The changing face of Utah - Are we ready to embrace the future?

'Coming to our Census' series explores demographic issues

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  • milicent Mansfield, Qld
    July 4, 2012 12:01 a.m.

    Utah was built over time on the back of the strengths and courage of immigrants of a century and a half or more. Current native Utahans are not being driven out or deprived of their lands, rights and livelihood as were Native Americans of the 1800's.

    It seems very much out of character with Utah's immigrant culture for current-day immigrants to be so reviled and disliked. Former-day immigrants were poor sod-busters - no wealthy amongst them. The new immigrants are stronger and of a better economic and educational base than the former ones were. The positive results of their contributions will come to fruition in the economy earlier than was the case in earlier generations.

    If we are to believe that the future of the State of Utah is to be better than its past, then, by definition, it must change. Increased immigration with a mix of rich and poor, skilled and unskilled is modern-day Utah's inheritance.

    Less criticism, more encouragement and a clearer vision is required if the current generation of native Utahans are to measure up to their opportunity.

    Let's not embarrass ourselves by forgetting the value of our heritage.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2012 1:27 a.m.

    Whether we like it or not, changes to the demographic make up of this country is coming fast, with a huge surge in minority pouplation. That is a fact according to the article. I just hope people of all backgrounds would carry their fair shares of keeping the United States a land we can all be proud of today, tomorrow, and for the coming generations. Looking back, I do appreciate those people in history who built this great Republic; but at the same time mourn the destruction of the native people who were the first American "citizens". Today, life goes on, we must do the best we can with what we now have, and move forward with faith in ourselves and others.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    June 26, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    One flaw with all this is what is a Hispanic? It's a horrible term that means really nothing. Martin and Charlie Sheen are Hispanic. Cameron Diaz is Hispanic. There are a lot of people who are as white as anyone else that are Hispanic and many have become so part of the American culture, that you couldn't pick them up in a lineup. Some say that the Whites will always be a majority because one day "Hispanic Whites" which make up 53% of the Hispanic population will just be absorbed into the "White" category. It's confusing and the real problem is no one has the entire picture in their head the way it should be.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    June 26, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    I foresee one problem w/ Utah becoming more cosmopolitan & diverse. The established but shrinking majority will IMO feel threatened & play up the persecution complex like never before.

    @ Mr. Bean 4:46 p.m. June 24, 2012

    Learn Mandarin! That will be the native tongue of our overlords.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:03 p.m.


    I in fact do not believe in deporting all those who have broken the law. To suggest I don't excludes a possibility and one I happen to believe in as I explained in my previous comment.

    We the people choose our laws through propositions, elected officials, elected judges, and the democratic process. People can call for specific actions from those elected persons. This is how our country operates.

    The very fact that plea bargains exist make my point for me- which is that we are NOT bound and without choice as a people. Plea bargains are the very "provision" in the law that you argued did not exist. Any enforcement of the law on U.S. soil requires due process, regardless of citizenship. Our law and any humane law does not justify executing a murder without a trial SIMPLY because they are not a citizen. Currently our courts judicially decide immigration cases and therefore plea bargains are legally authorized and sanctioned by the law.

    I'm not even arguing that my position is right, just that it is compatible with law. Where as your argument to "just face it" and accept illegal activity is anything but lawful.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason

    "I believe in sustaining and enforcing the law."

    Punishment for breaking immigration laws is deportation. Therefore, you believe in deportation.

    There is no provision in the law to do anything else... such as what you and the president propose. In fact, the pres himself is breaking the law, perhaps a law more serious than illegal entry. What law? Aiding, abetting, harboring or encouraging illegal aliens (8 USC 1324).

    "But I also believe that we the people have a right to assign appropriate punishments for certain crimes."

    Not so. We the people don't make laws. That task belongs solely to the US Congress.

    "On the other hand, your argument doesn't satisfy anything."

    It satisfies millions of law abiding US citizens.

    "..'just how will we send them back' isn't the problem."

    We don't need to lift a finger to send them back. Just enforce E-Verify (a federal law), stop issuing driver licensing, stop educating their kids, stop giving them free healthcare, etc., etc., etc., and they will deport themselves. In the meantime, hopeful immigrants who are doing the right thing, waiting in line will get their turn, and will be setting an example.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    Soon Utah residents won't need to spend time in the sun. Lilly-white will be a non sequitur.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2012 9:33 a.m.


    Most frequenters on here know that my beliefs on immigration are fairly forgiving. I believe in sustaining and enforcing the law. But I also believe that we the people have a right to assign appropriate punishments for certain crimes. I favor legal retribution in some form of either paying or working off their crime (just as other crimes allow for) according to their ability to do so; but I also believe that anyone who refuses that, wanting to remain illegal, should be forced to leave this country.

    My stance satisfies the law, satisfies future and current enforcement of the law, satisfies repairing the economy, and satisfies every possible claim for justice other than 'eye for an eye' which I do not subscribe to.

    On the other hand, your argument doesn't satisfy anything. 'just how will we send them back' isn't the problem. We are more than able, just not willing. One party's unwillingness to enforce currently established law isn't a rational argument for abdicating that law. 'Just face it'??? You're arguing for anarchy and injustice. No system of justice could exist based on the rational that we 'just accept ignoring laws'.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 11:52 p.m.

    @Cougar Claws:

    "When we get legislation who will finally address these issues, your 'millions of Hispanics' who are here illegally will need to go back to where they came from until they can get earn their way here the correct way."

    And, just how will you get millions of Hispanic to go back to where they came from? They won't go on there own accord, and ICE is refusing to round them up and ship them out.

    Face it. Illegal Hispanics are here to stay. Our legislators and federal law enforcement don't have the guts to do anything about it. And since they are (according to DNews) mostly of the same ethnicity (Hispanic), they form communities within communities where they don't have to learn English or adopt the American culture and way of life. No need to. We are witnessing the beginnings of a very serous schism of the population in America.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    June 24, 2012 7:31 p.m.

    Re: Mr. Bean

    If they want to fulfill their reasons for coming here (partaking of opportunities), that means becoming educated and learning English, which requires being here legally. I applaud the families who have followed the rules and got to where they are they right way. When we get legislation who will finally address these issues, your "millions of Hispanics" who are here illegally will need to go back to where they came from until they can get earn their way here the correct way.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    June 24, 2012 6:39 p.m.

    Assimilation can only happen when all groups speak the same language. Right now the trend in the U.S. seems to be a two language country being acceptable. Won't work.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    @Say No to BO:

    "Sadly, assimilation isn't even their goal."

    You got that right.

    Why should Hispanics assimilate when they are pouring into this country and Utah by the millions? Which means they have their own communities where language, customs, etc., changes are not necessary. Get ready to eventually need learning and speaking Spanish... in America!

  • Jeromeo Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    Lest we forget, Utah recognizes the domain of the Ute Indians. It was second choice to "Deseret" (name of this newspaper?) Most Mexicanos are of Spanish/Native American mix. So what, if they are coming home? We sent them there in there in the first place. Re: Trail of Tears.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    June 24, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    Amen to most of what was previously said. America is a great country for a reason. America was BUILT UP as something great through hard work, honesty, integrity, and through the blood, sweat, and tears of our forbears. Our generation is fighting to keep it that way. If you want to come to this country to contribute to, and give to what we have built, then great, you are more than welcome. If you want to continue to build American culture then great. But if you want to come here to leech off the system and make it another third world country, please go back home. In the words of the previous poster, BE AMERICAN. We will only be a free nation as long as we continue to live by the values this country was built on.

  • vance SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 24, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    What? Do you not have compassion for those students who have just graduated and can't find jobs?

    Do you not have compassion for those barely squeaking by, while our gov.steals money from our wallets to support those who came here illegally milking the system.

    Go to a premier showing at a movie theater and there's a block long line. How far would you get walking up to the ticket window so you can buy the first ticket.

    Not far, then why would we cater to those who have illegally crossed our border when there are thousands who have been waiting 15 years (the right way)to come here to be with THEIR families. We know them, their health, their backgrounds, their purpose.

    If you are not boarding Illegals, giving them food, paying for their education, teaching them a job skill, paying for their medical THEN DON'T TELL US YOU ARE TAKING MONEY FROM OUR WALLETS to do so. You are a Socialist, a Communist, or a progressionist (same thing). You are not a Constitutional loving American.

    Come here, assimilate here, love america but do it the right way. Don't try change our rules. Be American.

  • ticoloco Tooele, UT
    June 24, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    As a Latino man i came legally to this beautiful state 24 years ago.Since then I have make many friends white and othes nationalities. But things has change I see the far right and the far left of many people trying to capitalized from the situation of the illegal immigrants, why do they just try to tell congress to come up with a practical solution to benefit the families and in hope that after that new laws will finally put a solution to this sad time that we are facing and then a new era of understanding and progress for our state and country will come. It comes to my mind Rodney King words "CAN WE JUST GET ALONG".

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    My concerns with 'the changing face of Utah'...

    1) If you move here, learn English. I'd learn French if I moved to France. Pretty simple.

    2) I'm fine with a white minority someday. I'm not fine with Utah's cultural identity changing. I would NEVER move to mexico and try to establish a BBQ-fest to make Americans feel more at home and expect the state to pay for it cause I'm a minority.

    3) While I wouldn't establish BBQ-fest on another people's dime, others not only do that here but arrogantly devalue or disrespect American culture. I've known people who come here and practically hate anything that is American culture, food, language, etc.

    I appreciate other cultures completely. I just won't pay for it via government. Utah should do things the Utah way just as other countries do their thing. I expect immigrants to try to appreciate and show respect to my culture and their new home, not try to change it. If they do that becoming a minority shouldn't be a threatening concept to anyone.

    Culture shock shouldn't happen at home.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 5:52 a.m.

    Of course ethnicity and culture are two completely different things. This article seems to attempt to conflate the two. Ethnic diversity is fine. Cultural diversity is NOT necessarily fine. Utah and the country have become flooded by a culture which disrespects this country and many of the principles upon which it was founded, including the rule of law. This is NOT good for America. In fact, it is very BAD for America. The Deseret News article largely sidesteps this issue, of course. I respect the Velasquez's for coming to this country legally.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    June 23, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    As an immigrant, I love everything this country stands for that's why I raise my children to be American first and nothing else.

    I don't understand why people move to the US or foreign country and whine about the new language and environment. It drives me nuts to see the US government change the rules that only benefit some minority groups. I support English as the official language and those that don't want to learn should pack their belongings and go back to where they came from, it's that simple. If you don't want to assimilate, do us a favor don't come to the US.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 23, 2012 10:20 p.m.

    The vast majority of the world's population has brown skin and black hair.
    What does it matter that non-lily white people move to Utah? If skin color bothers you, you've got some huge problems.

  • roswell Saint George, UT
    June 23, 2012 9:56 p.m.

    I believe it is silly to keep identifying people by the appearance of their skin. It only serves to perpetuate perceived differencess and foster division among people who, in reality, are all children of God. Can't we get beyond this?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 23, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    Utah's schools are being starved at the most critical time as the state grows more diverse. This will lead to huge challenges ahead and I predict much of it won't be pretty.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    June 23, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    Utah Welcome's all Legal Immigrants who come here, work, Pledge allegiance to our Flag, make Utah a better place to live. Illegal Immigrants who come here to commit crime, fraud our welfare system, have children to gain entrance, entitlements and take not give to Utah, (NO!)

  • sally Kearns, UT
    June 23, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    We have white elderly friends who are leaving America, to retire in Mexico. They have lost so much of their investments they cannot afford to live in the communities where they have raised their families. Soon, the ethnic groups will have created a third world environment in America with no one of wealth left to give them handouts.

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    June 23, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    These far out, radical predictions rarely come true. Maybe Utah will become a land of minorities, and maybe it won't. Just as computer models predict (absurdly, I might add) that the earth will be so hot we cannot live on it 2100, that the rising seas will flood half the land mass on earth, etc, etc. Fact is, the earth is not warming, seas are not rising, and the promised land called the United States is becoming so economically unattractive, that immigrants, legal or illegal, and not all that excited about coming here anymore. The U.S. unemployment rate is higher than many countries in the western hemisphere, and the authoritarian trend under Obama and the Democratic socialists in this country, is now discouraging many from coming here. In fact many Americans are now beginning to leave for better places to live. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the conclusions of this story.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    June 23, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    Assimilation needn't be a long process - it wasn't for my grandparents who both emigrated to Utah in the late 19th century. They learned a new language, worked their way through school at the U, found a career in NYC, and raised their family in a community teeming with other immigrants. Their neighbors were of different races, ethnicities, religions, and political persuasions, but they shared a common goal: assimilation. They didn't abandon their heritage, but they embraced their new country. My grandfather received a silk, pocket-sized American flag the day he took the oath of citizenship, which he carried in his wallet the rest of his life. My grandparents and others like them assimilated quickly because they wanted to. Today's immigrants who want to can and do assimilate - even in places like Orange County, which used to be a lily-white Republican bastion but now enjoys remarkable racial, ethnic, religious, and political diversity.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 23, 2012 2:40 p.m.


  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 23, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    Sadly, assimilation isn't even their goal. We are well on our way to becoming Quebec (but probably not Bosnia).
    Jacob Vigdor at Duke did a census analysis of assimilation trends. It is a fascinating look at our future.
    But alas, the Deseret News and reporter Cortez are busy putting lipstick on a pig.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 23, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    Assimilation is a long process, sure, but one advantage Utah has is its strong-values, in particular its religious background. The LDS faith has the potential to enliven underprivileged people of all origins. It values education, hard work, and family. These values create a strong and viable society that can weather any demographic.