fifty years we have been enslaved by the judiciary. We are getting screwed and just sit back and say ” Darn how can we rewrite this law so it will pass muster with the courts?” and what’s disgusting is that in the back of our mind we know that we cannot rewrite the law to pass muster unless we gut its intent to the point of complete ineffectiveness.

    This is going to have to lead to one of two results. Either we simply ignore the courts and enforce our lawful rights of soverignity or we just slowly become even more slavelike to to the courts until we literally can’t stop them.

  • Fr. John

    And what group of people are on the board, determine the makeup, of which ethnicity, of the ACLU?

    I sincerely doubt that asking that question, is irrelevant.

  • Anonymous

    And if one State or group of States _refused_ to pay into a Federal tax system which (say) bailed out bankrupt Mexifornia without any end to the immigrant waves, we would see real change.

    Because you see law is all well and good.

    But money buys power and a state which began printing it’s own currency (which can be legally done by the way, at the municipal level, you just have to call it ‘shares’ and trade value as barterable ownership rights- http://goo.gl/GXfi0) and solving it’s own highway, schooling, etc. funding issues, especially in combination with other states that shared such infrastructure costs through common purchasing/contracting commisssions, would be untouchable, short of military force.

    “We don’t want your help or your oversight. Get Out.”

    The key is to let the unthinkable happen and then leap to reap the benefits as someone else catches first-responder grief from the Feds.

    The Southwest goes? GREAT! Cali declares itself a Socialist Peoples Republic? MARVELOUS!

    Because as soon as people see that they are paying into a debt scheme for other idiots who have no intention of changing their ways, they will refuse to do so.

    And as soon as the solvency of the currency system itself becomes questionable, the _confidence_ in the American System of judiciated truth as emasculated law will evaporate.

    And with it, loyalty to a traitor Republic that stabs us all in the back.

    The only question I see is whether you choose to go post-U.S. or choose to be led into OWG globalism by remaining leashed to the precepts of suicidal multicultism whose results are visible all around us.

  • WR the elder

    The Anti-Christian Lawyers Union is at it again. They sue any state or municipality that tries to enforce immigration law. (They are, of course, happy that the federal government refuses to do so.) In their view, the entire Third World has a right to sneak into our country and stay.