Salt Lake County Republican Party delegates today sent a message to state government officials by adopting a resolution supporting the Republican Party Platform and seeking a repeal of HB116. The resolution passed with 57% of the vote (256 to 192).
HB116 has been under fire from Republican delegates since it passed the Utah Legislature last month. The bill creates a program whereby illegal immigrants who have lived or worked in Utah, or who can get to Utah by May 10, can obtain a permit to work legally in the state. The bill goes so far as to officially redefine an illegal immigrant’s status as “legal” within Utah. The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel warned legislators that the bill had a “high probability” of being found unconstitutional; the bill also violates federal law. HB116 requests that the federal government issue Utah a waiver from having to comply with federal immigration law – and no such waiver exists. However, even if no waiver is obtained, the bill has a set start date of July 1, 2013. If this bill is not repealed, it WILL go into effect and Utah WILL be stuck with it.
Additionally important to Republicans is the fact that the bill violates the State and National Republican Party Platform Immigration Planks, as well as the Immigration Planks of some of Utah’s County Parties. These platforms include support for legal immigration and the Rule of Law, enforcement of immigration laws, securing our borders, and rejecting all forms of legal status or amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“This thing stinks,” delegate Steven Decho said about HB116. “We do not need to have Utah be a magnet for any more illegal immigration than it is now.”
“We need to stop letting the interests of other nation states trump the interests of the citizens of our country,” argued delegate Matthew Bell, who presented the resolution.
The resolution that was passed reads as follows:
Salt Lake County Republican Party Resolution Supporting the Immigration Planks of the Republican Platform and Opposing the Unconstitutional and Unfair Provisions of HB 116 (Utah Immigration Accountability and Enforcement Amendments)
March 17, 2011
Whereas, HB 116:
· Creates a state-administered guest worker program for illegal immigrants in direct opposition to federal law, requesting nonexistent waivers from federal law (3SHB116 line 648, line 663);
· Ignores the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel‟s opinion that “there is a high probability that a court would find that portions of this bill as unconstitutional because they are preempted by federal law as applied through the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States” (Legislative Review Note, 3/4/11);
· Offers this guest worker permit to illegal immigrants who have ever lived or worked in Utah, or who come to Utah from other states, prior to May 10, 2011 (line 746);
· Encourages immigrants to illegally enter the United States and settle in Utah prior to the May 10, 2011 cutoff date, at risk to our national security (line 746);
· Will burden Utah taxpayers with the costs to defend the law in court (Legislative Review Note, 3/4/11);
· Allows illegal aliens who have not been convicted of serious felonies to obtain guest worker permits thereby allowing individuals involved in gang activity, drug dealing and identity theft which impacts over 50,000 Utah children to obtain guest worker permits in spite of their crimes (lines 753-755);
· Ignores existing federal guest worker permits, instead granting state permits to unlimited numbers of illegal immigrants and their immediate families in unlimited job sectors, thereby threatening the employment of Utah workers (line 796);
· Supports driving privilege cards and taxpayer funded in-state tuition for illegal immigrant adults (line 762, line 1288);
· Would increase illegal immigration and its costs to taxpayers – illegal immigration in Utah currently costs taxpayers an estimate $55M to $85M annually for K-12 education (Source: May 2007 Utah Legislative Audit) plus an additional estimated $300 million for a wide range of welfare benefits (Sources: Legislative Fiscal Analyst, Salt Lake Tribune and Legislative Research);
· Delays effective immigration enforcement provisions until July 2013 (line 672);
· Violates 8 US Code 1324 while adding the same provisions to Utah law but excluding guest worker permit holders/family permit holders from the definition of „alien‟, thereby reclassifying them as legal: “(2) It is unlawful for a person to: . . . (c) encourage or induce an alien to come to, enter, or reside in this state, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the aliens coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” (line 1555, 1566);
Whereas, 3SHB116 violates the following tenets of the Salt Lake County Republican Party Platform:
· We support the “Rule of Law” and believe in upholding the law of the land.
· We support the Constitutional mandate to protect and secure our national borders.
· We support lawful efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect citizens in their homes and in their communities. We urge reform of the legal system to accomplish a
swift and balanced administration of justice, including consideration of rights of the victim.
· We believe that no individual is entitled to rights that exceed or supersede the God-given individual rights guaranteed in our Constitution.
Whereas, 3SHB116 violates the following tenets of the Utah State Republican Party Platform’s Immigration plank:
· We believe that control of our borders is an urgent national security interest and our national sovereignty depends on those secure borders;
· We oppose illegal immigration and all forms of amnesty, or legal status, for illegal immigrants;
· We believe that the current laws against employing illegal immigrants should be vigorously enforced;
Whereas, 3SHB116 violates the following tenets of the National Republican Party Platform’s Immigration plank:
· Border security is essential to national security;
· Experience shows that enforcement of existing laws is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration;
· Our commitment to the rule of law means smarter enforcement at the workplace, against illegal workers and lawbreaking employers alike;
· The rule of law means enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas, rather than letting millions flout the generosity that gave them temporary entry;
· The rule of law means real consequences, including the denial of federal funds, for self-described sanctuary cities, which stand in open defiance of the federal and state statutes that expressly prohibit such sanctuary policies;
· The rule of law does not mean driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, nor does it mean that states should be allowed to flout the federal law barring them from giving in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens;
· The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity; and
Whereas, all Republican elected officials in Utah pledged the following prior to their election to public office, “I have read the Utah Republican Party Platform. I support that Platform and accept it as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be evaluated.”
Therefore, be it resolved that the Salt Lake County Republican Party:
· Calls on all Salt Lake County Republican legislators and the governor to repeal 3SHB116 at the earliest possible occasion;
A representative of the Salt Lake County Republican Party will deliver a copy of this Resolution to all Salt Lake County Legislators, Attorney General Shurtleff, Governor Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Bell.
Sponsor: Ron Gustaveson, Precinct 4821