Immigration debate draws cheers, jeers from crowd

Published: Saturday, Jan. 22 2011 1:17 a.m. MST

Several references were made throughout the evening to the Utah Compact, which was introduced in November and bears the signatures of 3,000 people — many of them top leaders of churches and businesses. The compact has been touted as a Utah solution to the problem that incorporates fairness and compassion, acknowledging the importance of families and urging the adoption of reasonable solutions. Supporters want to use it as blueprint for policymakers to find an alternative to a controversial Arizona law dealing with illegal immigration. The Sutherland Institute also announced the launch of NotAZ.org, a website created to push alternatives to the Arizona measure.

Mero said NotAZ.org is intended to help stop the spread of enforcement-only legislation and provide alternatives.

Ironically, the desire to host a civil debate ended on a sour note with a call to Lehi police. Daniel Argueta said he and several Latino friends were mingling outside the debate hall after it ended when security guards asked them to leave. Argueta said he called police to document the incident because he felt like the group was being harassed.

"Nobody else was asked to leave. And we weren't doing anything," he said.

e-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

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