Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Utah Way

The story of Utah's attempt at immigration reform is a story that has not received a lot of attention and it should. As this story from NPR notes, the state is about as Republican as they come and they came up with an approach that was part-enforcement and part-guest worker program. The story notes that Republicans in Utah learned from their conservative brethren in Arizona what NOT to do:
If you were to choose a state that would allow illegal immigrants to work and drive without fear of deportation, you probably wouldn't pick Utah.

"We have to understand, Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country," says Alfonso Aguilar, who runs the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. He says that Utah's new law shows that Republicans can find a middle course.

"The governor's Republican; the House and Senate are dominated by Republicans," Aguilar says. "And they saw what happened in Arizona. They passed an enforcement-only law. It has driven away investment, business, workers that the Arizona economy needs."

In Utah, Aguilar says, "they wanted to deal with enforcement — but balance it with measures that are more business-friendly. And that's exactly what they did."

Last Wednesday, Utah's Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed a package of immigration bills. One is an enforcement law, milder than Arizona's, but still opposed by liberal immigration advocates. Another is a guest-worker bill, which is opposed by some conservatives as amnesty.
It's heartening to see conservatives come up with an approach that is realistic and not punitive. Will Washington's conservatives follow suit?

h/t: Solomon Kleinsmith

1 comment:

Leonidas said...

One certainly needs to recognize that Utah is not Arizona. One state sits on the border, the other is removed by quite some distance.

A one size fits all approach may not work due to such obvious differences.