John Florez: Immigration policy should reflect Utah's values

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  • Joseph
    Feb. 22, 2008 10:19 a.m.

    It seems to me that one solution to the immigration crisis is for businesses utilizing immigrant labor to pay workers in those industries a livable wage. This, in turn, will attract U.S. born- workers to these jobs (no one wants to work at slave-labor wages!). The argument that higher wages for workers will lead to higher unemployment is debatable. It's a fact that poor people (like most workers) will spend the money they earn, thus helping the U.S. economy. This one reason the present Bush administration is currently in the process of sending rebate checks to millions of U.S. taxpayers. Why? To jump-start the economy!

  • Blaine Nay
    Feb. 20, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    So Mr. Flores wants Utah's immigration policy to reflect the state's values? How about the "value" that "we believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law"? If someone is here illegally, we must ensure that they go home immediately by refusing to reward them for violating our borders (education, medical care, jobs, amnesty, guest-worker status, anchor-baby citizenship, etc.) and severely punishing those who support them while they're here (jobs, charity, etc.).

  • Greg
    Feb. 18, 2008 11:25 p.m.

    Write your state senator that you oppose SB97. It's a wasteful, worthless, piece of garbage. The Immigration Policy Coalition is nothing more than another SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP. The will of the people is what matters, not some special interest group-NO MATTER WHO IT IS!!
    Support SB81. It will make real changes that will get these ILLEGAL ALIENS out of our state!

    Oppose SB97 *** SUPPORT SB81

  • Janey
    Feb. 18, 2008 10:24 p.m.

    PLEASE quit calling these undocumented people "children." They are not children they are illegal adults. Almost totally without fail these "children" are 18 or older to be freshmen in college. No more tugging the heart strings with red herring, tearful visions and lack of compassion for little kids being harrassed by the evil law which ensnares them. Baloney!! These are ADULTS!

  • Brad
    Feb. 18, 2008 8:41 p.m.

    The interesting thing about Mr. Flores' piece was the fact that the word "illegal" did not appear once. He refuses to recognize that crossing our border illegally is a crime. What really bothers me about this issue is that those who are in favor of securing our borders and enforcing law are painted as racists, anti-mexican, "draconian" and without humanity. Really, Mr. Flores, the biggest issue is the illegality! It is illegal to come to this country without papers, it is illegal to work with a fake or stolen social security number, it is illegal to stay longer than your visa allows and like it or not, it is a drain on hospitals, schools, social services, etc. This is a complex issue with no easy answers, but I am not anti immigration or a racist! I am anti illegal immigration and I am against any law that will encourage more. I wish that those wanting to come here due to "dramatic changes brought about by globalization" as you put it, would come through the front door and really live the American Dream.

  • Paul
    Feb. 18, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    If there is a revolution between the "Limbaugh Party" and the "liberals", who do you think has more guns? It isn't going to be the "liberals".

    Don't bring a machete (or whatever the preferred edged weapon is in Mexico) to a gun fight.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 18, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    LCK -
    Yet another example of people being duped into hate-mongering and fear-mongering that they hear everyday from the crazy far-right conservatives who blame everything on "liberals" and are clamoring for war. If they want a Limbaugh Party civil war to prove they can do whatever they want with other human beings (Mexicans) bring 'em on!

  • Zeb
    Feb. 18, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    Zeb Arrow: AMEN AND AMEN!!!

  • Zeb Arrow
    Feb. 18, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    Then theres this crowning quote by the Salt lake Chamber of Commerce: Those of us in the business community care about the human interests at stake. Many of the policy choices impact families and children, which in turn would have implications on social services, health care and business. We must recognize that our policies have very real human and family implications. If the business community clearly cared about human interests they would follow already existing laws in their employment and business practices. U.S. immigration and employment laws exist to protect American citizens and others that are here legally, not to facilitate a foreigner's pursuit of a better life. Illegal is illegal, and whether you have a family or not just doesnt matter. If they had a better sense of morality and law abidance, they would not put their families in the position that they are.

  • Zeb Arrow
    Feb. 18, 2008 3:40 p.m.

    Dont fall for the ploy of the IPC. The author, a founder of several Hispanic civil rights organizations extols the virtues of having the organizations with the greatest vested interest in maintaining the massive invasion of illegal immigrants into America shape Utahs immigration policy. That would be the Chamber of Commerce, business leaders, religious, service and nonprofit organizations (the La Razas and Hispanic supremacy types).

    How about we instead have the following people shape Utahs immigration policy: The many American citizens who have had a family member killed by drunk driving or murdered by illegal aliens (more than 50,000 nationwide since 9/11/01), people who have suffered a crime of any sort at the hands of an illegal alien, people whose wages have been depressed by employers hiring cheap illegal alien labor, people who have lost jobs to illegal aliens, taxpayers who have been soaked by illegal aliens attending our schools, using our hospitals as their own personal physician, accessing benefits designed for citizens (welfare, food stamps, assisted housing) and spiraling the cost of our criminal justice system that deals with the criminal element among them.

  • LCK
    Feb. 18, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    "To err is human ..." and there certainly is a lot of human error in the whole illegal invasion mess reflected in this liberal rag's effort to radicalize and minimalize the desire of legal citizens of this country to stop the illegal invasion --- of our land, institutions and culture. THE ILLEGAL INVASION IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME -- ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BORDER! This article well defines the motivation of and identity of those intent on continuing the error ---business, church and the lawless. Follow the money --- and selfishness! The platitudes herein ignore the ugly facts of lawlessness on a society --- for BOTH the perpetrators and the victims! A desperate constituency of lawlessness seems intent on "winning" in this situation (even suggesting Civil WAR!?) --- when there ARE NO WINNERS ultimately in lawlessnes! What simple-minded error!
    Heaven deliver us from such!

  • tenx
    Feb. 18, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    With Mexico having a gross domestic product of over a Trillion dollars annually (14 largest in the world), doesn't it seem possible to use some of it to provide jobs and education to its citizens rather that just send it to personal accounts in Switzerland (and its workers to the USA to send more money back home). There are some 150 countries that are poorer and yet we give no compassion. I invite those who espouse compassion to join me to send some donations to the International Relief Organizations to help the poor of the world.

  • Liberal means freedom for all
    Feb. 18, 2008 1:13 p.m.

    The new American conservative movement shares the same ideology of those during the Civil War when it comes to the treatment of their fellow human beings.
    Thinking they have some bizarre God-given right to EVERYTHING they fee justified in saying and doing anything. These are dangerous people with a dangerous aryan-like philsophy.

  • Neo-Cons?
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    Mr. Anonymous, the Neo-Cons ARE IN FAVOR OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! This is part of their invidious plans to establish their so-called New World Order! Neo-Cons are the guys who formerly subscribed to the ideas of Trotsky, Lenins deputy. Real Conservatives have nothing in common with these neo-cons! Ron Paul is one of the real Conservatives, who are becoming an "endangered species".

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    While I respectfully disagree with Mr. Florez, I greatly admire the respectful and thoughtful manner in which he stated his opinions. Not once did label those of us who are anti-illegal immigration xenophobes, zealots, bigots or racists. Bless him!

    Unfortunately, I feel that many of our "leaders" have failed us miserably with regard to illegal immigration, and I have no intention of following that kind of leadership. Many Utah employers are guilty of knowingly hiring illegal aliens, and I presume that many of them are members of various Chambers of Commerce. Allowing the Chambers of Commerce too much input into this issue is like allowing the fox to watch the henhouse. Likewise with elected officials who have reneged on promises and have turned a blind eye to what is going on.

    It will be interesting to see who supports SB81 as it is debated. I hope legislators will pass this, as it is important to give employers a legitimate verification tool in the E-Verify program as well as allow police officers to be trained as ICE agents. We must get control of this problem now!

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    The rabid anti-illegal neoconservatives are the same type of personality that authorized the buying and selling of human beings during the Civil War. The modern American conservative movement is threatening a new kind of ideological civil war in this country with their "MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY" mentality.
    If they want civil war I say let's get it on!

  • Mark D.
    Feb. 18, 2008 10:56 a.m.

    The term "immigration policy" here is misleading. Any sort of generic "immigration" policy would likely be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. However, no one is proposing creating an "immigration policy", but rather making changes to the state's _illegal_ immigration policy. Refusing to use the term makes Mr. Flores look like he is in denial.

  • C. Jones
    Feb. 18, 2008 9:15 a.m.

    The Chamber of Commerce call for "compassion" is truly touching. I am sure their whole motivation is rooted in their deep love for all mankind. It has nothing to do with the fact that are afraid of losing cheap expoitable labor subsidized by the taxpayers who pay all the social costs of illegal immigrants.
    The problem with the study group is that its purpose is to try to find a way around one of our basic "community values" to ENFORCE THE LAW! Like all other illegal immigration groups who think they can solve the problem this one also leaves out the most important group, the American people.None of them can accept the fact that the public is fed up with this problem and the moronic ideas put forth to solve it.
    Your " guest worker programs" don't work because invaders aren't "guests" and the programs are never "temporary". You always want to reward the lawbreakers with their ultimate goal when they illegally crossed the border to begin, and that's American citizenship.
    The unholy alliance presently being formed is preaching a course that is contrary to the stated "community values" all of them have previously espoused.

  • Lew Jeppson
    Feb. 18, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    I grew up in a mixed race and ethnic neighborhood on the Salt Lake westside and have never any problems getting along with anyone. The problem for me has never been immigration per se, rather it is with the race-gender spoils system onto which it is superimposed. Unfortunately, the proposed study cannot deal with that. People left to their own devices can solve these things; it's government which screws things up.

  • Businessmen are the villains
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    Business doesn't call out for anything in the name of social justice. Business's desire for higher profits through cheaper labor is the sole basis for our illegal immigration problem. They squeeze higher profits out of illegal labor and then dump the social costs on to the taxpayer. Responsible business people should either pay very heavy fines or be criminally charged or both for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

  • Jazz Fan
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:54 a.m.

    Study !! How foolish! Millions spent 'to study' THE OBVIOUS!

    Any studies done before we let 12 million illegally enter our country, Cite all the social studies, environmental impact studies, and cultural studies done before the invasion.

    I think when Rome was burning Nero was playing the fiddle. Modern day dictators now would rather produce endless studies as everything the Law stands for has loopholes burned through it.

    Maybe it is Mexican values being reflected, as they show their contempt for our laws.

    Do a study on that.

  • Paul
    Feb. 18, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    By all means, study how immigrants can be helped. After all, we have let those people into our country, so we should see if there is some way to help them succeed. If, on the other hand, you mean study what to do about illegal aliens, that is a horse of a different color. Go after businesses that hire them and take any money that these criminals obtain through illegal (i.e., any) means. Track any money transmissions to other countries by legal name and SSN. If they don't match, hold onto the money until it can be cleared up. Take the profit out of being in the US illegally.

  • tx
    Feb. 18, 2008 6:19 a.m.

    The study should include studying the lack of action to enforce the laws in Washington. Sen. Kennedy has led the way to pass 7 amnesties since 1986 which gave amnesty to some 7 million Illegals. The most infamous amnesty was in 1986, the "AMNESTY TO END ALL AMNESTIES". 1.8 million were proposed to receive amnesty and close to 3 million actually showed up and received amnesty. Evidently these 3 million wrote letters back home and now without federal enforcement (which was promised by Washington) we have somewhere between 12 and 20 million Illegals in our country. As the article states, solutions are not found in Washington. History tells us that for sure. Its time for action on a local level and finally our Legislators are listening to those affected by this situation - THE AMERICAN TAXPAYING CITIZEN. Don't listen to the special interest groups, or our Governor or our Atty General, listen to the people.

  • File for legal status
    Feb. 18, 2008 5:59 a.m.

    MD, how many times must you people be told that the conditions for in-state tuition are:

    1) graduate from a Utah High School;
    2) attended a Utah High School for 3 years; and,
    3) file for legal status.

    There's no reason why the children of an illegal immigrant should be denied higher education that will benefit them regardless of whether they are deported or become citizens. These students meet the legal requirement for residency and therefore should receive in-state tuition. So long as these students make the good faith effort to apply for citizenship.

    We should also make sure that any person whose in this country whose driving on our highways and streets have driving privelige whether they are an Ambassador whose here legally or migrant farm worker whose here illegally. The federal government can decide who it does or does not want to deport. Utah on the other hand should take the approach that the safety of our roads are important and that any graduate of Utah schools who have attended a Utah High School for a minimum of three years is considered a resident regardless of the state or country of residence or the citizenship of their parents.

  • Big Surprise
    Feb. 18, 2008 5:57 a.m.

    So business doesn't want to give up their source of cheap labor and they want to continue to exploit those hovering just beneath the law. Is it really much of a surprise they would rather spend some taxpayer money on a study?

  • RW
    Feb. 18, 2008 3:15 a.m.

    Yes, it is time for Utah to step up to the plate and take some postitive action on illegal immigration. Some 50 states are already crafting laws, and working with ICE. Our Senate should read the currert law that is already on the books as their study guide.

  • MD
    Feb. 18, 2008 12:50 a.m.

    Study? There wasn't much studying before Utah went ahead and granted in-state tuition and driving privileges to illegal aliens in violation of Federal law. How about we end these policies and then study whether or not it makes sense to do so.

    Utahns have been waiting for five years for the legislature to take action. Most of these bills have already been studied by joint interim study groups, received expert testimony and countless public hearings. The time is right for the Senate to debate the issue and vote on these issues.