Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Utah Compact And Immigration

Most of the time I hate being associated with the state I live in. I was born and raised in Utah, but I dislike the social atmosphere that persists here. Imagine my surprise, however, when I heard about the Utah Compact. The Utah Compact it a set of principles set up by religious, political, and business leaders here in Utah to attempt to deal realistically with illegal immigration. The principles are as follows,

1.FEDERAL SOLUTIONS Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries—not Utah and other countries. We urge Utah’s congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah.
2.LAW ENFORCEMENT  We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement’s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code. 
3.FAMILIES  Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Utah children.
4.ECONOMY  Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Utah’s immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.
5.A FREE SOCIETY  Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill.

Holy shit! This was made in Utah? There is no way this thing made its way into law. Oh, wait, yes it did. Utah lately passed many immigration reform laws. I was personally flabbergasted. But beyond my amazement was a tinge of pride. Pride that Utah was actually doing something a little progressive.

Personally, I don't think illegal immigration is a horrible crime. Even if they aren't paying income tax and all that fun stuff, they are paying sales tax on the things they buy, they are providing labor, etc. Yes, it's illegal, but it is no worse a crime to society than jaywalking or stealing supplies from the office. I also believe we need to do things that make it easier to immigrate here legally. 

My main problem with the immigration debate is the overt, and covert, racism. Everyone focuses on the Mexicans, the Cubans, the brown people. Anything from complaints of speaking Spanish, to just over the top racial slurs. THEY are the ones taking our jobs, THEY are destroying our society, THEY are to blame for it all. Let me tell ya, I'm more afraid of the illegal Canadian immigrants. They speak English, they are more likely to be the 'correct' color of skin. They fit in seamlessly. But you never hear about them. It's alway hatred for anyone who isn't white. (Fun fact: in Utah, if you have brown skin you are automatically Mexican.)

Well I've been rambling, and this post hasn't been well put together, but I wish to leave with a great quote from a national icon, The Statue of Liberty:
"Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."


  1. wow, Utah came up with something not totally fracked up. crazy

  2. Very eloquently put!!! I learned a lot from this post, thanks

  3. I was seriously surprised when I heard this was indeed formed in Utah. I was more surprised when I heard the legislature actually passed bills based on it. It was quite a bit different than what I'm used to seeing from our righteoslature.

  4. Great stuff you guys! You are off to a great start - keep it going! Remember, a wise man once said "Always have the courage to light one small candle to help remove the shrouds of ignorance." Keep your candle blazing bright!

    Thanks for stopping by and following and for the kind words. I love to hear from fellow progressives! I'll be following and looking forward to your next posts!

  5. Thanks Tgoette! We have so much planned it's hard to know were to begin! Thanks for joining! We need all the voices we can get, this rocks!!


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