The Senate this morning gave preliminary approval to a task force aimed at studying the illegal immigration issue, along with a resolution urging Congress to act on immigration reform.
There was no debate on SB97, to create a legislative task force, which in a 25-1 vote, moved to final Senate approval.
"In light of all the immigration bills up here this year and all the concerns," Jenkins said. "It became very apparent to me early on we weren't totally aware of where we were going."
SCR3, meanwhile, received unanimous support to also move to final Senate approval.
Another Senate specific resolution calling on Congress to "address the illegal immigration crisis," received final approval in a 26-2 vote. That bill mirrors a House resolution.
A third bill passed second reading in the Senate which would require the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel to do a study of potential areas of federal reimbursement for costs associated with illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, votes were delayed on two other bills dealing with illegal immigration. The sponsor of SB81, Sen. Bill Hickman, R-St. George, opted to delay debate on the comprehensive measure after it was amended in an effort to protect landlords from potentially facing a year in jail for renting to undocumented immigrants.
SB81 creates obstacles against undocumented immigrants finding jobs or public benefits.
The amendment, proposed by Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, made it so that to be subject to the Class A misdemeanor, someone would have to harbor an undocumented immigrant knowingly, with the intent to violate federal immigration law.
"This is a sincere effort to deal with the landlord issue," McCoy said. "If it's going to pass we want to have something that is not going to trap landlords in a bad situation."A vote was also delayed this morning on a measure to require proof of citizenship to obtain a real estate or mortgage broker license.
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