Paul T. Mero: Passion of HB116 activists could backfire


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  • Maggie Saint George, UT
    July 22, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    The comments of Mr Mero would be funny if there was any humor in the illegal immigration issue.There is not. I came to Utah from a state where many years ago we too thought it would be OK to ignore laws and common sense because we wanted to be "decent" and give "good" people a chance. Those "good" people have bankrupted that state in more ways than their pocketbook. A culture where people take what they want and need,in no orderly law abiding fashion. Where neighborhoods,or ghettos,whatever you want to call them,are ruled by ,not a city or state government,but by self appointed young hoodlums.Where three generations of women live in a household,unwed and mothers to many children on welfare. The more ambitious of these also work,many collecting salaries under the table. Filling our schools and using up our medical dollars at an alarming rate. I for one will stand up and fight this happening in my beautiful adopted state of Utah. Call me what you will,I will still fight amnesty and illegal entry in any form. One way tickets are available to my old state sir.GO!

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    July 11, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    re: tenx "...What is wrong with LEGAL immigration?...Funny you don't hear much from the pro-illegal crowd to support or adjust the legal way to come to the USA."

    I would love to see both a compassionate process to deal with those still undocumented AND a way to support and adjust legal immigration. Thanks for bringing up the need to solve the original problem.

    I have written Senators Hatch and Lee and my district's Rep. Chaffetz to ask if they recommend anything to encourage LEGAL immigration. Both Hatch and Chaffetz wrote me back. Both claimed to support streamlining the VISA process but could list nothing they had done or would do. I haven't heard from Lee yet, but he told reporters he is open to a discussion on the merits of a federal waiver to allow workers under HB116, even though he is sure Congress would never pass it.

    It's the anti- group who has no positive ideas. We are full of them

  • positiverealist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 8, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    Mr Mero is reasonable and it does not matter if we want a guest worker program for undocumented people or not what matters is that something be done to identity these people and start a process of solutions rather than sticking with the status quo. Understand that "Unlawful Presence" is only a Civil infraction not criminal. It is only criminal if they are caught crossing the border so as far as deporting people that we don't have information on, it can't be done. So for those that wish to deport all the undocumented people hats off to you but without names, countries, birth years etc... warrants cannot be issued nor can deportation orders. Raids can happen but understand that we will be deporting people, separating families and causing great harm to our National and State economies. Kicking out 12 million people that are paying rent and purchasing billions of dollars of product will have a negative effect. HB116 does not change their federal legal status but it does do several other productive things that are reasonable. It fines them 10 times the Federal fine. We need to be reasonable and those fighting against HB116 are not.

  • provo.res Provo, UT
    July 8, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    The anti-116 group is going the way of the tea party in Utah. People are growing tired of their strident and often hateful rhetoric. Just because they are well organized and very vocal, does not mean they represent the majority of Utahns.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    July 7, 2011 11:32 p.m.

    As a newcomer to Utah I am quite amazed at the clout of Paul T. Mero president of the Sutherland Institute. Mero name calls thoughout his article calling those who oppose HB116 an "angry mob","disgruntled patriots",and of course "narrow minded". He appears to me to be a very angry advocate, whose diatibes mask the insecurity of his position that reasonable people could actually oppose HB116. I hope a more reasonable voice will tone down the rhetoric and actually solve the biggest problems in Utah,one of which is employment.

  • danaslc1 WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 7, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    I find it rather frightening for this entire nation when a state newspaper calls citizens who want the constitution followed, citizens of the state to have a fair chance at work, crime decreased, taxes decreased and politicians to work for the people instead of dictate the people to be called names. This is sad and I worry greatly for this state and this country.

  • leer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    Give it up Mero...HB116 is just plain rotten.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 5, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    Re: ". . . labor . . . transcends politics . . . ."

    Yeah. If by transcending politics you mean hijacking and corruptly controlling the political process.

    Which will ultimately destroy the Nation and our freedom, bringing about the "dictatorship of the proletariat" sought by socialist/communist union bosses. You know, that system that made life so pleasant and fulfilling in Soviet Russia, post-revolution Cuba, and post-war North Korea.

    Yeah -- labor transcends politics. That's the ticket. The rubes might buy that one.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    "How, in the name of Ned, would giving decision-making authority to some unprincipled union boss solve some of these labor issues easier?" This is a loaded and biased assertion to say the least. There is now, as never before, a global economy. In this global economy real wage rates have become a race to the bottom. Only international organized labor can stem this tide. Now if one is a typical Utah Republican, one doesn't care how low wage rates go. I merely point out that labor, be it American or Mexican, as some commonality of interest which transcends politics.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    July 5, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    Irony Guy, this country has unlimited guest worker visas for agriculture, if the farmers in Georgia lose their crops, it's their own fault.

    When the American people were sold NAFTA, one of the big selling points was it ending illegal immigration. Mexico never lived up to their part of the deal. Countries all over the world have trade agreements, they do not include open borders.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 5, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    These rantings of a self-styles "Conservative Think Tank leader" show a shocking diconnnect with the reality of our national (and state) circumstances and mainstream conservative thought. I don't know who elected him or how many people are actually members of his group, but he has zero credibility in my opinion.

    Mero's opening sentence sets the stage by attacking the people who oppose him, injectiong perjoratives like "...delusions ...activists who oppose the reasonable idea of responsible reform"

    Well, Mr. Mero, the majority of Utahns who oppose HB 116's amnesty/scanctuary scheme are indeed in favor of responsible reforms. It is the pro-law breakers like Mero who are delusional about what they endorse.

    See you at the caucuses, and we will elect real conservative delegates who will repeal your mini-amnesty scheme, and work on enforcing our border security.

    It is appalling that the Deseret News continues to give prominence to Mr. Mero's liberal ideas. Let him post comments if he likes, but don't waste ink or digits giving him space on the pages.

  • danaslc1 WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 5, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    Why does the DN put out this propaganda? That is exactly what this is.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 12:49 p.m.

    "Sal" Your sense of civic duty is admirable.

    Be prepared though, to explain why you think jobs for illegal trespassers are more important than jobs for ACTUAL legal Utah citizens.

    Also explain WHY Utahns should provide free education, welfare, WIC, and healthcare to law breakers.

    And hope that none of your neighbors have lost their jobs to illegal trespassers.

    I hope you understand that they're taking more than agricultural jobs.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    @Irony Guy

    "All this talk about taking American jobs is baloney. Georgia's crops are now rotting in the fields because the 'Americans' of Georgia won't take the harvesting jobs..."

    The fact is, we don't need 50 million crop workers in this country. That's Number One.

    Number Two, Americans in Georgia won't take the harvesting jobs probably because those farmers are unwilling to pay them a fair wage -- which was why they were employing illegal aliens in the first place.

    "Why not give them a legal card and a break?"

    What you really want here, as does the Chamber of Commerce, is a substandard-wage subclass of disposable servants.

    "All I can conclude is that there's a strong racist beam in eye of the right-wing..."

    That's one of the standard lies, one of the dishonest straw-man arguments being used by corrupt businessmen who in their greed simply are unwilling to pay their fellow Americans a fair wage.

    There is no labor shortage -- we have 11-17 percent unemployment in Utah. The real problem is that we have a morality shortage in Utah -- employers who are greedy and all too willing to sell out the country for profit.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    July 5, 2011 12:46 p.m.

    Mr. Mero is the head of the Sutherland Institute, which is the puppet of the SL Chamber of Commerce. I mention this because no one else has so far. The SL Chamber has many members and contributors that own and operate the hotels, restaurants, and other businesses that depend upon cheap illegal labor to clean, cook, landscaping and etc. These employers donate millions of dollars to the SL Chamber each year and millions are given to the Sutherland Institute to help insure that illegal cheap labor remains available in Utah. Mr. Mero's position is funded primarily by cheap labor employers through the SL Chamber of Commerce.

    The HB116 Amnesty applies only to illegal alien that supposedly were here prior to May 10, 2011. So what happens to those that continue to come to Utah with false ID and false papers that show that they were here prior to that date. HB116 would provide a steady stream of illegal labor for the cheap labor employers far into the future.

    HB116 and any form of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" has come to mean amnesty, in order to supply unlimited cheap labor in competition with our own unskilled workers.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 5, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Re: "We could solve some of these labor issues easier here in Utah if we weren't so danged opposed to organized labor."

    How, in the name of Ned, would giving decision-making authority to some unprincipled union boss "solve some of these labor issues easier?"

    No issue in the entire history of labor relation has been solved easily. Ever! No trade union mission statement even mentions solving issues easily.

    It's just not in trade unionist DNA.

    You may mean that organized labor might make it easier to goof off at work, get higher wages that your non-union neighbor for the same work, or misbehave without consequence.

    But that actually "solves" nothing.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    July 5, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Sal. Ironical that I was motivated last year to attend my caucus for the first time...to vote out Bennett. When I was young my father had a picture of Bennett's father on the wall of our garage. Every time, which seemed like forever, we drove into the garage I would see that picture. Last year I made sure that my kids wouldn't have to see the same picture for most of their lives. Bennett knew his time was up but wanted more....Hatch knows it too, but seems intent on wanting more also. Sometimes the voters have to guide these politicians, otherwise Moss would still be Senator (by absentee voting I guess). I lived in the Philippines for 11 years and met people who thought Presidents were put in for life as they only knew one-Marcos. Enough is enough. Viva legal immigraion.

  • praxis Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    From the NY Times article:
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted an audit of employees at Gebbers Farms, an apple producer in Brewster, Washington. ICE found evidence that more than 500 of its workers, mostly immigrants from Mexico, were in the country illegally. ICE then advised Gebbers Farms of Social Security and immigration numbers that did not check out with federal databases. The workers were then fired.

    John Morton, the head of the immigration agency, said the goal of the audits is to create "a culture of compliance" among employers, so that verifying new hires would be as routine as paying taxes. ICE leaves it up to employers to fire workers whose documents cannot be validated. But an employer who fails to do so risks prosecution.

    After completing a federally mandated local labor search, Gebbers Farms applied to the federal guest worker program to import about 1,200 legal temporary workers most from Mexico. The guest workers, who can stay for up to six months, also included about 300 from Jamaica.

    If Mr Mero wants HB116 to be real, meaningful legislation, change it to REQUIRE all employers to use E-Verify and the EXISTING Federal Guest Worker program.

  • praxis Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    Mr Mero still has not explained why Utah needs its own Guest Worker program when there is already a solution in place for workers to come to the U.S. legally - the EXISTING Federal Guest Worker program with categories for different work types:

    - Permanent Labor Certification: A certification issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States.

    - H-2A Temporary Labor Certification (Seasonal Agricultural): Program for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature.

    - H-2B Temporary Labor Certification (Non-agricultural): Program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the U.S. and perform temporary non-agricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.

    For those that say the process/program is broken, an article published in the NY Times, 09 July 2010, shows otherwise. Continued-

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    The thing of it is, tenx, is that NAFTA has created a free trade zone in all of North America. NAFTA has its critics, including me, but it is a reality. How can you have a free trade area, but at the same time restrict the free flow of labor? It doesn't work. We could solve some of these labor issues easier here in Utah if we weren't so danged opposed to organized labor. Continent wide organized labor would be very useful here, but Utah will never go for it, and for that reason solutions will reamin illusive and unsatisfactory. Make no mistake about it, though, this is a ticking time bomb.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Mr. Mero is correct. I'm more motivated to attend my caucus. I'm going to pass out flyers to my neighbors in the hope of getting more reasonable people to attend. The right-wing of the Republican Party is too radical for me. I deplore what they did to Sen. Bennett.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:41 a.m.

    Re: ". . . the delusions continue for many activists who oppose the reasonable idea of responsible reform."

    Which reasonable idea was that? What responsible reform?

    Oh, you mean that "reasonable idea" that the law should only apply to some people, not others? And that "responsible reform" that illegally rewards and encourages lawbreaking, as a "solution" to the problems associated with lawbreaking?

    Who is delusional here?

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    July 5, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    Count me as one of the "mob" that Mero describes. What is wrong with LEGAL immigration? Myself and my fellow "mobbers" think this is the proper way to handle immigration. Not jumping in front of the line by sneaking across our borders. Funny you don't hear much from the pro-illegal crowd to support or adjust the legal way to come to the USA.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Of all the elements of our society organized labor has been the most accepting and accomodating of illegal labor, because they know that labor done in the shadows invites abuse of labor of all kinds, legal and illegal. The relationship of labor to business needs to be examined critically. One thing we know for sure - both labor and capital are international. Any solution must recognize that.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 5, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    All this talk about taking American jobs is baloney. Georgia's crops are now rotting in the fields because the "Americans" of Georgia won't take the harvesting jobs now open because they've run the migrant workers out. I watch Hispanics working hard all day every day all around me, and so do you. Why not give them a legal card and a break? All I can conclude is that there's a strong racist beam in eye of the right-wing Republican party in this state.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    July 5, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    Mr. Mero and the Chamber of commerce don't seem to understand that we don't want illegal immigrant guest workers. You don't give American jobs to foreign citizens that break our laws. Why hate and disrespect those who wait in line to come here legally? Why do we treat them so unfairly? Is the need for taxpayer subsidized welfare labor that great that we must treat Americans and future citizens with so little respect?

    On one hand we have HB 116 that is most likely unconstitutional and will be taken to court when it becomes active in 2013, it punishes people for being honest and doing things right. On the other hand we have a Supreme court decision that gives us the right to fine and pull business licenses. Why do people favor the E-verify? Because it's honest, it's legal, it can be done now, and it treats those who obey the law with respect.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2011 3:19 a.m.

    The truth is that nothing has changed regarding the sheer greed, corruption, and abject dishonesty and untruthfulness behind the formation and campaign for HB116.

    "...HB116 will only get better."

    HB116 was cast in bad faith to begin with. For example: it is spectacularly unconstitutional, and has the audacity to assert itself as law in 2013 even without the U.S. waiver of the U.S. Constitution which would be required for its legal enaction. Despite "refinings," the essence and purpose of HB116 would remain the same (unless repealed altogether): AMNESTY, by one form or euphemism or another, for 110,000-500,000 current OR former illegal aliens in Utah, plus many of their relatives; and to then encourage even more illegal immigration.

    Despite Mero's efforts to slander HB116 opponents as the "unreasonable mob" and all manner of other false terms, the fact remains that anti-HB116 patriots -- NOT Mero, the SL Chamber, nor the other champions of HB116 -- are on the side of reason, common sense, the Constitution, and the will of the vast majority of Utahns, who insist, naturally, upon respect for this country, its sovereignty, its laws, and its citizens, as conditions for residency in this land.