Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yes to the "Utah Compact"

The Utah Compact is out, defining five principles for dealing with immigration in Utah.  The approach is conservative, complete with pledges to the free-market and defending "the family," but the political reality is that Utah is a conservative stronghold, and this compact is the first step to sane immigration reform legislation, within that reality.

Add your name.

The pledge has been endorsed by the Sutherland Institute, AG Mark Shurtleff, SLC Mayor Ralph Becker, SL County Mayor Peter Corroon, Sen. Pat Jones... just to name a few.

Add your name now.  Stealing a concise summary from Frank Staheli of what the compact offers:

  • FEDERAL SOLUTIONS — That "Immigration is a federal policy issue..."
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT —  That local law enforcement should "focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code."
  • FAMILIES — That all laws should support and foster strong families and "and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children."
  • ECONOMY —  That we should recognize and respect the significant contributions that all immigrants make to Utah's economy.
  • A FREE SOCIETY — That free societies are inclusive and that we should celebrate all cultures and history, and that "Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill."
The reaction I've heard so far from progressives in Utah has been hesitant and suspicious of the obvious conservative appeal in the pledge.  I understand.  We're jumpy, and with good reason.  But like it or not, Utah is a red state.  The compact offers a stark contrast to the rhetoric of Reps. Sandstrom and Ray and what we're sure to hear from Sen. Howard Stephenson.  A conservative approach to this issue is the only way the tone of this debate will change within a conservative legislature.  It's also a fine setup for legislation I hope we see soon from Sen. Luz Robles regarding immigration in Utah to combat the AZ approach cemented in Rep. Sandstrom's "enforcement only" bill.

The Utah Compact is a chance to ensure that the legislative outcome of this debate is rational, inclusive, and in words of Sutherland Institute President Paul Mero himself: humane.

Sign the compact.

1 comment:

  1. On the contrary, this "compact" is anything but "conservative". It is an attack on the fundamental ability of the United States to control its borders and who receives admittance to the U.S. It also says that residents of Utah don't have to obey U.S. law. In fact, it is against FEDERAL law for any state or community to have a policy which protects illegal aliens, i.e. is a sanctuary.