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State immigration commission could be repealed

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013 1:30 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Commission on Immigration and Migration appears to be headed for repeal under a bill that advanced Wednesday in the Utah State Senate.

SB28, sponsored by Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, is primarily a cleanup measure to eliminate boards and commissions that have outlived their purpose or are no longer active. The bill was amended to include the immigration panel.

The commission was formed by legislation passed in 2011 to act as a body to study the issues and advise lawmakers.

The group, which includes lawmakers, the attorney general, Lt. Gov. Greg Bell and a number of community leaders, has met regularly since it was formed. Last year, the commission agreed to seek funding from the Legislature in 2013 to conduct a comprehensive study of immigration impacts in Utah.

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, said it appears the commission has little more to do, absent a change in state policy or federal immigration reform. President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators announced their respective proposals to overhaul the nation's immigration laws earlier this week.

"Pretty much, their work is done. Any more meetings would be nonproductive or counterproductive," Niederhauser said.

The bill will be considered one more time in the Senate before final passage.

Marjorie Cortez

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