Lawsuits threatened over Utah immigration bills

By Josh Loftin

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, March 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A controversial immigration package approved by Utah lawmakers last week has groups on both sides of the debate threatening to boycott and sue the state.

Some also are pledging to hold the Mormon church accountable for supporting what they call an amnesty program.

The legislation also includes an enforcement law that would require police to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a felony or serious misdemeanor.

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, said Wednesday that the guest worker program included in the legislation violates federal law.

Gheen says litigation is planned, as is a public relations campaign denouncing the church's support of the program.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah says it is merely emphasizing concern for keeping families together.

The legislation is awaiting Gov. Gary Herbert's approval.

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